Behind-The-Back Pass or Shot

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Behind-The-Back Pass or Shot

Postby UKLaxfan Sun Jul 13, 2008 4:41 pm

Tom Marechek is the Master of BTB passes or shots but Gary Gait, Paul Gait & John Grant Jr all had it in their armory.

The essence of the BTB pass is that it's exactly the same mechanics as a normal (Forehand) pass. The difference being you push with your Bottom Hand and Pull with your Top Hand. John Grant Jr Coaches it at his Pro Skills Camp and compares the action to shovelling snow. Start with the stick head low and following through so that at the end of the pass the Stick Head is pointed at the target over your back.

The most common error is trying to make the BTB (Backhand) pass while still facing your target, so that your shoulder/chest gets in the way of the follow through. you need to turn your back to an angle 45 degrees from the target. This frees up your hands to follow through and generate some pace (stick head speed) on the pass/shot.

The technique doesn't need to be 100% as once you can repeat the mechanics so it always goes to the same spot, you can adjust your starting angle so that the pass/shot hits the target your aiming for. John Grant Jr can throw the backhand at either a shallow angle or and acute angle from the same starting position. Get a gametape/DVD of him playing point on the Rochester Knighthawks Powerplay he can hit the Cornerman or the CreaseMan (Post) with a Backhand without changing starting position Image Image Image

He is John Grant Jr though Image

I used to watch Gary & Paul Gait warm up at the Syracuse University Lacrosse Camp. They would stand 10 yards away from each other with their feet set and facing at that 45 degree angle and throw BTB passes flat and straight to stick without moving their feet.

Catch the pass Forehand and in one motion throw the pass Backhand on the money for the other brother to catch the Forehand and do exactly the same action. Catch Forehand throw backhand. We are talking about 30-40 passes consecutively while talking to kids or waiting for them to get their kit on.

The reason they could do it was because they had practiced the skill a few thousand times and used the backhand pass just as confidently as the forehand.

Obviously at that point the next level is using it one the run and in a game, with a defender on you. It worked out quite well for Gary & Paul as well as JGJ & Tom Marechek, as they have all scored goals at Professional & International level by using the backhand when appropriate.

Interestingly enough Gary Gait refers to it as a misnomer that it should be called behind-the-shoulder pass rather than Behind-the-Back.

Once you realise it isn't a special trick skill but rather just another type of pass similar to sidearm or underhand passes/shots. There is no reason why you can't master the technique just like you master passing overhand.

Get hold of 1989 NCAA Semi-Final & Final
Syracuse vs Maryland
Syracuse vs Hopkins

To watch Paul & Gary in their Prime using the Backhand and around-the-world to great effect.

Paul Gait throws a BTB feed 20 yds cross field on the run to Greg Burns for a Goal on a Fastbreak in the Final vs Hopkins.

Paul Gait also hit Gary on the post on EMO vs Maryland where he steps in looking as though he is going to shoot and as he pulls his stick back on the windup, he simply throw a rocket BTB feed to Gary on the back left post on the crease who steps in and shoots BTB in close passed the Maryland keeper. ImageImageImage

I suggest you get a ball and go for a throw about with your twin brother and practice it until you can throw it without looking or thinking.

Then in a game when the situation arises you will just react and throw it on target. :D

There have been lots of classic howlers even in Final Fours where playing have tried to throw it as a Hot Dog move and ended up looking very silly as they've missed the goal or turned over the ball in front of the crowd and on TV. :oops:

If you've practiced and can throw it, fine use it in a game. If you haven't practiced it and can't throw it, don't try it for the first time in a Flags Final or a vital League game! Image
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Postby 6x6 Fri Aug 15, 2008 5:45 am

I never was fortunate to see Paul or others live but I did see Gary do his magic once.

I was able to take my son and two of his high school teammates to watch a couple of games during the Worlds '06. Saw Canada play a game which had an awsome display of BTB passing and shooting on one play.

As I recall, they had a fast break with middie coming down left center of field as he cradles in right hand. Feels pressure from right so he feeds a hard BTB pass about 20 yds to an Attackman, player B, just above left crease. Player B has a dpole sliding to him from the right so he fires a BTB pass accross the crease as the goalie instinctively slides to his left to defend the left post (right post for shooter). Unfortunately for him, the pass is received by Gary Gait who fires a BTB shot right to the spot that the goalie just vacated! Goal!

I just looked at the lads and said ," Did I just see what I thought I saw?" It was truly a thing of beauty.

Fast forward two years and the son scored a great BTB goal in playoff game this past spring almost from the same spot Gait took his shot, so I had an immediate flashback to '06!

As the Mastercard commericals say:

Watching your son make a perect BTB goal that was the proper shot to take in a crucial game....Priceless!
"It's 106 miles to Chicago, we have a full tank of gas, a 1/2 pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses."

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