In women’s lacrosse, the entire team must take part in defending goal. Because of that, an off-ball defender needs to remember that the most important thing you can do is communicate with your teammates. You need to let them know where everyone is in relation to the ball. To do this, you can say things like:
- “Help right!”
- “Help left!”
- “Force her right!”
- “Force her left!”
It is also important to stay in the “V” position while you are an active off-ball defender. In this position, your arms are pointed out in a “V” shape at shoulder height. Point with one arm toward the ball while the other arm points toward the player you are guarding.
Any time the ball shifts, either because a player runs with it or makes a pass, adjust your body position to keep pointing at the ball and the player you are guarding. Move your feet, stay in an athletic stance and maintain the V position. Never turn your back to the ball and always keep communicating with your teammates.
It’s easy for players, especially at a young age, to get distracted while playing off-ball defense. But good defense is played by the entire team and requires proper communication and body positioning. Make sure you are staying in the V position and constantly moving, adjusting your body as the ball moves.