Gain more possessions for your team by perfecting the art of the face-off!
- Develop the specific skill set required to be a force during every face-off
- Learn the best way to quickly counter every move the opponent makes
- Understand where and how to exit after winning the clamp
with Jim Stagnitta,
Premier Lacrosse League Head Coach;
former Charlotte Hounds (MLL) Head Coach; former Denver Outlaws Head Coach;
former University of Pennsylvania Assistant Coach; former Rutgers University Head Coach;
2013 and 2016 Brine MLL Coach of the Year; 2013 MLL Runners-Up;
F. Morris Touchstone Award - USILA Division I Coach of the Year (2003)7 NCAA tournament appearances, 2 Final Fours
A team can't score if it doesn't have the ball. That's why developing an outstanding face-off player is so critical for every program!
In this video, Jim Stagnitta, with help from Blase Mantineo of the New Jersey Institute of Technology, presents 18 drills designed to train face-off skills. You'll begin with the fundamentals of proper face-off technique before advancing to individual skills, partner drills and then exits, with each drill building off of the previous one. Stagnitta and Mantineo also present in-depth instruction about a variety of counter moves and even counters to an opponent's counters.
A unique and special skill set requires a unique and special set of drills. Here, Stagnitta and Mantineo teach the basics, beginning with proper stance and body positioning before demonstrating several drills designed to increase hand speed and attune the face-off player's reactions to the whistle.
From there, the coaches teach the fundamentals of the clamp. In an individual skills section, they present three drills to build up the face-off player's ability to clamp quickly and effectively, breaking down the required skills to the smallest pieces and adding elements incrementally.
Securing the clamp is only half the battle, as the face-off player needs to know how and where to escape after securing the ball in the back of their stick. Stagnitta and Mantineo present the four exits every face-off player must learn, emphasizing the importance of recognizing what the opponent is trying to do and how to take the ball away from them. You'll see the fastbreak exit, in which the player goes forward with the hope of scoring a quick goal, and then the defensive exit for when the opponent blocks the fast break. The lesson closes out with two variations of a right shoulder exit that are alternatives for when the opponent blocks the fast break exit.
Counters and Countering Counters
If the opponent is quicker or stronger on the clamp, every good face-off player needs to know how to counter the opponent's opening gambit. Stagnitta and Mantineo give you three counter moves - the Sweep, the Rejam and the Shovel - designed to precisely counter the opponent's strengths.
In the event your face-off player is winning all of the clamps and the opponent begins to counter, you'll also be taught counters to the counters, demonstrating how to counter the Sweep and the Rejam.
Popping to Space
In this featured drill, the face-off player works in conjunction with two wing players. The face-off player, without an opponent, uses all of the skills learned earlier in the video to quickly clamp down on the ball and rotate around, looking for the proper exit. At the same time, the two wing players rotate in conjunction, one staying in line with the butt end of the face-off player's stick and the other directly opposite. The wing players work to stay in line with the face-off player while communicating where they are and where the safe exits are.
This video is a must-have for any coach or team looking to improve its performance in face-offs. The face-off is broken down to its most fundamental elements and is presented in an easy to understand way that can be taught at any level.
44 minutes. 2019.Lacrosse Videos