cornell lacrosse midfield chasing Army ball

Lax Lingo: “Wolf!” and “Bear!”

We've all struggled to get the words out when we see one of our players in trouble on the field but doesn't know it yet. In today's installment of Lax Lingo, we want to talk about two very helpful calls you can use from the bench and teach your players to use on the field: "Wolf!" and "Bear!" 

Being clear and concise with your players so that they know exactly what you mean and what you want them to do will get you much better results on the field than yelling uncertain terms like "Move!" and "Hustle!" from the sidelines over and over.

These are two easy calls we've heard coaches using all over the country to really get their players moving. Both of these calls very simply mean "Man on!", telling your player with the ball that "One of the their guys is coming to get you!"

It happens all the time- the kid with the ball gets chased down from behind and gets his stick knocked out of his hands. Or a new player looking down picking up a loose ball gets blown up by the Defender directly in front of him. Youth and beginning players are not very experienced with Field Vision- knowing where the other players are around them at any moment.

You can help prevent these huge head-on collisions or hits from behind before they happen:

  • "Wolf!"- means "Run faster! There is a man chasing you down from behind," like a pack of wolves. It is quick, one syllable, and you can yell it out loud pretty easily, even if you are out of breath.
  • "Bear!"- means there is a man coming to get your from the front, ie get your eyes up and move to avoid the collision. "Bear!" is also quick and one syllable.

Teach your players to use these with their teammates when they are on the field together. This encourages them to think and communicate to help their teammates.

Hopefully the next time you see one of your players in trouble, you can get one of these calls out of your mouth instead of watching helplessly. Now you have the right words.

Even without teaching your players what it means, you can watch them look behind in terror and run faster if you yell "Wolf!" during practice or a game. Try it. It's hilarious.

Let us know if this Lax Lingo works for you in games!