Highlight Selection by Position

Every college coach is looking to find an athlete with a “sense of the game” and complete skill set; comfortable throwing, catching and shooting with both hands.
Select highlights long enough to demonstrate your “field-vision, IQ and teamwork”. Include plays that demonstrate you are comfortable with contact, controlling and protecting the stick. Include highlights of solid defense and body contact, getting your hands free to shoot.

Plays to include on a highlight video:

John Danowski gave a lecture at a coaching convention about the five different ways an attackman can score a goal. The five ways included: dodging, riding, transition, assisted with time and room and assisted in tight.
Dodging/Shooting

  • Show plays where you dodge from all points on the field to create your own shot and create shots for others. Avoid plays against weak teams and running right past multiple players.
  • Include plays starting the offense with a dodge and beat your defender, draw a slide and pass the ball adjacent.
  • Off-ball

  • Show your position and movement off-ball looking for seams or weakness in the defense.
  • Riding/Loose Balls

  • Show hustle on loose balls. Demonstrate your ability to ride hard.
  • Effective rides include forcing a pass, forcing a ball carrier out of bounds and stripping the ball carrier.
  • Ground Balls

  • Include GB highlights that lead to transition.
  • Show aggressive body positioning, 2-handed scoop through the ball, protecting the stick.
  • Demonstrate your ability to quickly get the ball to the open man.
  • Do not include GB highlights of waiting then raking.
  • Coaches want tough, fast and quick midfielders who are versatile, selfless and scrappy. Defensive middies are required to be fast up field, aggressive on ground balls, posses great stick protection in traffic and make smart decisions once the ball is over the midline.
    Show highlights of scoring goals using the five ways included for attackmen: dodging, riding, transition, assisted with time and room and assisted in tight. Be sure to include all plays using both hands.

    Plays to include on a highlight video:

    Dodging/Shooting

  • Show plays where you dodge from all points on the field to create your own shot and create shots for others. Avoid plays against weak teams and running right past multiple players.
  • Include plays starting the offense with a dodge and beat your defender, draw a slide and pass the ball adjacent.
  • Off-ball

  • Show your position and movement off-ball looking for seams or weakness in the defense.
  • Riding/Loose Balls

  • Show hustle on loose balls. Demonstrate your ability to ride hard.
  • Effective rides include forcing a pass, forcing a ball carrier out of bounds and stripping the ball carrier.
  • Ground Balls

  • Include GB highlights that lead to transition.
  • Show aggressive body positioning, 2-handed scoop through the ball, protecting the stick.
  • Demonstrate your ability to quickly get the ball to the open man.
  • Do not include GB highlights of waiting then raking.
  • Defense

  • Plays that neutralize a dodger from the top of the restraining box.
  • Getting up field fast for fast breaks, sprinting all the way back to the crease to prevent unsettled situations.
  • Create a turnover and advance the ball to the offense.
  • Show your ability to hustle back and play defense after turnovers.
  • Boxing out on the faceoff.
  • Coaches look for shut down defenseman first and foremost. Coaches look for aggressive preemptive defenseman that play good angles and don’t throw risky checks in dangerous parts of the field. Try to find clips that demonstrate your lacrosse IQ on-ball, off-ball, stick position, loose ball scenarios, and clears. Physicality also goes a long way at the college level.

    Plays to include on a highlight video:

    On-Ball

  • Show plays where you take away the need for a slide guy (good foot-work).
  • GLE defense on inside-rolls and taking away or decrease top-side angles (good foot-work)
  • Pressure below GLE forcing attackman to feed but not re-dodge.
  • Forearm or bottom hand lift-checks on shooters rolling-back.
  • 1v1 defense using good foot-work instead of risky checks.
  • Show highlights playing good angles, throwing take away checks on the right parts of the field, not throwing desperation checks in dangerous parts of the field.
  • Show ability to match feet with good attackmen and midfielders.
  • Off-Ball

  • Show your positioning before a dodge and what you do to minimize or impact the attackers dodge.
  • Show your ability to slide on time and recover to the open man in time.
  • Stick up in the passing lanes, physical play. Spatial awareness. Knowing where the ball is and your man is at all times.
  • Body and stick position on the crease-man.
  • Ground Ball

  • Show ability to pick up ground balls in defensive end and start the clear.
  • Include GB highlights that lead to transition or start a fast break.
  • Show aggressive body positioning, 2-handed scoop through the ball, protecting the stick.
  • Demonstrate your ability to quickly get the ball to the open man.
  • Do not include GB highlights of waiting then raking.
  • Clearing/Passing

  • Show your ability to catch on the run during break-outs.
  • Controlled cross-field passes
  • Show ability to play good transition defense.
  • The three things coaches primarily look for in an LSM is good range, great on ground balls, and good stick skills.

    Plays to include on a highlight video:

  • Good on ball and off ball defense. Stick in the passing lanes.
  • Effective riding
  • Clips of you clearing the ball with your feet and stick.
  • Show your ability to catch on break-outs.
  • Ability to pick up ground balls in the defensive end.
  • Ground Balls – Many college lacrosse coaches live by the mantra, “ground ball, then pass, pass” as a non-negotiable for their players. As coaches look for ways to manufacture transition, ground balls remain far and away the number one solution to get into transition. Attack each ground ball situation as if you are only player to get the ground ball, it’s a player’s responsibility to get the ground ball by himself. Be aggressive on GBs and only show highlights of fighting for good position, low 2-handed scoop moving fast through the ball protecting the stick and passing right away. (don’t show standing and waiting, then raking)
  • Ability to cause turnovers and turn defense to offense.
  • Ability to play in transition.
  • Show wing play on face offs.
  • Ball stopping ability, communication, and clearing ability. Clearing is just as important as saving the ball at the college level. Show plays that showcase a good set-position, efficient “first-step” and athleticism. Things to include in a highlight tape:

  • Include saves that demonstrate quick-hands from the outside, inside, high, low, stick-side, off-stick, hips.
  • Include saves on shots coming from all shooting angles: overhand, sidearm, underarm.
  • Show good ground ball play/control of rebounds.
  • Show good decision and efficient clearing passes, short and long.
  • Show ability to move out of the net with good footwork and dodging.
  • Show ability to throw quick release and accurate outlets that lead to fast breaks.
  • Show ability to run a settle clear.
  • Show ability to back up shots.
  • Coaches like to see goalies play in person or complete game tapes because it is easy to compile clips of saves for goalies. When including game tape make sure there is volume so the coaches can hear your ability to communicate on settled defense, on transition defense, and on clears. Coaches want to know if you face good shooters daily. If you are a left-handed goalie, let that be known.