Tips for Lacrosse Defenders

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Tips for Lacrosse Defenders

This page focuses on how to become a strong lacrosse defender. It examines areas such as checks, clears, slides and more. This information is important for close defenders and long stick middies (LSMs).

Main Focus Areas for Defenders - Sections below contain instructions, videos, etc.

Tips for Defensemen

  • Focus on poke checks versus slap checks, over-the-head checks, etc. They are effective in disrupting an opponent and less likely to be called for a slashing penalty.
  • Overplay your opponent's strong side. Make them shoot or pass with their weak hand.
  • Move your feet versus relying only on your long pole. The best defenders can move backwards quickly while, at the same time, harassing their opponent with stick checks.
  • Many good defenders act as a moving wall and keep their opponent from getting a clear shot. They constantly put themselves between the opponent and the goal. They do not gamble for a takeaway. Instead, they force their opponent to pass because they can not get open.
  • Takeaways are exciting. However, they often result in a defender being burnt as they over commit and allow the opponent to get past them.
  • Be aggressive going after ground balls. Many transition goals are a result of a defender getting a ground ball and quickly moving it up field to an open teammate. You will often hear a coach shouting "That is your goal!" to the defender who started the successful attack.
  • Lacrosse Stubbies - Cut down an old lacrosse stick until it is about 2 feet in length. Use it as your "stick" when you practice one-on-one defense. This extremely short stubby will help you to focus on moving your feet during lacrosse drills versus relying on your long pole.
  • Work on protecting the stick while running (i.e. on a clear). Attackmen will aggressively ride defenders in order to get the ball back or to slow a fast break opportunity.

Lacrosse - Defending from Behind the Cage

Lacrosse - Defending Goal Line Extended

Defense From The Top Of The Field With A Long Pole

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