Scott Biron and Janine Tucker
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Sit low, keep a balanced base and execute quick footwork.
“Low man wins.”
The lower a lacrosse player gets to the ground, the harder they are to knock off balance and the more leverage they have to do what they want.
Players that stay low develop excellent balance and improve their ability to shift quickly from side to side, which helps them in all parts of their game. Developing the “low man wins” mentality comes from implementing drills that demand the athlete sit low so they get used to that athletic stance. Repetition is key—establishing muscle memory for staying low and balance and using quick feet will soon become second nature for your players.
Coaches live to see one of their players get low and explode through a crowd to pick up a ground ball and move it swiftly upfield. Staying low also helps players avoid getting beat on defense.
Players should get in the habit of sitting and staying low as they run through ground balls, explode out of dodges and contain their opponents on defense.
The second a player stands up, she is vulnerable to getting beat. Staying low and balanced is imperative to successful play, especially in the midfield. Practice is the best time to instill this concept. Be sure to use the terminology often as well. The more your players hear you preach, “Low man wins!” the quicker they will buy into that philosophy.
Make conditioning drills competitive and add pressure to help reinforce this skill. Incorporate the low man wins concept into all of your drills at practice. Be sure to point out when a player stands up and then gets beat. Encourage her to remember to stay low!
Coaches Action Items
- Be sure to use the terminology, “Low man wins!” as much as possible in your practices. Point out when a player stays low and holds her own on defense, or stays low as she explodes past a defender out of a dodge.
- Include at least one Low Man Wins fitness drill in each practice. Develop those explosive steps. Get players to have their sticks in their hands going through a ladder and explode out of the ladder into a ground ball, then dodge a cone staying low and make a quick outlet pass.
- Encourage your athletes to watch other sports, especially football and basketball, where they can see the “Low Man Wins” concept in action.
This post was adapted from “Building the Modern Midfielder,” a comprehensive US Lacrosse coaching resource authored by Scott Biron, head coach at Acton-Boxborough (Mass.) High School, and Janine Tucker, head coach at Johns Hopkins University.
The "Building the Modern Midfielder" and "Building the Modern Attacker" continuing education resource are the most comprehensive resources on the market for women’s lacrosse. Pick up your copy through the US Lacrosse Coaching Education Program.
Building the Modern Player