It's Box Lacrosse season for most of us here. Today we want to talk about "Strong Side" Rotations- what the other three guys on the floor should be doing while you're running Two-Man Game with the ball.
What is the "Strong Side" in Box Lacrosse? For most of us coming from Field Lacrosse or Soccer and other sports, the "Strong Side" of the field is usually the side where the ball is, right or left if you divide the field in half. In Box Lacrosse, the "Strong Side" is the side where there are more players, usually three. This can be confusing for your players, so make sure they understand as well if they're new to Box.
Teach your players the "Two-Man Game" with the ball first. Give the player with the ball space on the floor to use the "Pick" to get open and go to the Goal, or look to the "Roll" if he draws a double-team. Push the other three players to the back side of the field, the "Strong Side" to draw the other Defenders away and create space for the ball.
"Occupy your Defenders!" This is a great term we hear coaches use for players off-ball. Cutting and setting picks away from the ball forces other Defenders to worry about their man. This way, they can't slide to stop the ball as easily, creating more time and space for the Dodger to go to the goal.
HERE'S THE PLAY:
"Double Down" is just one of probably dozens of Strong Side Rotations that Box coaches use to get a man open away from the ball, and keep the other three Defenders occupied.
Figure 1.) Run the "Pass Down, Pick Down" on the ball side of the field. Stack the other three players opposite the ball, creating the "Strong Side" away from the ball.
Create Space! If the Pick Down works, Blue 2 will have room to get to the middle of the field to go to the goal with a good shooting angle. Don't bring extra Defenders towards him!
- Practice the "Double Down" Picks against one or two Defenders before you go to even strength 3-on-3.
- Have one player with the ball stand on the opposite side of the field and feed the ball to the strong side players.
- Use this same play, except set "Double Up" picks instead.
RELATED PLAYS & DRILLS:
- Box Lacrosse Pass Up, Pick Up Offense: Use this simple variation of Pass Down, Pick Down that you can easily implement with your players once they understand the basics of the "Two-Man Game"!
- Box Lacrosse Star Passing & Shooting Drill: This is the standard warm-up drill we see just about every box team in the whole world use to get the sticks warm before games and give the Goalie some shots!
- Box Lacrosse Man-Up Double Pick Play: We saw the Iroquois use this great play in the 2015 World Indoor Lacrosse Championships, so we thought we better cover it!