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Notes from USL Level 1 Hands-on Certification

The following are random notes from what the instructors said at the USL Level 1 Hands-on Certification on February 13, 2011.

Coaches development:
* Have a coaching Philosophy – her's is F.I.T – Fun, Interactive, and team-work/together
* Be relational – what is going on in the players life?
* Don't let outside stress come in to coaching
* Don't use the word but, replace it with “and” when giving feedback.
* Select one thing to fix on a player, they can't do two or more directions at the same time.
* Give players four tries to try and fix it themselves, they will remember it better if they
     fixed it. 
* Organize drill based on age – take their age, that's how long a lecture should be and
     that's how long a drill should be.
* Players have to trust a coach, coaches should take sunglasses off to build trust.
* To get players attention coach yells READY, players yell FOCUS. i.e. “READY”, FOCUS!!!”
* E-mail to request an annual rules interpretation DVD
* Have Parents take the test officials take, have Coaches take the test, it's on the USL
     site under the Officials tab.
* The CDC has a sticker for coaches to put on their clip boards regarding the signs of a                concussion.

Where to place their hands?
To get players to place their hands on their sticks in the right position have everyone do this:
put both hands on your stick and drop both hands down to your side, one hand should be   on each side of their hips. This is the hand position this player should use all the time.    

    Light finger tips on shaft
    Put golf ball in between hand and shaft if they have a really hard grip.
    When cradling to the other shoulder call is – SHOULDER, SHOULDER, BALL

Cradling Drill
Have players get in groups of two. Player one starts to cradle, going left-hand to right hand,
putting her shoulder out, Player 2 has to MATCH player 1. This forces player 2 to            complete cradling fast.

How to teach GB:
    Have player stand with feet apart, ball directly below them, in between their legs.
    Coach yells a series of commands:
    “Feet over ball”,
    “Stand Over”
    “Step Back”
    “Bend both knee's”
    Repeat this sequence to get drill and practice going.

Ground Balls:
    Have players scoop the ball, then pick-up a piece of candy with their hand.
    If GB is rolling towards a player they should lift their back-hand.
    If field is in bad shape teach players to get a GB from the side.

* No intimidation, you can't wave your stick back and forth in a manner to intimidate.
* You can't yell BALL, BALL, BALL in a manner to intimate the other player.
* Blocking – your stick must go straight up in the air, if it turns in, towards your
     opponent then it's invading their space and a penalty.
* When blocking – put the head of your stick higher then your opponent because the ball
     leaves their head going up in the air.
* Ask players: Who here plays defense? One or two girls respond, everyone plays defense!!!

Defending if your girl has the ball:
First determine what hand they favor? Why is this important? You want to force/move your
player to non-dominant. Whatever hand is on the TOP will tell you if they are right-           handed or left-handed. DETAILS, DETAILS, DETAILS are very important.

You need to be able to smell their breath, do defensive drill where defender's hands are behind their back, drill is to force player with ball to either move right or left.  Player with ball 
cradles left and right. Your goal is to force them out of the box so they can not score.

Defensive stance is hug a tree, knee's slightly bent, stick straight up, hip to hip, perpendicular to her. Tummy open to ball, butt towards the goal, your shoulder is open towards another player on the opposing team. You do not want to be straight infront of her, do not block out, stay perpendicular.

How do you catch-up with a player running down the field fast?
Use a “J” approach. If you run to where the girl is you will miss her, you will over-run her. The preferred method is to approach like an inverted “J”, like an “on ramp” in a car, run up to them in an arc fashion so that you can judge where they will run to.

* Have girls throw the ball without their sticks, do they throw like a girl. Throwing by
     hand has the same fundamental moves as throwing with a crosse.
* Have them do a one-handed throw without a ball, does the crosse cross their body?
     It should.
* Have girls play an entire scrimmage one handed, teaches throwing.
* Have girls play an entire scrimmage left-handed, teaches left-hand (Carl Cassani idea).
* Teach new players how to catch first before you teach them to throw, have players throw            underarm so the girls can catch.
* Bottom hand is for power, top hand is for steering.

Throwing Drills:
Man-in the middle:
Do man-in-the middle (middle person catches, throws right, circles around throws left).
Progression is to have middle player run to far side to receive a long throw.

Throwing Drill 2
(Beginners) Form two lines facing each other, player 1 throws under-handed to player 2,
player 2 does a ground ball to return the ball. Player 2 should “be dramatic” when they           catch the ball, their head should go almost to the ground, this really re-enforces “giving”        to catch the ball. After awhile have players catch with the back of their head, again be            dramatic - “win an Oscar!”

Throwing and Catching Drill 3:
(Middle) – Use progression when teaching. Pinwheel (source Bill Harvey) – line four players
in the middle of the wheel, all facing out, all of their backs to each other. Four feet away       match a player with each inside player. Inside players have the ball, inside players pass           to outside players while they complete a light jog around the wheel.

Progression is to change directions of the outside wheel.
A further progression (mid-season) is to have girls catch left-handed every other time.
Create a empowerment/motivation to learn by letting girls select who they want to           complete the drill with, beginner, middle, and advanced players will self-select,                maybe!!!
Throwing and Catching Drill 4:
(Advanced) - 2nd player in line has ball, 1st in line runs out, second player throws to player 
1, player 1 runs back, throws to player 3; player 2 runs out, player 3 throws to player 2.    

Throwing and Catching Drill 5
(Advanced) – Eagle Eye – see Coach Carl Cassani for an explanation!!! (source Bill      Harvey).

The Draw
*Have your players look at the referee's face, watch their cheeks, their cheeks will get
     bigger prior to blowing the whistle.
* Players on the circle can shift (run to another opponent) once the referee put's her hand
    up. Players are also allowed to run away from the circle when the referee put's her
    hand up and then rush in when the whistle blows. Both of these techniques confuse
    the opponent.
* The player that is drawing can “bait” their opponent to push hard, if your opponent
    pushes hard when the whistle blows she is in affect pushing the ball to you.

Draw Techniques
* Teach players Push or Pull.
* Players should practice boxing out after the draw.
* If you are taller then your opponent you should do a push up in to the air and then catch
     with one hand on your crosse.
* Hand should be placed close to the head, it's a mistake to draw with your top hand down
     the shaft.
* As you approach your opponent look around the circle completely, once you develop your
     skills you will be able to put the ball whereever you like (use your shoulder-see below).
* Players need to approach the line and put one foot on the line, this foot should be
     underneath the hand closes to the head. For a right handed player this will be your right 
     foot underneath your right hand. Your left foot and left shoulder should be pointing to 
     where you want to place the ball.
* Move your left foot back, bend knee's slightly, your left hand should be like griping a             motorcycle handle.
* Upon hearing the whistle, if you are doing a PULL you will turn your head parallel to the
     other player and pull back behind you. If you are doing a PUSH you want to either push   
     the ball up high, for you to catch or push it to one of your players. See the URL's below
     for a description:  http://www.wikihow.com/Do-a-Draw-in-Girls-Lacrosse
* Excellent video:

Rules Discussion:
* Shooting space is only if the player with the ball has a chance to shoot, it's not if three
    players are on them.
* Crease defense: you are allowed to mirror a girl behind the cage
* Checking is hitting their stick fast, down away from the head of their stick. Teach players to
     tap to the song Happy Birthday to You, it has lots of taps!!! Not all age groups do
     checking, please check with your Coach, pun intended.

Double team Drill
Player 1 has ball with one defender on her, coach is standing 4 feet away and is facing these two players. All other players are lined-up behind coach, coaches hands are behind his back,
on the whistle he points either left or right. The player behind coach approaches either           left or right and needs to work the double team.

Teach goalie's that there are 6 boxes they will catch the ball, muscle has memory so you want goalie's catching in these 6 spots. These are the position numbers and what to teach:

        Position       Area                 How they stop
        Position 1    Right shoulder     Step with right foot    
        Position 2    Left shoulder       Step with left foot
        Position 3    Right waist          Stick parallel with body
        Position 4    Left waist            Big fan or push down
        Position 5    Right foot           Step with right foot
        Position 6    Left foot             Circle or push down

Langley HS Exchange play, upon the goalie wanting to clear D1 runs across the restraining   (???) line, attack 1 immediately runs to the goalie for the ball, opponent is confused. Player 1  MUST pass the line first. While this is happening Attack 2 is running down the field.

Creating Space Drill
To teach moving the ball, put three cones down in a triangle in front of the cage, each cone has one defense and one attack. The drill is for attack to pass the ball and then run to one of the cones, keep working the ball around until someone can score.

Red River Drill
Red raider is a kids game. Either 4v4 or 4v3 - 5 cones forming a box with one of the cones in
middle.  Always 4 offense Goal is offense moves ball around box, d trys to defend.  Offense (with ball) tries to rush middle cone , if they get there before ALL the def, offense gets a point. If all def beats off to cone, def gets point. Its an awareness game. Its normally covered in level 2 by many trainers.