2MidfielderThe midfielder's responsibility is to cover the entire field, playing both offense and defense. The midfielder is a key to the transition game, and is often called upon to clear the ball from defense to offense. A good midfielder demonstrates good stick work including throwing, catching and scooping. Speed and stamina are essential. Each team should have three midfielders on the field.
3Work HorseThe key qualities of good midfielders are the abilities to run up and down the field, to pick up groundballs, to shoot from the outside, and to play defense. The athlete that plays midfield is strong, fast, and has good endurance. This player wants to do everything he can to help his team win
4DodgingThe one main dodge that midfielders should concentrate on is the split dodge. They can use any of the four split dodges- right to right, right to left, left to right, and left to left. A midfielder at this level should be able to go to his weak hand well enough that he is able to throw a pass adequately. With his strong hand, he should be able to get off a good feed or shot. Midfielders make split-dodges the same way as attackmen. They attack their defenders “top” or “outside” foot, make them change direction, and then go to the goal. Midfielders will make split dodges from up top or from the wing but should never dodge east-west. Their main job is to get to the goal or to draw a slide.
5One Hard Move to GoalMidfielders need to make one hard move (a split dodge) and go the goal. This way they can either get a shot or draw a slide and pass the ball off. It is that easy. Making midfielders understand this concept at an intermediate level will make them much better than their competition.
6Shooting on the RunSome players find it more effective to bring their hands closer together when shooting on the run because it gives them more torque on their shot. Some players also find that jumping while shooting on the run gives them more power as it allows them to twist their body more as they are in the air. This is a very difficult skill to learn and is more suitable for stronger, more advanced players. Make sure the midfielders get their hands away from their bodies, snap their sticks over the top with their wrists, turn their upper bodies, and drive with their front shoulder towards the goal. A young midfielder who can learn to shoot on the run effectively will have a very bright future as a lacrosse player
7Time and Room ShootingIf the midfielder can learn to catch the ball with his arms extended, his hands away from his body, and his stick behind him, then this will set him up for a great outside shot. As he catches the ball, the midfielder wants to push off his back foot and step with his front foot, take a small cradle, and let the ball go. Just having a quick shot at this level will catch goalies off guard.
8Man to Man DefenseMidfielders at the intermediate level should pick up or cover their man with the ball at about 15 yards away from the goal. Very few players at this level will be able to score from any further out. The main goal of a midfielder playing defense from up top is to keep his man down the side or going down the alleys. The defensive-midfielder does not want to allow his man to get to the top side or to the middle of the field. Defenders accomplish this by drawing a line down the middle of the field and keeping the offensive player from crossing it.
9Man to Man (Cont)If the middie with the ball starts on the right side of the field, then the defensive midfielder wants to get his left foot up field and have his hips facing the right sideline on a 45 degree angle. This way if the offensive midfielder tries to dodge towards the middle of the field, he has to run through the d-middie. If the ball carrier is in the middle of the field the defensive midfielder must pick a side too and force the ball carrier there. In most cases, d-middies point their left foot towards the sideline and make middies go to their left as that is the weak hand of many players at the youth level.
10ReasoningThe d-middie wants to guide his man down the side of the field for three reasons. The first reason is that the further the offensive midfielder goes down the side, the less of an angle that he will have for a shot. Secondly, the further he goes down the side, the fewer options he will have for a feed. Finally, the defender that is sliding to the ball carrier will know exactly where he needs to slide if the d-middie gets beat by a few steps. The defensive midfielder keeps the ball carrier going down the side by using a cross check (which is gently pushing the ball carrier out with the shaft of his stick and his hands about six inches apart on the stick (if his hands are two wide or he jolts the ball carrier with his stick, then a penalty will be called).