June 8, 2014

Your Edge: Attacking the Shorty with Ned Crotty

How Team USA hopeful, 2010 Tewaaraton winner and current New York Lizards exploits short-stick d-middies

by Ned Crotty, as told to Corey McLaughlin | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter


Teach Lacrosse

I am the executive director of lacrosse at the House of Sports in Ardsley, N.Y. in Westchester County. We have nine club teams, and a lot of academy classes. It's a pretty awesome facility. We have basketball on the first floor, second floor is all strength and performance, and third floor is a 90x40 turf field. From 4 o'clock until about 9 is our wheelhouse with classes, broken up by age group and into parts: stick work, fundamentals, dodging, shooting, attack, defense, goalies. You come once a week for eight weeks for an hour. So, for example, every Tuesday at 6 o'clock, you'll come for your class.

Preach Fundamental Shooting

When you're throwing the ball, you first want to have your shoulder pointed toward your target. Oftentimes you'll see players with their hands out in front of them, doing the catapult, like a chicken wing with their elbow in front of them. Two reasons why that doesn't work is it's not a consistent motion, and you are putting your arm and hand out for a defenseman to hit.

Instead, get your bottom hand by your back shoulder. Make sure you have your elbow up. Everything shoulder-height. If your elbow is down the ball is going to go down. As you pull your front elbow to your target, you can snap. It's a much smoother and consistent motion. That helps make you a more consistent player.

Play Fast

This article appears in the June 2014 issue of Lacrosse Magazine. Start your subscription by joining US Lacrosse today!

At Duke, we broke the game down into eight or nine different ways to score. Off the faceoff, transition, ride, clear, unsettled, man-up, man-down, six-on-six. We realized if we could get two goals in each of those categories, we've got 16 goals a game. Focusing on 6-on-6 is only one aspect of the game. That's how we wanted to play. The slowdown is terrible, especially with the exposure lacrosse is getting now nationally.


I live in New York City so commute-wise, it will be much easier with the New York Lizards. I'll only be going to an airport seven times as opposed to 14. It's a very-well run organization, which is awesome. They did really well in the draft, too, picking up some defensive pieces. There's also a lot of guys in the Team USA fold. We're working out some chemistry through that. It's my first real trade ever. It was definitely tough to leave Rochester. Love those guys up there and the coaches, but it just seemed like it was the right thing to do.


I was born in Albany, then lived two years in Minnesota and now about 20 years in New Jersey. I played at Delbarton (N.J.) High, about 10 minutes from where I grew up. My older brother played in Albany, they didn't have lacrosse in Minnesota then we moved to New Jersey when I was in second grade. Grew up watching it and didn't know what it was, but started playing in fifth- or sixth-grade. I grew up a hockey guy, even through high school. I only played lacrosse four months out of the year and probably played hockey the rest. I never played fall ball or indoor lacrosse. But my brother had a bunch of really bad injuries in hockey that prevented him from going further. He had a sixth major concussion and lost peripheral vision for three months. When it came to me to play hockey or lacrosse, here I am.


At Delbarton, my sophomore, junior and senior seasons we were top 10 in the country. My junior year we had some top recruits — Dan Cocoziello and Alex Hewitt — in the class ahead of me. When we had the state semifinals, it was pretty full with coaches. I benefited from that.

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