Coach B's Lax Blog

Lacrosse – Anything & Everything – What else is there?

Archive for February, 2011

Is your stick ready?!

Posted by Barry Marenberg on February 23, 2011

As we get ready to start Spring lacrosse practices I realize many of the players may have not picked up a lax stick since last year.  We also have our new players who are playing with sticks for the first time.  To that end, I wanted to take a moment to share how important it is for a player to take care of his stick.

Throwing and catching are easier if the stick head has a deep or developed pocket.  If a player’s stick pocket is not developed, they will be at a disadvantage.  Like a new baseball glove, working in a perfect pocket in a lacrosse stick (new or old) takes some time.  I always instruct players to pound in the pocket mesh and to take a lacrosse ball insert it in the pocket and stick a screwdriver (or wooden spoon, etc) through the mesh below the sidewall from  side to side to keep the ball pressed down into the pocket.   Some lax players even run the lacrosse head (with the ball and screwdriver) under the faucet or shower head to wet it and allow it to dry overnight with the screwdriver and ball remaining in the head.  When the stick mesh dries there should be a nicely formed pocket.  At this point, the player can fiddle with the pocket to form it as he deems best. A picture of what the stick/ball/screwdriver looks like can be seen here:

Stretching (side) Stretching (Top)
You may need to throw and catch with your newly formed pocket for a bit in order to shape it the way you want.  Additionally, some players like to strategically place tape on their shafts.  Each player is different.  Some like to form a “knob” at the bottom of their stick and/or put tape up where their top hand goes so they always have “feel” on their stick.
Your stick is your weapon on the lax field so take care of it!
– Coach B

Posted in Chiefs Lacrosse, Equipment | Leave a Comment »

Coach B’s Chiefs Parents Meeting Scheduled, Etc.

Posted by Barry Marenberg on February 18, 2011

The 2011 6th Grade Chiefs Lacrosse Parents Meeting is scheduled for Monday February 28 at 8pm in the NPHS cafeteria.  We ask that at least one parent of every player attend. 

Reminder that ESPN is broadcasting live the Duke vs. Notre Dame lacrosse game on Sunday at 3pm.

Lastly, I know many of our players will be away on mid-winter recess.  If they can keep a stick in their hands no matter where they are, it will go a long way when practice starts on March 1. 

Have a great week.

– Coach B

Posted in Chiefs Lacrosse, Miscellaneous | Leave a Comment »

NCAA Lax has started – Watch the games on TV to learn!

Posted by Barry Marenberg on February 16, 2011

In my December 20th 2010 post (you can access it by scrolling down), I posted a list of all the NCAA lacrosse games that will be broadcast on the different ESPN channels this Spring.

NCAA lacrosse has now begun!  The first game on ESPN is THIS Saturday (February 19) at noon when Johns Hopkins takes on Towson.  This game can be viewed live on the computer at

THEN, on Sunday ESPN will broadcast live the Duke vs. Notre Dame game (a re-match of last year’s National Championship game!).  A top caliber game to get the season rolling!

I’ve added the entire ESPN Lacrosse TV broadcast schedule to the top of this blog.  The page is named LAX 2011 ON TV. 

As I’ve said time and time again, there is a lot a player can learn by watching top-notch players in action.  Parents: if your player cannot watch while these games are broadcast, set the DVR for them to watch it at a more convenient time.  The guys who play for these NCAA teams started out just like our Chiefs!!


Posted in Chiefs Lacrosse, Miscellaneous, Positions, Skills & Drills, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

The Role of Parents – From US Lacrosse

Posted by Barry Marenberg on February 15, 2011

(Pay special attention to #5 😉 )

You, the parent, are equally as important to your child’s positive lacrosse experience as the coach of the team. In order for your child to get the most out of playing lacrosse, it is important that you do the following:

Be supportive of your child by giving encouragement and showing an interest in his or her team. Positive reinforcement encourages learning and fun. Research has shown that a ratio of five positive statements (compliments, positive recognition) for each negative statement (criticisms, corrections) is ideal for helping young athletes do their best. Try to maintain a 5:1 ratio in your comments to your child.

Attend games whenever possible. If you cannot attend, ask about your child’s experience, not whether the team won or lost. Some questions that you might ask before asking about the final score include: “Did you try as hard as you could? Did you have fun? Did you learn anything today that might make you a better player in the future?”

Be a positive role model by displaying good sportsmanship at all times to coaches, officials,opponents and your child’s teammates. “Honoring the Game” is an important part of what US Lacrosse represents. Help us by honoring the game in your behavior as a spectator.

Let your child set his own goals and play the game for himself, herself. Be your child’s “home court advantage” by giving him or her your unconditional support regardless of how well he or she performs.

Let the coach coach. Refrain from giving your child advice when he or she is playing. Use positive reinforcement with your child’s coach. Let the coach know when he or she is doing a good job. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Chiefs Lacrosse, Miscellaneous | Leave a Comment »

From – Creative Lacrosse Training & Player Development: PRACTICE!

Posted by Barry Marenberg on February 10, 2011

Every day I read a bunch of lacrosse-related websites and even lacrosse-related more e-mail newsletters.  One of the best (but not the only one 😉 ) is Lacrosse AllStars (LAS for short) at:   LAS boasts a number of fantastic authors who post regularly on all things lacrosse – news, games, teams, practice and skills tips, gear, etc.   One of my favorite authors (but not the only one 😉 ) on LAS is Connor Wilson.

I’ve met and spoken with Connor a bunch of times in the past.  Connor played lacrosse for Wesleyan University and continues to play on various post-collegiate club teams.   His columns on LAS are required reading by anyone interested in lacrosse!

This week Connor posted an awesome article that touches upon lacrosse players and summer elite/travel teams.  The bigger message in Connor’s article though is the importance of PRACTICE.   Connor’s point in the article is that coaches and players should spend more time practicing during their season and improving and developing all the fundamentals skills of the game.  Connor’s position is that lacrosse player development should come from engaging and creative practicing.  I could not agree more. 

I know players sometimes dread the endless drills and conditioning that we put them through at practices.  Some of that is necessary to get the players into shape and develop and refine their fundamental skills.  Beyond that I always try to make practices fun and competitive so that the players participate in game-like situations and get a lot of touches.  My Chiefs and ThunderStruck teams have been very successful each year so I belive my coaches and I are getting it right. 

Connor’s article can be accessed by clicking the below link.  Please give it a read and bookmark the LAS website! 

Click to read article: creative-lacrosse-training-player-development-practice

Practice starts in just a couple of weeks.  Hope you are all as excited about it as I am!

– Coach B


Posted in Miscellaneous, Skills & Drills | Leave a Comment »

The Importance of Ground Balls – Possession!

Posted by Barry Marenberg on February 2, 2011

This is how you attack a ground ball (the Great Zack Greer)!!:

From the moment I started playing lacrosse many years ago, every single coach I have had has endlessly communicated how important it is to master the art of picking up ground balls.  At the early youth level, the ball undoubtedly spends a great deal more time on the ground then in the air and so getting an early start on becoming adept at picking up ground balls (GBs) is a skill that will pay dividends as a lacrosse players career continues.  Even though they may seem like just a small part of the game, ground balls are crucial to both team and individual success in lacrosse. The ability to pick up a ground ball quickly and fluidly is right up there in importance with throwing, catching, and cradling. From the team standpoint, control of ground balls means more possession time and more scoring chances, as well as keeping the ball away from the opponent’s offense.

At the higher levels of lacrosse, the number of GBs a player or a team picks up is a very important statistic.  No coach will ever pass up the opportunity to play a player who is skilled at picking up the GBs.  Controlling the ground ball wars is a great way to give your team the best chance to win the game. The more possessions your team gets, the more likely your chances for victory .

In the below video (click in middle to play), Superstar Paul Rabil demonstrates the perfect technique for scooping up a ground ball:

Posted in Skills & Drills | Leave a Comment »