Getting Girls Ready for High School Lacrosse

Girls youth and high school lacrosse associated with the NCJLA.

Getting Girls Ready for High School Lacrosse

Postby Coach Jen » Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:51 am

I have gotten several inquiries from junior girls lacrosse parents for some input as to whether the girls sent up are well prepared for high school or not. I have noticed some things that are pretty common, that if juniors clubs worked on them, the high school coaches would all be very thankful.

I have written an article that outlines some ideas on how to better prepare the junior players. I am sure there are many more that I haven't thought of. This section of the forum is always so quiet, so this is not the only place will post this article. Here it is:

Girls Lacrosse: Getting Ready for High School
By Coach Jen Milus

More and more middle school girls are playing lacrosse these days. Some play 4 and 5 years before they try out for high school. The question is, is that experience as useful as it could be? The jump from middle school to high school can be tough. The play is rougher, and the rules are different. A middle school star may not be able to improve as fast when she hits high school if she has been allowed to play with certain bad habits learned in earlier years. It is often easier to teach a brand new kid to play, than break the bad habits of a 4th year incoming freshman player. As such, teaching them the basics from the very start is crucial.

Problem 1: High Cradle
One of the rules that is different is that checking is allowed only below the shoulder in junior lacrosse. This is well intended, and crucial for safety in middle school. But, it encourages kids, when cradling, to slide their top hand way down their stick shaft, and raise their stick head up high above their head. This works great in middle school. It allows many kids to run the field with the ball in a high cradle, shoot and score. The kid and her coaches think this is a good thing, and everyone cheers and claps.

In high school, checking is allowed up and over the head, as long as it does not go toward the head, or break the plain of the sphere or bubble around the head.. But, when they get to high school, this cradle is too high, and is very checkable, leading to more forced turnovers. Worse than that, it draws other kids to check in that area, because that high stick is so inviting. That happens to be where the head is, and checking near that area is not legal, but it happens anyway.

Not fixing this leaves kids and parents baffled when they get to high school and are ineffective. Far too many kids are coming into the high schools with this habit, and it is really hard to break. The only answer is to start from ground up.

Solution: Slide Hands apart and cradle vertically, in tight.
This problem is easily solvable, by sliding the top hand all the way up the shaft in tight spaces, and cradling shoulder to nose. The hands should be at the top and the bottom of the stick shaft. If there is stick showing at the bottom, it can be pulled by the opponents cross, causing a dropped ball. If the top hand is at the top, it keeps the cradle in closer to the head, less checkable.

A drill to help this shown in the DVD, Your Stickwork Will Save you!
Coach Jen

Nothing Good comes easy...
Coach Jen
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