SSDM Lacrosse: Secret Weapon on the Field

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If you’re a lacrosse fan, you may have heard of the term SSDM lacrosse. This stands for Short Stick Defensive Midfielder, a crucial position in the lacrosse game. A Short Stick Defensive Midfielder is a player who plays in the midfield position and uses a short stick instead of a long pole. They are responsible for playing defense against the opposing team’s midfielders and helping their team transition from defense to offense.

An SSDM lacrosse player’s role is to support the defense and help prevent the opposing team from scoring. They are known for their hustle and toughness and are often viewed as the team’s backbone. They must be quick on their feet, have excellent stick skills, and be able to make quick decisions on the field. In addition to playing defense, they also play a crucial role in the transition game, helping their team move the ball up the field and creating scoring opportunities.

Overall, a Short Stick Defensive Midfielder is one of the most critical positions in lacrosse. A skilled SSDM lacrosse player can significantly impact the game, both on defense and in transition. Whether you’re a player or a fan, understanding the role of the SSDM lacrosse player is essential to appreciate the game of lacrosse fully.

(Related: What Lacrosse Position Should I Play? | LSM Lacrosse: The Ultimate Game Changer)

History of SSDM Lacrosse

As a position, the Short Stick Defensive Midfielder (SSDM) is a relatively new addition to the game of lacrosse. In this section, we’ll explore the early beginnings of the SSDM position and how it has evolved.

Early Beginnings

The origins of the SSDM position can be traced back to the 1970s when coaches began experimenting with different defensive strategies. Before this, midfielders were generally used as offensive and defensive players. However, as the game became faster and more physical, coaches began to realize the need for specialized defensive players.

The SSDM position was created to fill this need. The position is designed to be a defensive specialist who can disrupt the opposing team’s offensive plays and transition the ball to the offensive side of the field. The position is played with a short stick, which makes it easier to maneuver in tight spaces and allows for quicker stick checks.

Evolution of the Position

Over time, the SSDM position has become essential to most lacrosse teams. Today, the position is used to disrupt the opposing team’s offensive plays, transition the ball to the offensive side of the field, and provide support to the defensive unit.

One of the most significant changes to the SSDM position has been the development of specialized training programs. These programs focus on improving the player’s footwork, stick skills, and defensive positioning. Additionally, coaches have begun to use advanced statistics to determine the effectiveness of their SSDMs and adjust their strategies accordingly.

Another significant change has been the increased physicality of the position. As the game has become faster and more physical, SSDMs are required to be both strong and agile. They must be able to deliver hard checks while also changing direction and transitioning the ball up the field quickly.

Skills and Responsibilities of SSDMs

As an SSDM, you have a unique role in the lacrosse field that requires a combination of defensive, offensive, and transition skills. Let’s take a closer look at each of these areas.

Defensive Skills

As a Short Stick Defensive Midfielder, your primary responsibility is to defend against the opposing team’s midfielders. This means you need to have excellent footwork, stay in front of your opponent, and have good stick skills to check the ball away. You also need to be able to communicate effectively with your teammates to coordinate slides and switches.

Some key defensive skills for SSDMs include:

  • Staying low and balanced to maintain good body position
  • Using your stick to disrupt passes and shots
  • Anticipating your opponent’s moves to stay one step ahead
  • Being able to play both on-ball and off-ball defense

Offensive Skills

While your primary role is on defense, SSDMs also have the opportunity to contribute offensively. This means you need to have good stick skills and be able to make smart decisions with the ball. You should be comfortable dodging and shooting, but also be able to move the ball quickly to your teammates.

Some key offensive skills for SSDMs include:

  • Dodging and shooting with both hands
  • Making accurate passes to your teammates
  • Reading the defense to make smart decisions with the ball
  • Being able to recognize when to push the ball in transition and when to slow it down

Transition Skills

One of the most important roles of an SSDM is to help transition the ball from defense to offense. This means you need to be able to run the field’s length, make quick decisions with the ball, and finish in transition. You also need to be able to communicate effectively with your teammates to ensure a smooth transition.

Some key transition skills for SSDMs include:

  • Being able to run the length of the field with speed and endurance
  • Making quick decisions with the ball to move it up the field
  • Finishing effectively in transition to capitalize on opportunities
  • Communicating effectively with your teammates to coordinate the transition

Overall, as an SSDM, you have a unique set of skills and responsibilities that require a combination of defensive, offensive, and transition skills.

Training for SSDMs

As a Short Stick Defensive Midfielder (SSDM) in lacrosse, you play a critical role in the defensive unit. To be successful in this position, you need to have a combination of physical and mental skills. Here’s what you need to know about training for SSDMs.

Physical Training

Physical training is an essential part of preparing for the SSDM position. You need to have excellent endurance, speed, agility, and strength to keep up with the game’s pace and make quick movements. Here are some physical training tips for SSDMs:

  • Cardiovascular Training: You need excellent cardiovascular endurance to keep up with the game’s pace. Running, cycling, and swimming are great options for cardiovascular training.
  • Strength Training: You need strength in your legs, arms, and core to move quickly and hold your ground against offensive players. Squats, lunges, push-ups, and pull-ups are great exercises for strength training.
  • Agility Training: Agility is crucial for SSDMs since you must quickly change direction and make sharp turns. Ladder drills, cone drills, and shuttle runs are great options for agility training.

Mental Training

In addition to physical training, you must have excellent mental skills to succeed in the SSDM position. You need to be able to read the game, anticipate the offensive player’s moves, and make quick decisions. Here are some mental training tips for SSDMs:

  • Film Study: Watching game footage can help you understand offensive players’ tendencies and anticipate their moves. Analyze your team’s defensive strategy and identify areas for improvement.
  • Visualization: Visualize yourself making successful defensive plays and anticipate offensive players’ moves. This technique can help you react more quickly and make better decisions on the field.
  • Communication: As an SSDM, you need to communicate effectively with your teammates to coordinate defensive strategies and make quick decisions. Practice communicating with your teammates during drills and scrimmages.

Training for SSDMs requires a combination of physical and mental skills. Following these training tips can improve your endurance, speed, agility, strength, and mental skills.

Short Stick Defensive Midfielder

SSDM Lacrosse in Professional Leagues

As a professional lacrosse player, you know the importance of having a strong Short Stick Defensive Midfielder (SSDM) on your team. SSDMs play a crucial role in the game, providing support to the defense while also pushing the ball up the field and initiating offensive plays. Let’s take a closer look at the role of SSDMs in professional leagues.

Top SSDMs in the Game

Several names immediately come to mind regarding the top SSDMs in the game. Players like Danny Logan, Payton Rezanka, and Matt Campbell are all known for their defensive prowess and ability to make big plays on both ends of the field.

Danny Logan, in particular, has made a name for himself as a lockdown defender and faceoff wingman for Atlas LC. He was even awarded the George Boiardi Hard Hat SSDM Award as a rookie in 2021.

Payton Rezanka is another standout SSDM, known for his ability to shut down opposing midfielders and disrupt offensive plays. He was picked up by the Whipsnakes in the 2023 PLL Draft and is expected to make a big impact on the team.

Matt Campbell, a midfielder out of Villanova, is also a top SSDM prospect. His speed and agility make him a formidable opponent on both ends of the field, and he has the potential to be a game-changer for any team lucky enough to draft him.

Impact on Team Strategy

The presence of a strong SSDM can have a significant impact on a team’s overall strategy. With a skilled SSDM on the field, teams can play more aggressively on defense, knowing that they have a reliable player to fall back on if needed.

Offensively, SSDMs can be a valuable asset as well. They are often the ones responsible for initiating fast breaks and transition plays, using their speed and agility to push the ball up the field and create scoring opportunities.

In addition, SSDMs can also play a key role in face-offs. Taking faceoff wings alongside top faceoff specialists like Trevor Baptiste can help their team gain possession of the ball and maintain control of the game.

Overall, SSDMs are an essential part of any professional lacrosse team. With their defensive prowess, offensive skills, and ability to impact team strategy, they are a valuable asset both on and off the field.

Enjoy SSDM Lacrosse performance in this video. It may give you a lot of emotions:

The Future of SSDM Lacrosse

As the game of lacrosse continues to evolve, so does the role of the Short Stick Defensive Midfielder (SSDM). With the increasing importance of transition play and defensive versatility, the SSDM position has become an integral part of any successful team.

In the future, the SSDM position is likely to continue to evolve and become even more specialized. Here are a few potential developments to keep an eye on:

Increased Focus on Offensive Contributions

While the primary role of the SSDM is still defense, many players at this position have shown an ability to contribute offensively as well. In the future, we may see more teams utilizing their SSDMs more offensively, allowing them to take advantage of their speed and athleticism in transition.

More Specialization

As the game becomes more specialized, more players may focus solely on the SSDM position. Rather than being a position that players move into from other positions, the SSDM may become a position that players train specifically for from a young age.

Greater Emphasis on Versatility

While the SSDM position is already known for its versatility, we may see even more emphasis on this in the future. As teams look to maximize their defensive and transition capabilities, having players who can play multiple positions and fulfill multiple roles will become increasingly important.

Increased Use of Analytics

As with many other sports, lacrosse is becoming more data-driven. In the future, we may see teams using analytics to understand better the value of the SSDM position and how to best utilize players in this role. This could lead to a greater emphasis on specific skills and attributes, and more specialized training and development programs.

Overall, the future of SSDM lacrosse looks bright. With its unique blend of defensive and offensive capabilities, the SSDM position is poised to become even more critical in the years to come. Whether you’re a current or aspiring SSDM, there’s never been a better time to hone your skills and make your mark on the game.

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About Lucas

I am Lucas, a lacrosse enthusiast and writer for As someone who has played lacrosse for years, I have a deep passion for the sport and love sharing my knowledge and insights. Through my writing, I strive to share experienced skills, educate and inspire readers about the game of lacrosse. Join me on this exciting journey as we explore the lacrosse world and celebrate the sport we love. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to and affiliated sites. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc. or its affiliates.