Thursday, May 5, 2016

shut down on every offensive attempt

In the past this blog's discussions have offended the unathletic among you by drawing analogies to sports and more specifically, the terrible, supposedly preppy sport of lacrosse.

The most poignant was perhaps this one.

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When I was a sophomore, I moved from playing defense to midfield.  When you play midfield, as compared to defense, your offensive game has to be stronger.  You have to be able to move the ball upfield yourself, dodge opponents, find people who are open for a pass, or if the stars align, you may get a chance to shoot on goal.  On top of all that, you play defense in the middle of the field whenever the opponents have possession.

In handedness, I have always preferred the coordination of my right hand's efforts.  I threw everything with the right hand/arm.  Hit from the right-swing side of the plate.  Serve and volley with the right hand.  Swing the golf club in a right-handed fashion.

You can learn serviceable skills in lacrosse -- basic fundamentals -- focusing only on one-handedness in stick usage.  Most players do this.  But as your skills develop, you should be trying to pass, catch and shoot with the opposite hand.  Bilateral movement is essential.

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Next time you watch a pro sporting event, nerdy left-ish progressive Democrat reader of this blog, watch the offensive play.  Are the players whose skill you admire limited in their offensive tactics and techniques to using only one hand, or moving in only one direction?

How many soccer players can work with only one of their two feet?  Of those, how many play at higher levels of competition?

What about in basketball?  How valuable is a point guard who can only go to his right?

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In that freshman year I played, my team's biggest trouncing came at the hands of Pittsburgh Lacrosse Club.  PLC had so many good players they fielded two teams, Pitt Black and Pitt Gold.  Varsity and JV, in a sense.  But all of PLC's players were already graduated from college.  They were former college lacrosse players, who now worked in various roles within the PGH general area.  Some of the PLC players were All-Americans in lacrosse in college.  Their level of skill was pretty high.

To show the disparity in talent:  my college's club playing against them would be like a bunch of middle school baseball players trying to play against a pro baseball team.

That's a little overstated, but not too much when you refer to my college's freshman year team.  We improved over that 1st year pretty significantly, and a big part of the improvement came from the lessons we learned playing PLC.

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Most of the teams in our league were relatively rookie players.  Most of the teams were primarily club oriented, not varsity with school funding.  Some of the teams were varsity, but most were clubs.  Varsity programs usually have lots of players who played in HS and possibly even earlier.  In contrast, clubs take all comers who manage to be useful in some way.

When playing against PLC, within the first quarter's first 5-8 mins of play, PLC had us sussed.  Most of us were one-dimensional, most were right-handed who could only throw or catch on the right side of the body.

"HE'S ALL RIGHT, SHUT HIM DOWN!"

This was heard repeatedly during the first 5-8 mins of play against either of the PLC squads when we played them in my freshman year.

Their players would simply close all avenues of progress for a right-dominant player, forcing the player to move, pass, catch or feebly shoot from their weaker or, in most cases, non-existent left side.

The end result is that PLC played us like we were anchored to the ground, they ran around us, passed past us, made swiss cheese of our goalie.

If you think the world is unipolar and more than this, that your polar of choice is everyone's polar selection, you're playing like my college freshman lacrosse squad.

Good luck with that.

We didn't ever beat anyone by being one-sided.

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We did beat the lower of the two Black/Gold squads in my junior year.  By then, many of us were much more bilateral.


-- Chet Redweld, who scored only 2 goals in his college career, but had bushels and pecks of assists, won numerous faceoffs, and did, in fact, sometimes pass & catch with his left.

2 comments:

Chet Redweld said...

Don't be offended on behalf of your town, Yinzers. Your colleges weren't un-represented.

College students fielded teams too. We played Carnegie-Mellon and University of Pittsburgh squads as well as the PLC teams.

It's just that the graduates of CMU or Pitt would be playing for PLC if they were post-parchment, and skilled enough.

Jacques Krogh-Barr, III said...

If you didn't play NCAA and weren't on the squad at some place like Syracuse, Hopkins, Maryland, Loyola, UNC, UVA, Towson State then you really aren't a lacrosse player.

If you didn't start playing lacrosse at a WASPy prep school then you really aren't a lacrosse player. It's a preppy sport played by preppy WASP reactionary assholes. You may be a reactionary asshole but you sure aren't refined enough to be a preppy, so why are you trying to put on TopSiders and chinos and a GOTOHELL shirt?

I don't think you've ever played any sport. I think you just read a lot, and assimilate the writing of sports writers or experienced athletes who write half well.

You're probably a 74 year old invalid who hasn't seen the outside world in over 40 years, other than through the window at your permanent house of respite.