Lacrosse: Execute a Perfectly-Timed Pick and Pop With the Thunder Play

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"Thunder" is a quick play best run at the end of a quarter. To execute it with precision, the attackmen must pinch and set a perfectly-timed pick while the crease attackman pops off the pick for an open shot on net.

Strike down the opposition by learning the Xs and Os for the Thunder play.

The Set-Up

  • 2-3-1 invert set, with both middies who have short sticks (M2 & M3) inverted behind the net
  • The third middie (M1), who has the long pole, is at the top of the restraining line to prevent a fast break
  • The attackmen (A1, A2 & A3) set up three across, meaning one on each wing in shooting position and one on the crease
  • M2 and M3 control the ball behind—this way, they can eat the clock until 15 seconds are left

The Thunder Play for LacrosseThe Play
M3 dodges up left-handed. As he starts his dodge, the ball side attackmen (A2) pinches in and sets a pick on the crease for the crease attackmen (A3).

2) A3 pops off the pick, calling hard for the ball. If he is open, feed it to him. If not, the dodging middie (M3) rolls back away from pressure and passes it behind to M2 at X. Now A2 becomes the crease attackman.

3) The middie at X (M2) catches the ball and dodges up the opposite side. As he catches the pass, the left side attackmen (A1) starts pinching in to set a pick for the new crease attackmen (A2).

4) M2 should look to time his pass to A2 popping off the pick for a quick shot.

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Ryan Rabidou is the co-founder of and a staff writer for Inside Lacrosse. He has served as head coach of the Thailand National Lacrosse Team and has helped develop lacrosse programs in New Zealand, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. Collegiately, he was a four-year letter winner and senior captain at Loyola University, graduating in 2007.

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