Get Back to Basics, Teach Individual Skills with Mobile Coach App


This article appears in the “Game Ready” section of our September/October edition. Join our momentum.

Lauren Davenport is the manager of athlete development at USA Lacrosse and an assistant coach at Notre Dame of Maryland University.

Summer vacation season is over, and it’s the beginning of a new school year. Your players have been resting for the summer, playing in lacrosse tournaments or doing some mixture of the two. It’s time for fall ball.

Whether they play other sports in the fall or not, it doesn’t hurt to schedule a handful of sessions to help players shake off the rust and pick up their sticks. Think of the fall as a time to get back to basics — the individual lacrosse skills — so there isn’t as much of a regression when the spring 2023 season begins.

One of my favorite games to get players moving and talking is Have 1, Need 1. Like the other games found in USA Lacrosse’s Mobile Coach app, it can be modified based on skill level with many variations that are helpful to players. This makes it a great game to use to kick off fall ball.

HAVE ONE, NEED ONE

This Mobile Coach game provides high repetitions of individual lacrosse skills — specifically passing, catching, communication and movement. You can modify it based on skill level and incorporate additional skills.

SKILLS

  • Low athletic stance

  • Communication

  • Lateral + forward/back movement

  • Hand-eye coordination

  • Passing

  • Catching

  • Cutting/moving to space

  • Cradling

  • Scooping

SETUP

Use the center circle — or another area of the field, like the 8- or 12-meter arcs without a goal — as a boundary. Split the players into two teams including goalies in their equipment.







GAME

  • Start with an equal number on each team.

  • Give balls to half (or just under half) of them. (If there are 10 players, for example, use 4-5 balls).

  • Players with a ball must say, “Have one,” while players without a ball must say, “Need one.”

  • Players constantly move (not remain idle in lines or stationary) to transfer the ball safely between them.

  • A player cannot pass to the same person they just received it from. It must go to someone different.

  • Players must stay within the boundary.

PROGRESSIONS AND VARIATIONS

  • Start with no equipment and a gym ball

  • Add equipment and play with age-appropriate lacrosse rules.

  • If passing and catching are a challenge, play the game with scooping ground balls only.

  • If accuracy is a challenge, have players catch with the stick and do an underhand toss with their hand to help their teammate better catch the ball.

  • Add a time limit and level of competition to see who can get the most passes and catches in the timeframe. Then, do another round to see if the players can get a personal best.

  • Do different passes (i.e. only left hand, only right hand, only between the legs, only behind the back, etc.).

  • Have the players catch with one hand, switch and pass with the other.

  • Have the players add a dodge before they can pass.

REINFORCE THESE CONCEPTS

  • Receive the ball and look somewhere else to pass the ball (constant movement).

  • Communicate with different teammates.

  • Use the goalkeeper as an active field player.

  • Move around players to make a good pass.

  • Move the ball quickly and efficiently while under pressure.

  • Move to space to receive the ball.

GET THE APP

Mobile Coach now includes desktop functionality, although some features remain available only through the app. The new version offers advanced search and filter capabilities for game, age and athlete development stage.

The app is integrated with the USA Lacrosse e-learning portal, providing access to more than 500 online courses for members.

Existing users of Mobile Coach will either have the new version updated automatically or will be prompted to upgrade. New users can search the Apple or Google app stores and search for USA Lacrosse Mobile Coach. The desktop version can be accessed at mobilecoach.usalacrosse.com.

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