Lacrosse Riding - Using Position Defense

Xcelerate Nike Lacrosse National Program Director, Brian Lalley, discusses, Lacrosse Riding - Using Position Defense:

Conceptually, most practices have defenders focusing on defense and attackmen focusing on offense. When it comes to the skill of riding, an attackman must have the knowledge and discipline to play good defense. It involves all the same skills of being a good defender including taking good angles, breaking down and getting in the hips, keeping feet moving, using good communication, disciplined physicality and stick checks, among others.

The first thing we must understand while riding is that we are at a disadvantage. We have one less player due to the clearing team having one more person in their goalie. Great riding teams understand that they will be mostly unsuccessful, but that doesn’t matter. We work to execute with consistent, disciplined effort to maximize the chances that we can force a turnover and potentially score in the unsettled.

A call we had at Ohio State on our ride was called, “Boxer.” With the amount of open field, the objective was to force ball carriers to the middle of the field where we’d work to box the ball carrier into a double team. This concept involved two players recognizing that they were in a position to each take an outside hip and close space to box that ball carrier in.

The critical, fundamental skills needed to execute a boxer is communication and good angle play with quality breakdowns. If you’re able to force opposing clears into boxer situations, you will at the very least force more passes rather than allow a ball carrier to simply carry out of their zone. A successful ride could be the difference maker in a tight game. Remember, the ride starts with effort!


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