Lax Lingo: “Goose!” and “Hockey!”: Techniques to Win Loose Balls
Here are two simple techniques that you can practice with your players to win more ground balls, and get extra chances on offense to score more goals!
"Goose!" and "Hockey!" are two simple, common terms we hear teams using in loose ball situations all over the country. Pro and College players do these all the time. Not because they are fancy or special, but because they work. All it requires is a little verbal communication. These are very common ways for your players to work together to get the ball out and away from trouble when there is a loose ball scrum on the field.
"Ground Balls Win Games." Every good lacrosse coach knows that. Quint Kessenich said it already this week,
"The game is a simple game. Get the ball, throw it in the net.
Players of value secure the ball for your team.
Impact players score or prevent goals.
The food chain of success starts with loose balls."
Ground balls equal extra possessions, and extra chances to score. The team that has the ball most of the time is usually the team that scores the most. Teach your players all the different ways they can work HARD and SMART to win the ground ball battle, and give your team extra chances to win.
- Related: "Ground Balls Win Games."
"Get your nose dirty!" "Run through Ground Balls!" Over the years, players have been given lots of different philosophies about ground balls. Run through! Rake it out! Don't Rake! Get your knuckles dirty! Get your nose dirty! The truth is, every loose ball situation is different, and there are lots of ways to come out with possession. "Goose!" and "Hockey!" are just two more tools for your players' toolbox. Let them do whatever is most successful at that particular moment!
HERE'S THE PLAY: #1 - "GOOSE!" It Out.
Figure 1.) Ground balls attract extra players. They create unsettled situations and extra scoring opportunities. Often times they are followed by a full field sprint and a 4-on-3 Fast Break, or a 5-on-4 Slow Break. But there is often a lot of extra traffic around the ball. It can be difficult and intimidating for new and younger players to run right into the chaos to get the ball out. But of course, that's what separates the men from the boys.