(BELGRADE, SERBIA) Over three days Jack Kaley and Rich Werner conducted four sessions of instruction to eighteen participants with quite varied experience and skill levels. Players were eager and enthusiastic to participate and learn. The organizer Brian Gorodetsky, who also serves as player/coach, is passionate and seems to be a driving force in organizing and promoting lacrosse participation in Serbia.
Day 1 / Oct 1.
Conducted meet/greet session at International School from 7-9pm. Coach Kaley led discussion with overview of skills/drills and team play concepts to be presented over next two days on the field. Chalk talk detailed offensive/defensive basic skills: Gb’s, passing, catching, defensive positioning, communication, offensive movement, emphasis on the importance of fundamentals. Drills were reviewed and explained to cover 1v1, 3v, 4v3 play, fast breaks, rides/clears and motion/two triangle offense. This presentation led to lively and informative discussion and question/answer period.
Day 2 / Oct 2 9:30am – 12:30pm.
All field sessions were held at Sportski Centar at Ada Ciganlija island. The fenced in grass field was quite adequate and adjacent to an active turf field whhich was being used for youth soccer games; this provided many Serb children/parents an opportunity to see lacrosse for the first time.
The initial session emphasized proper techniques for ground balls, passing, catching, stick positioning/protection and controlled checking. Drills were focused on passing/catching, groundballs/boxing out, goosing to open man/area, breaking out to receive pass, catching over shoulder etc. Some time was spent on offensive play: run and shoot, give and go, picks and back door cuts, and clearing through to create space/remove backup. Defensive skills included: positioning to back up, controlled checks, blocking passing lanes, communication, anticipation, triangle vision and slides. Next we conducted controlled competitive play thru 1v1, 2v2, 3v2 and half field 6v5. This first session was very much enjoyed by players who were challenged by the pace and provided the coaches better understanding of skill levels and areas for emphasis.
Day 2 / Oct 2 2:30 – 5pm.
Second session repeated morning session with re-emphasis on basic skills gb’s, passing/catching and team play both on offense and defense. Time was spent explaining/demonstrating rides/clears and fast breaks and defending breaks and unsettled situations. Session ended with full field scrimmage which provided players opportunity to employ individual ground ball techniques, offensive/defensive skills and team play. After two long sessions the players were pretty tired and appreciative of opportunity to receive instruction.
Day 3 / Oct 3 11am – 2pm.
Our final session benefited from our proximity to adjacent soccer field/games as many children/parents lingered curiously watching the Serb lacrosse players; several children excitedly picked up sticks before we began, we posted a sign at field entrance inviting parents interested to contact Brian Gorodetsky, and our players clearly enjoyed playing for spectators. This was a spirited session with continued emphasis on fundamental skills and a good portion of time spent on 3v2 and 4v3 which both players and spectators enjoyed. Some time was then spent on instructing/practicing competitive rides/clears. We then had demonstration of team groundball positioning aka ‘swarming’ on both defensive and offensive ends. Our final session concluded with lengthy and very open Q&A session which players enjoyed. All participants expressed sincere appreciation and thanks for FIL providing this opportunity and said how much they enjoyed having Coach Kaley share his passion and enthusiasm for lacrosse with them.
For more information about Serbian Lacrosse please contact Brian Gorodetsky – firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their Facebook Page – Lacrosse Srbija.