In an unsettled situation the athletes and more skilled players tend to take over, however It is in the settled game that the tactical genius can shine.
I have heard many times that 80% of all goals are scored in unsettled situations. I believe that is a slightly inflated number to make a point about the value of transition. It does not matter what the percentage is you still need a plan for the settled offense. If you have the ball on offense, what are you going to do? throw the ball in the air to create a unsettled situation hoping you will score? Of course not. Remember, the unsettled situations you can work on during practice, but once game time arrives those situations are in the players hands. However the settled offense you have much more control over. Thus you want to be prepared when the opportunity arrises, especially if your players are not as strong.
A few things to note:
Miantain fluidity. This site has many plays. However that does not mean your of offense should be made up of players running a play, stopping then running another. Almost all the plays can be run on the fly and can be incorperated as part as a greater offensive scheme ie... "when the ball is here we do that" "when we see him we do this" etc.... Therefore try and not look at all the plays as isolated items but rather ideas that incorperated into a greater system. If you see a play and your team has to stop what they are doing and reset to run it, it is probably not the play for you.
A jack of all is an expert of none. Narrow your plays down to a few and execute them perfectly rather then having a ton of plays that are executed poorly.
There many ideas for offenses on this site and there are many more that are not on this site. If you understand the game and have a creative mind the possibilities seem endless. But you can not execute them all, pick a few and go with it. Consider which ideas will work with your players & scheme and be able to execute with the greatest ease.
When the defense moves the offense scores.Lacrosse tends to be a very dodger focus game unlike sports like soccer or hockey. Meaning, we largely rely on one guy being able to beat there defenseman one on one. With that being said, good defenses are taught to help when they see a bad match developing. Thus if you can design plays that take advantage of the slide you are more likely to succeed. Try and teach the dodger that his goal is not to score but rather to get the defense moving by being a threat and then moving the ball. If this is done correctly the goal will typically be 2 passes away from the initial dodger.
Options are great.Each play should have a initial option and an option #2 and #3. It should never be a one and done type of play. One well designed play can be run over and over again while to the defense it looks like a different play is happening each time. This is due to the fact that once one option is taken away the other options are executed.
Players need rules to follow.Many people preach a free-flowing lacrosse offense where players make decisions on the fly. But even in those the players have rules to follow and understand where there are options are. Especially at the levels where players are new, they need to have rules ie... “If the ball goes here then you go there”, “when the attackmen dodges rotate this way”... whatever works for you.
Remember a free flow offense is great, but it should not be chaos. I have also seen the complete opposite of chaos happen where a coach puts his players in a set and hopes the players know what to do, but it ends up being completely stagnant because they have no concrete guidance.
Have a theme.There are numerous ways to succeed in this sport and plays are great, but you need a framework to operate.
Are you a motion offense?
Do you initiate from the attack?
Do you initiate from the Midfield?
What is your default set?
There are many questions you can ask yourself, but the players need to know the theme of the offense to keep everybody on the same page.
Know who you are working with. So many young coaches coach as if they were playing. There reference point is only what has worked for them as a player. They have not seen the numerous other possibilities to cater to the talent on the team. The older coaches who have seen so much know all the different ways to put a given group of players in the best chance to succeed within their system.
For example, if your players have poor stick skills, using a 2-2-2 is a bad idea as the passes are long.
Opinions will vary. Everything on this site is based on ideas and opinions that can be debated. Which is part of the fun of coaching. However when the game starts the only opinion that matters is yours. Parents, spectators and even players will often think they know better. If you are a coach who cares then there is no way that ANYBODY knows more then you. For the simple reason that you see your kids every day, know there skills set better then anybody, and if you are reading this write now you are the type of coach that puts the work in to find the best strategy for your team.