Xcelerate Lacrosse Tip: Becoming The Complete Midfielder In Women’s Lacrosse

TIPS ON BECOMING THE COMPLETE MIDFIELDER IN WOMEN’S LACROSSE
BY: SHANTA LOECKER, ALBION COLLEGE HEAD WOMEN’S LACROSSE COACH

Shanta Loecker developed the Albion program into one of the most successful in Division III in just three seasons. 

Taking over a program that did not win a game in 2012, she worked tirelessly to grow the roster and she had the drive and patience to teach the most basic skills to her student-athletes. Her teaching paid off in the form of five victories in her first season (2013) and the win total has continued to rise. The Britons finished 8-8 in 2014, 15-3 in 2015 and 10-7 in 2016. The 2015 squad won the MIAA Tournament to qualify for the NCAA Division III Championship. The 2016 team completed an undefeated run through the MIAA during the regular season to achieve the program's first league championship.


OWN THE DRAW CONTROL
 Stats show that if a team dominates the draw, they dominate possession, and win.
 How do we get better at draw controls?
  • Every successful draw comes from routine, confidence and habit. Get in reps!
  • Improve your ability to track the ball/Eye Training
    — Number and word charts
    — Peripheral vision work
    —  Hand/eye coordination drills
 • Ear training (reacting to the whistle).
   — Whistle reaction drills
 • Build chemistry and communication. Get to know your fellow middies off the field. 
   — That will translate into better play on the field.

BUILD YOUR STRENGTH, SPEED, AND ENDURANCE
• Train more than anyone else in the off-season.
 Field is 120 yards long and 65 yards wide. 
  — It’s HUGE and you’re expected to play 100% of it at full speed for potentially 60 minutes.
• Improve wrist and forearm strength with:
  — Weight Flips
  — Rice Bucket Workouts – CLICK ABOVE FOR VIDEO
• Increase your versatility and vicinity, especially 1-handed on the move.
• Work on mobility and quickness – reacting and tracking with your feet.
  — Ball Drops
  — Speed Ladders
  — Reaction and Agility Drills

FOCUS ON PURPOSEFUL MOVEMENT WITHOUT THE BALL
 North/South cutting and movement is your friend – focus on split dodges and change of speed when creating space.
 Anticipate opportunities to “Give and Go” in transition.
 Work on midfield defensive footwork, drop steps, and change of direction.

IMPORTANT SKILLS WITH THE BALL
• Practice dodging hard from the top, rather than X.
• Split dodge, hitch dodge, and change of speed are the best ways to maneuver.
   • Avoid movement that forces east/west cutting 
    — (such as a roll dodge or face dodge…you always want to advance the ball).
• Ability to use both hands comfortably and interchangeably to change your angles.
• Always accelerate through the catch or loose ball control.
• Most importantly, always work on ball handling skills on the move.

Xcelerate Nike Lacrosse Camps

For more tips and instruction like this from Shanta Loecker join her this summer at the Xcelerate Nike Girls Lacrosse Camp at Albion College, June 25-28. Home to our top rated instructional lacrosse camp is Division 3’s Albion College in Michigan. Centrally located, Albion is right off Interstate 94, between Detroit and Chicago. With a perfect small college setting, campers will have the opportunity to personally work with Xcelerate Nike’s elite staff members, as well as, Albion Head Coach Shanta Loecker. This camp location is ideal for all regional players in the area. Get ready to play the game at a high level and have some big time fun!

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