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2016 Nike Coaching Clinic Recap


This year's Nike Coaching Clinic consisted of two sessions given by New York natives Scott and David Marr:
  • The first session was given by Albany head coach Scott Marr.  Scott Marr's high flying Albany Great Danes featured two-time Tewaarton winner Lyle Thompson and set Division-I records with 325 goals, 202 assists and 528 points in the 2015 season.  Before taking over as head coach at Albany Scott started his coaching career as an assistant at Delaware for 3 years and then at Maryland for six years.  Scott played at Johns Hopkins 1987-1990, which won the national championship in 1987 and runner-up in '89.  Scott's complete Bio can be found here.

  • After Scott spoke, Dave Marr followed with a talk that focused more on High School and Youth level concepts.  As head coach for Yorktown HS Dave Marr has won two NY State Championships and 11 Section 1 Championships.  Dave also played at Johns Hopkins 1993-1996, playing in 3 final fours.  He was a two-time All-American and is the all-time assist leader at Hopkins. 

    Dave gave a chaulk talk with several offensive and defensive drills.  There were both individual and team drills, with lots of tips on underlying concepts.  We now have PDF version of Dave Marr's slides.  Thank you Coach Marr. 

Coach Scott Marr- Albany

Coach Marr started off with a little background about his focus on offense and the special situation that he has had the last few years at Albany with the Native American Thompsons on his team.  Coach Marr noted that he has always been about "liberal" offensive vs the conservative leanings of the coaches he worked under and played for. 

Coach Marr started off with his main themes:
  • Mind Set - A recurring theme these days: take advantage of odd-man situations and space (5v5 or 4v4).  Since its tough to score 6v6, best time is when there is space to move (and it's tougher for team defense to recover) or when there is an extra man. 
  • Attitude and Effort - There are many things one cannot control, but attitude and effort are all something that a player can.  That being said, there is no need to give 110% as overdoing it can force things, 100% is fine.
  • Next Play Mentality - No need to dwell on last play, just do better on the next one.  Coach Marr feels that it is redundant to yell at a guy for a mistake, they usually know it, just make sure they know they shouldn't repeat it. 
Then Coach Marr went on to discuss some drills and finished off with a brief message about the advantages of guys playing more than one sport: physically, intellectually, and spiritually.  Physically: different muscles, different reflexes and different speeds.  Intellectually: every sport is different, even ones that have the same principals an odd-man break can have subtle differences that can be used in lacrosse.  Spiritually: more often than not players are at a different skill level in a different sport, so they may not be the star or may not be a role player (like they are in Lax), which can make them appreciate the difference when they return to the lacrosse field.  That being said, in the off-season he feels that they still need to pick a lax stick occasionally to keep sharp.

Albany Drill Videos
Video Clip Comments

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Drill #1: Scrappin.  

A 3v2 within 15 yd semi-circle in fornt of the goal.  Defense tries to push offense out of circle.  After shot or miss, coach tosses new ball to a gap and repeat.  Each group gets 3 cycles. 

Note: - if you have girls' lines on your field, one could use the lines of their fan but extend it all the way back to the GLE.

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Drill #2: 3-man breakout.  

An easy drill that mixes conditioning while getting midfield and defenders to run passing routes that conform to the team's clearing methodology.  Note the short outlet, medium outlet, then long outlet pattern of middies. 

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Drill #3: Counter.  

Either five lines (for 6v5) or 3 lines (for 5v4) initial clear to Defense & Attack at one end. Offense is on a shot clock. Note line with LSM on far side, as soon as offense gets it in the box, they can send a man in to make it an even sided situation.

After shot or turnover offensive middies jog back while defensive middies breakout (back to starting end), each touches the ball then passes to offensive line (at starting end) and drill starts over.

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Drill #4: Half and Half.  

A 6v6 that plays full field on turnover.  After turnover offensive middie goes to box clearing team goes to the other end for brief 6v5 while new midfield subs in at 6v6 end.  Clearing team is on shot clock so that a new 6v6 can start up on other end. 

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Drill #5: COQ.  

Basically a 5v5 drill.  Sets of Attack and D at either end, goals are moved up to shorten the field.  A 2v2 GB at midfield starts the drill off.  GB winner takes ball towards a goal and continuous 5v5 begins. 

After shot/goal/turnover defensive middies step off and new middies come in at midfield to clear (one is short outlet other past midfield for long outlet).  Defense clears the other way while (formerly) offensive middies get back to the hole.  So each pair of middies plays offense then defense.

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Drill #6:Butler Drill.  

Oregon coaches know this as the Rhino Drill.

Coach Marr then closed out his presentation with some Thompson Trio highlights from the 2014 season. 

Thompson Trio 2014 Video Tribute


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As a counter to the Thompson highlight film above, the 16min video we found below shows highlights of Lyle Thompson in the NCAA Quarter-Final game vs Notre Dame.  The video title says "Lyle Thompson vs Matt Landis", but it's more about Lyle Thompson vs. Notre Dame's vaunted team defense. 


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