The defender has a very important role in lacrosse. Though you don’t get all the glory of scoring, you are the one taking the team one step closer to the win. When you stop the opponent’s scoring potential, how can they win? How can a girl be a better defender in lacrosse? Well, different tricks can be followed to do justice to this position.
When playing as an on-ball defender, you need to stop the attack of the attacker. Your responsibility is to be on one side of the field and keep the attacker away from the goal. You need to work as a sturdy wall between a goal and an attacker. The distance at the 8-meter and 12-meter arcs is perfect to meet the attacker.
While playing in a defensive position, you need to be very quick in taking decisions. Your mind and body should coordinate to make your every move successful. Here are the tips and tricks that can improve your defense play.
Take the first step
When the attacker is coming toward you, don’t wait by standing there. Go to the attacker instead of just watching and make the move. With this move, you will have the upper hand in controlling the attacker’s direction. Further, it will limit their movement and give them lesser space to do their play. When the attacker makes the first move, she can follow whatever strategy she is following. Your goal is to fail her strategy.
Use smaller steps `
Taking smaller but quick steps in the game has many advantages for the defending player. When you take smaller steps, you have full control over your movement. Moreover, you can easily change your direction if needed. Smaller steps allow you to move instantly where you want. But when you run, you will continue in the same direction for a few paces even when you wish to stop.
Make the right contact
Don’t allow the attackers to have the space that they want to dodge and run to the cage. You cannot push the attacker but can make a contact without committing a foul. To do this, stay in a deep squat position in front of the attacker ad make contact on the hips. Your arms should be in front of you. In this position, your hands are in the right position and allow you to make a move without a foul. On the contrary, if you keep your hands tightly close to the chest, then when it comes to extending your hands, it will obviously push the attacker in another direction. In turn, it will be a foul.
Furthermore, just being a shadow of the attacker is not enough. It creates enough space for the attacker to make a move. So, stay closer to be at your best. The right contact not only hurdles the attacker from making the move but also tells you about her next intended move. Hence, you get a better chance to change her plans.
Move forward and not backward
When the attackers attack, their motive is to take the defenders to the cage. When the attackers move backward, they are just helping the attackers to complete their goal. Making a move at the end time doesn’t do much damage. Therefore, it is crucial for the defenders to move forward from the beginning, no matter what. When the attacker attacks, go ahead even when your steps are smaller.
Detect the next move
Attackers’ hands are lying, but their hips don’t lie. Don’t make your move by just checking the hands and stick movements; they are made to deceive you often. The upper body can deceive you but not the lower one. Check the hip movements and you will know for sure which way the attacker is going to drive.
Force the attacker to the lower side
Take the attackers to their weaker side with your body position to get success. Play on the right side of the right-handed players, this way, they will be forced towards the left. Do the same for the left-handed attackers and play on their left side. This tactic will make attacking harder for the attackers.
Be a team player
You are defending your team, hence, be a team player. Communicate with the rest of the team during your defense. When you see another defender defending the on-ball attacker, don’t stand and watch but engage in off-ball defending.
Face the ball always
As a defender, you must keep an eye on the ball always. Don’t turn your back on the ball. Adjust your body in a position where you can continually keep a good check on the ball. Don’t get distracted even when you are an active off-ball defender.
Remain alert in the field
The game changes quickly and you must change your position according to the game. Use your brain and eyes to see what is happening. You have to show agility during the game and remain active.
Engage in good athletic practices
Being an athlete requires your efforts to keep your mind and body in a good shape. When you are playing in a defensive position, you need to be a defender even when you are off the field. Follow good eating habits to be healthy; don’t eat junk. Exercise daily to be in a good shape. Do any drills that can support your game. Drink plenty of water. Sleep on time so that your brain remains fresh and active during the game.
As an athlete, it is your responsibility to have a sound mind in a sound body. Everything you do even when you are at home will impact your game directly or indirectly. Therefore, be careful all the time.
Practice, practice, and practice
Use the correct stance and play with your teammates in real-time. Apply every strategy during the practice session that you are going to use later in the game. Practicing will improve your game and help you to know your lackings. You can know the flaw of your strategies while practicing.