Face Offs is a key element in the game of lacrosse, it's a job that requires putting your nose down and getting rough, and doing the job that no one else wants to do. The players that have their names in the paper and get all the glory score goals. The ones who make it possible for that are guys like us, the ones who are willing to muscle their way to a ground ball, get their knees cut up every play and lay it all on the line face off after face off. Facing off is all about techniques, intelligence and strength. Here are 7 tips to facing off in the game of lacrosse.
1) How to position your body
This is a key factor when facing off. When preparing for a face off you want to start with positioning your feet correctly. If you're strong hand is right, place your right foot about two to three feet away from the ball (if you're a lefty start with your left foot). Then with your left foot back, line it up with the middle of your right foot so your feet are pointing directly at the ball. When you go down to take the face off you should be on the balls of your feet so you are leaning over the ball. This will give an advantage after winning the draw because you will be able to pop up and run.
2) Choosing your grip
There are two ways to face off in lacrosse, traditional grip and motorcycle grip. Traditional is when you place your hand dominant hand at the throat of the stick so your knuckles are facing up, your back hand should be placed about six inches away with your knuckles facing outwards. Motorcycle grip is preferred among many players in the game because it's mainly used for out-muscling an opponent. This grip is very simple, place both hands on the end of the stick six inches apart and grip the shaft like you would on handle bars of a bike.
3) Choosing the right head
Face off specialist prefer to use heads that bend and pinch easily. This allows them to trap the ball in their stick and pop it out with ease. You want to make sure you have a flexible head; a stiff, rugged head will only work against you because you will not be able to trap the ball in your stick and flex it out. Good face off heads include Warrior Blade, Gait Torque 3, STX Proton and STX Viper 2
4) Choose your move
There are many different moves that face off specialist use in lacrosse. You just need to find the one that you are most comfortable with. There is the clamp, which you can then drag into a C shape around your opponent, or you can simply just push the ball in front or behind you. More advanced moves are the "pinch and pop" or "plunge", laser, reverse plunge and the jump.
Going into a face off you decided what move you are going to use long before the referee blows the whistle. Make sure to switch up your arsenal of moves so your opponent is always on edge and cannot read you. You do not want to be predictable that is the death of a face off man.
Timing is 85 percent of winning face offs. Having a good solid move and technique with poor timing will not win you many draws. If you can read the referee then you should be able to win most of the draws throughout the game. If the referee blows the whistle on the same pattern each time jumping the whistle will account in you clamping the ball first. Timing is crucial. Fast reaction equals fast hands and wins.
To be a face off specialist you need all of these things listed above, but having the attitude goes a long way. You need to be the guy who willing to go one-on-one for 60 minutes grinding it out, leaving everything you have on the field. You have to mean and fight for every ground ball. You have to sacrifice the body in order to emerge as the winner. Remember this is a mean game played by angry people, and if you're facing off you need to be the meanest.
By following all of these steps and working as hard as you can day in and day out, you will become a great face off man.