2019 OHSLA/Nike Coaching Clinic Recap

The 2019 Nike/OHSLA Clinic featured Duke coach John Danowski and Episcopal High School coach Chris Bates. 

Coach John Danowski - Duke University

Coach Danowski was unable to make it to Oregon in person, but was still able to give a two part video presentation via the interweb.  The first part was titled "Understanding Lacrosse" and was a broad swath of nuggets on how he breaks the game down, sets goals for each of those parts of the game, and some examples of how Duke uses those goals to address each part.  The second part included some specific philsophies and then a look at some Team USA videos on how some of those basics still apply at the highset level. 

Some highlights of his talk:
  • Keep terms simple: one word that can be heard from the sideline and procesed without thinking.
  • You can't improve what you can't measure.
    "I want to improve attitude". Ok how do you measure that?
    "We need more shots one goal". Well that looks measurable.
  • Run thru the ball with two hands on the stick. There are times for one hand or raking, but they are very rare.
  • After a ground ball, actions can be different:
    • Offensive end: pick the ball up and move it
    • Defensive end: Run to daylight, then move it

Coach Danowski's powerpoint slides can be downloaded here and for those who do not have PowerPoint, there is the PDF version 

There are also several presentations on the Duke athletic website in the Duke Coaching Clinics archives. : Here the links to this year's presentations:
Session# Date Title/Description
I October 17, 2018 Team standards and basic offensive drills
II November 13, 2018 Building a Team offense from the ground up.
III December 13, 2018 "How to fix it". A discussesion on how the Duke staff fixes team issues during the season.
IV January 16, 2019

Coach Chris Bates - Episcopal HS, Philadelphia

Coach Bates's presentation had two parts: the first focused on fundamentals drills and the second was titled Building Offense which was a discussion of his pairs offense with some videos of basic skeleton drills to help players get familiar with the timing, looks, and spacing to execute it.  Having coached at the college level, coach Bates was aware of the difference in attitude at the high school level:  Testosterone, Ego, Stubborn-ness of teenage boys creates the false ego so they don't want to look bad and aren't comfortable being uncomfortable.  In particular he believes they don't understand/appreciate the value of form/reps/efficiency

Some key takes from his Building an Offense presentation:
  • It doesn't matter what you do as long as everyone is doing the same thing
  • In his view good offense is 75% skill & decision making and 25% scheme.
  • You will be scouted, so you must be multi-dimensional so that you can adjust when a D shuts down your comfort zone.  If you can do different things every game (based on other teams' weaknesses), you will become hard to scout.  Make it hard for the Belichick clone to pigeon hole you. 
  • An assisted goal mentality will open up space for unassisted goals.
  • Stat books don't have all the categories, feel free to add your own +/- items.
  • Like Coach Danowski, break offensive zone into sectors so that players can quickly figure out where you want them to go.
  • Boys want structure, discipline along with freedom

The Bates video page contains all of the first slide deck converted to browser format. 

The videos from his building an Offense deck can be found on the bottom of the Bate video page.  For those who do not have PowerPoint, there is also a PDF version of the deck


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