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Basic Defensive Stick Handling

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DanSawyer
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Basic Defensive Stick Handling

Postby DanSawyer Sun May 08, 2011 9:45 pm

OK, I know the basics of how to play individual D: don't stick-chase, play the body, take away the topside/strong side, poke checks at the hands, drive the hips etc. Note I only say I know the basics!

What I want to know is the even more basic - stick handling. The lads I coach find longstick cradling, passing groudballs etc quite tough and I don't know enough to help. As far as I know you basically do i as you would for a shortie but perhaps move the hands up the stick a bit for more control.

Any hints about this would be really helpful, partly so I can teach it and partly because I may have to play some longpole at Pompey 8s...
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Re: Basic Defensive Stick Handling

Postby webby Sun May 08, 2011 10:49 pm

http://www.playsportstv.com/major-leagu ... -long-pole

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnyYCb6jyGY

When coaching beginners I encourage them to choke up when passing and catching as it makes it a little bit easier for them. Once they get a better feel for the stick, I then get them to try and use the full length of the stick. They generally find it easier to get the basics with a short stick then move to a long pole but choking up, then using the full length.

I generally choke up when there's little to no pressure on me, more so when catching than passing or cradling. When there's pressure on, I can generally protect the stick better when using the full length as you take away the attractive "butt-end" sticking out of your bottom hand. I hardly every choke up on a groundball unless it's ended up in my feet and even then I'd rather kick it out and scoop. You've got 3 more feet of stick to use, why waste it? That being said, you should aim to get comfortable using the stick in any position and should be able to pass and catch with your hands anywhere along the shaft as you never know when you'll need to do so in a game.
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DanSawyer
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Re: Basic Defensive Stick Handling

Postby DanSawyer Sun May 08, 2011 11:21 pm

Thanks, that's what I've been teaching-choke up unless under pressure and definitely not if you're being checked, cos it doubles the targets.

Is there some trick to groundballs? I find them harder with a pole and I don't seem to be alone.
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Re: Basic Defensive Stick Handling

Postby webby Mon May 09, 2011 12:31 am

It's the same general principle, get that bottom hand low and scoop through. Step, squat, scoop.

I find people try and wait until they're next to or right over the ball, and then attempt to scoop with the stick at too much of an angle. The closer you are the to ball, the further your top hand needs to be up the stick to encourage you to get your bottom hand low. In doing so your bottom hand will need to go further out behind you, but as long as you keep a nice solid grip, it shouldn't cause too many issues with checks, especially if you're quick to bring the stick back up and protected next to your ear. As you go to scoop the ball, your bottom hand should push the stick through your top hand, which forces the head of the stick under the ball. Make sure you aim just before the ball to avoid going over the ball or pushing it along the field.

Another decent video http://www.laxmagazine.com/tips/players ... r_pressure
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Re: Basic Defensive Stick Handling

Postby UKLaxfan Mon May 09, 2011 11:22 am

on YouTube subscribe to user NDLAXTV
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91MGBJggIXc

Lots of clearly described and demonstrated Defensive Drills on GBs and escaping with the ball.

*********
If the players you are coaching are complete beginners then let them use short sticks in practice and maybe even games as it is much easier to learn correct skills with a shorty and then transfer those skill than to try learn them with a pole from the start.

I'd even go as far as playing them in defense with a shorty,

Defense is about footwork, positioning, communication, teamwork

given a beginner a pole they can't use properly is a deterrent, plus you can then switch positions more often so everyone can play defense/midfield/attack and discover what their best position is.
DanSawyer
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Re: Basic Defensive Stick Handling

Postby DanSawyer Mon May 09, 2011 11:27 am

Thanks for the link Dave. I agree about starting with shorts but this bunch had already got going with poles before I got there!
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Re: Basic Defensive Stick Handling

Postby UKLaxfan Mon May 09, 2011 12:43 pm

Dan,

One thing I've noticed about a lot of defenders handling is that they like to throw sidearm or 3/4 arm to keep the head of the stick at around head height or just above.

I don't know why this is popular, it's as though there is an invisible ceiling ?

The better more fundamentally sound technique is too play with the stick in the vertical plain perpendicular to the ground, so exactly the same as a shorty technique. Watch some of the Duke defenders, Montelli or Constabile.

Cross field passes on clearing from sideline to sideline are easy and need little effort if you use the full length of the stick and solid fundamentals

better technique = less power needed = more control

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