Tuesday, February 10, 2015

RIT - Thoughts From A Day With The Coaching Staff

February 10, 2015
One of the best parts of club coaching is getting to visit the college coaches.  This allows us to watch the latest drills, pick their brains on new developments, and hear from them what they are looking for in future recruits. On Jan 24 we caught up with the coach Coon and the RIT staff.

We caught up with the RIT staff on Friday at the end of a long week of two-a-days.  The week had started with a program run by former Navy Seals that focused on leadership, committing to your teammates and developing mental strength.  By the time we got to them the team was a bit tired but definitely very focused. 

Like most college programs there was very little down time at practice.  The coaches name the drills, review the points of focus, and the players got to work at full speed.  RIT prefers to have practice bounce around skills and groups rather than go in a progression.  The staff believes it helps players learn to deal with confusion and better prepares them for games.

Morning practice
  • Yoga
  • Lifting
Afternoon practice
  • Pre: Goalie warmup and faceoff work
  • Warmups: Dynamic stretching followed by shooting and then full field passing.
  • Individual skills: Offense - shooting, Defense - approaches
  • Main practice: 6 v 6 rides and clears
  • Main practice: Unsettled - short field 4v3 & 3 v 2 w/loser does pushups (see video on BR Lax TV)
  • Main practice: Transition
  • Main practice: EMO / MDD both ends – FOGOs work on shooting
  • Main practice: 6 v 6 both ends
  • Main practice: Triangle passing (catch / throw underpressure)
Overall Thoughts

What is your lacrosse philosophy?
We want to play fast.  To do that we push transition and create unsettled scoring opportunities.  To many teams are afraid to lose an offensive possession, so they slow everything down and allow their opponent to sub.  We would rather push the ball and take advantage of mismatches before we settle in to 6 on 6.

What are your key areas of focus this year?
·         We want to be the best conditioned team in the nation.  We want to make sure no one out works us.
·         We are focusing a fair amount of time on team chemistry.  We need to make sure that we are building leaders who support each other. This is an extension of our recruiting focus and a key reason behind our success.
·         We want to get more aggressive on defense to create more possessions and opportunities in transition.  In the past, our close defense have been on an island (don’t get beat), now we are looking to create more pressure and attack the offense more.

If you could ask a club coach any question(s) you wanted what would they be?
·         Are you asking enough of your kids?
·         Are you teaching them skills and hard work or are you just rolling the ball out and letting them play?
·         What are you doing to ensure that your kids getting the skills / mental toughness that they need to succeed at the next level?

What do you look for in a recruit?
·         Our primary focus is on finding hardworking, mentally tough, team players.  We believe that we can teach an athlete stick skills and lax IQ.  Therefore we look for recruits who are great athletes, have speed and who are willing to work hard (unselfish) to guarantee the best outcome for the team.

Great staff and we really appreciate all the time they gave us.  We learned a lot from them and our conversations on lacrosse, where the game is heading and what has driven their success.  We also picked up several new subbing plays that we may try to put in this summer. 

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