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Screen Shot 2017-01-30 at 10.30.49 AMCanadian Shooting Drill, Coach David Huntley, Director of the 2014 World Champion Canadian Men’s National Team, Currently Head Coach of the Atlanta Blaze,

Over the last month or so I have really had a blast getting to know Coach Huntley much better including the podcast done live from the floor of the US Lacrosse 2017 Convention. He is a great guy, a great coach, and an amazing student of the game.

We have had long dialogs on lacrosse coaching philosophy, especially regarding the influence of the Canadian Players on US Lacrosse as well as when and when Box Lacrosse principals are directly applicable to our game. Thus this coaching article which gets pretty deep into philosophy differences.

He has offered me a lot to think about. Actually my head is spinning following our conversations. After hundreds of hours of interviews with the best lacrosse coaches in the country, I have never heard a coach put such a high emphasis on the “art” of “catching,” and the differences between Canadian and American lacrosse coaching beginning at the youth levels.

Next, like many in the audience that day I was amazed at the depth of the statistics currently being analyzed within the Pro Outdoor League, the MLL, with Krossover shot tracking. The MLL features 230 of the best lacrosse players in the world. In his presentation he shared the vast amounts of data accumulated in the 2016 season including the direct tracking and plotting of over 10,000, yes ten thousand shots over the lat two years in the MLL.

The key conclusion, shots taken by lacrosse players with their stick on the “high” side or on the “inside” shoulder were 25% more likely to result in a goal across the entire spectrum.

Think now to our American players driving down the alley and shooting from their “outside” shoulder, especially down the right side alley to a right hand shot for most.
The data over an extremely large sample size is clear, had those shots been taken from the “inside” shoulder the scoring success would increase 25% due to the increased angle when shooting to the far pipe. And thus Coach Huntley maintains that is why Canadian Lacrosse Players are always and consistently at the top of the league’s top scoring players.

Coach Huntley suggests that (especially when cutting in front to the net,) the key difference is that Canadian Players are taught to catch the ball across their face rather than on their outside shoulder in this scenario. Where American Players are taught from a very young age to catch the ball with their outside shoulder.

The angle or open opportunities to the net, especially to the far pipe are dramatically better from the inside, thus the data results. Remember tracked over 10,000 shots by professional players.

As a Coach for 40 years or so, call me guilty.

Thus, here is a shooting drill that is a common Canadian Shooting drill for Box Lacrosse as well as Field Lacrosse. I am not necessarily suggesting you implement this drill, but the information above encourages all of us to think about the way we “coach” in shooting drills that get to the inside.

The other key element of this lacrosse drill that I do think is essential for us to integrate as coaches — is to have a shooting drill where the “shooter” continues to play after his shot. In this case following the shot, in or not in the cage, the player immediately picks up a ground ball and immediately moves the ball to a teammate, as the shooting drill is continuously moving.

Here is the base configuration,

Best with eight players or so, so if have the ability to use multiple cages, and reduce the amount of players standing around, and increase reps it will really help.

Canadian Shooting Drill 1

Canadian Shooting 2

Perhaps just the first time you begin the shooting drill with a give & go, after that there are only two lines up top. A player cuts inside to the cage and receives the feed to a shot. The key elements of this drill are:

1. Cutter must receive the pass on his inside hand
2. Cutter must catch the ball across his face, but with his stick behind his head in a shooting-ready position
3. Cutter then shoots to Far-Side Pipe
4. Cutter then retrieves a loose GB on GLE and looks up to feed a same-side cutter in the opposite line

And the drill just continues, a cutter, a catch with the inside shoulder, a shot to the far side pipe, retrieve a loose GB, and immediately feed the next cutter from the opposite line… The original cutter and shooter then proceeds to get in the line following his pass,

You can listen to Coach Huntley for all free members, describe all this in the free Preview sample, just click here,

Is your head spinning? Pretty cool to think about. Actually my players had no issues or problems with the drill, I guess I was worried over nothing, have fun,

Leave your thoughts or comments below, thanks so so much for your support of my site, Coach Mik

One Response to “Article: Huntley Canadian Shooting Drill”

  1. Jim Scully Says:

    Love it! Particularly the focused feeding aspect off the gb. Puts a little pressure on every feeder to pass to a shot. If you are throwing poor feeds it will be noticeable so focus on mechanics, passing with confidence.

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