Attack is a very complex position and takes a great amount of skill. We’ve compiled a few concepts to give young attackman an idea of what they should be doing on the field. Practice these tips and you’ll have a pretty solid foundation on which to build.
In general, the attackmen are the team’s goal scorers. To play this position, you need to be very agile and have explosive speed when you have the ball. Attackmen should also have great stick skills. Endurance is also key. Attackmen generally work with short bursts of exertion, but they are also typically on the field for most of the game. Attackmen should practice cradling, dodging, feeding, catching and throwing as these are on the top of the skills list for this position. In the attack position, size is not as important as speed and agility.
Shooting is more of a middie responsibility, but attackmen will also find themselves in need of this skill. You want to work on becoming accurate… more than a fast shot.
The key to being great at this position is learning when and how to pass. Of course every player wants to be the one who scores the goal, but a player who can pass when necessary is worth more to the team. Do not take a shot just because you happen to have the ball. Obviously, you first want to look for the shot, but if you don’t have one, you’ll need to look for a pass. Make sure that your passes have purpose. You don’t want to move the ball just for the sake of passing and only shoot if there are no defenders around you. If the recipient is no better off to make a move, then the pass loses its value.
Unlike the midfield position that only has one main dodge, the attack position has 4 dodges to chose from and perfect. The goal of any dodge is to protect the stick for a pass or shot and to avoid the opponent.
Face Dodge: This dodge is pretty easy and straightforward. With this maneuver, you are attempting to draw the defender to you with a fake shot or pass. While running at the defenseman (just before any contact), bring your stick around your face to your side while pivoting with your feet the same way. This is an effective move when you aim to setup a shot or pass once you get by.
Split Dodge: Basically, the split dodge is a way to fake out your opponent. To do this move successfully, quick plant your lead foot and make a sudden switch of directions. To perfect this move, a attacker should be equally comfortable using either hand. The split dodge will allow you to set up a variety of moves, but the whole point of this maneuver is to get the ball to the goal.
Roll Dodge: This dodge is one of the most effective, especially in the open field. Stay fairly tight to the defender, plant a foot in front of the defender and roll to the outside without changing speed or losing the ball. You’ll have to be very close or touching the defender to make the roll really effective.
Bull Dodge: This move is generally reserved for bigger, stronger players. Unlike the previous dodges, the Bull Dodge is really won by protecting the stick by holding it in the outside hand behind your body. You can’t be afraid of getting close to your opponent and “bulling” over him. Be sure that you keep the ball to the free hand side, away from the defender and make sure you are at full speed when you try a Bull Dodge.
Feeding, for the most part, is related to stick skills and how much a player has worked on his throwing. The basic goal is receiving the ball, going to the goal, finding great field location, throwing a feed. Feeding is difficult to master because it is so dependent on real game situations. This technique is generally used in conjunction with dodging. You are typically dodging in order to feed.
Never throw off the back foot because the pass will be too soft and too easily read by the defense, setting you up for an interception. Feeds should be made fairly close up. Don’t feed to someone down the field where it is likely to be intercepted. Finally, don’t force feeds in an attempt get an assist. It is not looked upon too fondly.
It is important for coaches to teach their players to be careful with the ball and only throw it to somebody who is open. It is very hard for any lacrosse player to catch a feed and put it in the back of the net while a defender is draped all over them. Feeders need to be smart and need to understand the right way to get an assist.
Retrieving ground balls requires that you are constantly aware of where the ball is and where your defenders are. When there is a loose ball on the ground, go after it fast and hard. After picking up the loose ball, turn and face the crease immediately. If nobody is open, move in fast.
Middie Equipment includes:
d. Shoulder Pads
e. Elbow Pads
f. Mouth Guard