Proper Grip Keeps Control of Lacrosse Stick
As any lacrosse player knows, maintaining control of your stick is crucial for success on the field. A proper grip gives you the ability to swiftly cradle, accurately pass and shoot, and securely scoop up ground balls. Without proper hand placement and grip strength, the ball is liable to fly out of your stick at any moment. Let’s explore some best practices for getting a solid hold on your lacrosse stick.
When first picking up a lacrosse stick, the grip may feel unnatural. The top hand typically rests right below the head of the stick, while the bottom hand sits further down the shaft. Don’t worry – with consistent practice, gripping your stick will become second nature. Be patient with yourself as you develop stick skills.
As a beginner, focus on keeping your top hand loose. Think of this hand as a guide, with your fingers wrapped comfortably around the stick as you cradle and pass. Meanwhile, the bottom hand does more of the power work. Shift this bottom hand into different positions on the shaft as needed for cradling, scooping, passing, and shooting.
While every player’s exact hand placement will vary slightly based on comfort and preference, there are some general guidelines to follow. When cradling, try keeping the top hand about shoulder-width apart from the bottom hand. This gives stability while allowing range of motion to rock the head of the stick.
To cradle smoothly, you want your bottom hand to rest just above the very bottom of the shaft. This enables you to fully utilize the flex point above your bottom hand. Your hand placement for scooping ground balls may look quite different – slide that bottom hand down to the end of the shaft for maximum reach.
When shooting and passing, shift your bottom hand up higher on the shaft, near the middle or even the upper third. This hand positioning allows you to drive power from your core and shoulders through the stick with accuracy. It takes experimentation to find your optimal hand placement for different lacrosse techniques.
Drills to Strengthen Lacrosse Grip
Building grip strength specifically for lacrosse will pay dividends in stick skills and ball control. Here are some simple exercises to add into your training:
- Squeeze a tennis ball or racquetball in your top and bottom hand for 30-60 seconds at a time.
- Attach a resistance band to a wall or heavy object. Grip the band and open and close your hands 15-20 times.
- Hold a light dumbbell in your top hand and practice cradling motions without a stick to build wrist and forearm stamina.
In addition to targeted grip training, overall strength training for your shoulders, arms, and core will help handling your lacrosse stick. Strong legs also enable you to drive power from the lower body up through the stick.
Regripping on the Fly
One of the keys to maintaining control of your stick is learning to swiftly regrip during play. For example, when you go to scoop a ground ball, you’ll need to choke down to the end of the shaft with your bottom hand. But once the ball is securely in your head, you’ll want to regrip higher up the shaft right away so you can pass or shoot accurately.
Practice regripping by simply sliding your hands up and down into different positions on the shaft. Eventually, you want to be able to do this without even thinking about it. Drill regripping in conjunction with other stick skills like catching and throwing.
Common Grip Pitfalls
While a proper lacrosse stick grip takes practice, there are some common mistakes to avoid:
- Having your hands too close together limits control and range of motion.
- Gripping too tightly fatigues the hands and forearms.
- Letting your bottom hand slide below the flex point reduces power.
- Neglecting your top hand grip can lead to stick rotations and poor passes.
Stay mindful of keeping your hands in control but relaxed. Let the stick do the work for you by utilizing the flex point. Keep your hands working together but not smothering each other’s movement and range.
The Right Stick for You
While grip technique goes a long way, it also helps to have the right lacrosse stick for your position and skill level. Attack players tend to use a lighter stick for ball control, while defenders rely on a sturdier head and stiffer shaft to plow through opponents. Beginners do well starting out with an entry-level stick before moving up.
Consider your height as well when selecting a stick. Tall players need a longer shaft for maximum range, while shorter players require a shaft they can comfortably control. No matter what stick you use, focus on a grip that feels natural and balanced.
Master Proper Technique
Developing sound lacrosse stick skills requires diligence, patience, and an emphasis on the fundamentals. Even experienced players continue honing their technique through off-season wall ball practice and pre-game warm-up drills.
While a strong grip alone won’t make you a lacrosse superstar, controlling your stick with confidence paves the way to cradling, scooping, passing, catching, and shooting at a high level. Consider filming your technique to spot grip inconsistencies. Stay positive through grip frustrations and stick with it!
Finding Right Lacrosse Stick Based on Position
Selecting the optimal lacrosse stick is essential for maximizing your performance on the field. The right stick becomes an extension of your arm, enabling you to elevate your game. While proper technique is crucial, having equipment tailored to your position gives you an edge.
Stick features like head design, pocket depth, shaft material, and overall weight and balance impact control, passing, shooting, checking, and scooping. Attack players rely on quick sticks for ball control and finesse shooting, while defensemen wield sturdier sticks to hammer opponents. Midfielders benefit from a hybrid setup combining attributes for both offense and defense.
Stick Flexibility for Middies
Since midfielders play on both ends of the field, their sticks offer flexibility. A midpoint pocket depth enables accurate passing while still retaining ball control on slashes and checks. The head is a moderate size, not too pinched for offense but not oversized for defense. Shafts are a composite blend, giving a responsive feel on ground balls while able to take some impact.
Some midfielders use specialized short sticks for even quicker handling and release. But most rely on the versatility of a traditional length stick. A suitable midpoint flex rating caters to all-around play. Midfielders constantly transition between offense and defense, so having an adaptable stick is crucial.
Precision Passing for Attack
Attack players prioritize pinpoint passing, quick release shooting, and skillful dodging. Their sticks reflect those needs with low pocket placements for excellent ball control and narrow heads to cradle and feed accurately. Shafts are lightweight to enable constant motion and fluid stick work.
You’ll often see attack players using shooting strings and mesh pockets for added passing consistency. Some offensive heads even have tapered sidewalls and scooped outfaces to hug the ball. Attack sticks are designed for finesse rather than power, helping facilitate fast breaks, crisp cuts, and precision feeds.
Checking Power for Defense
Defense relies on sticks engineered for physicality, protection, and possession. Wide heads give defensemen a large sweet spot for controlling outlet passes and scooping up ground balls. Their sticks have more flex for added cushion on checks, along with stiff shafts and durable materials to handle contact.
An aggressive midpoint pocket and heavy top mesh make holding the ball through slashes easier. Some long poles have specialized heads just for face-offs as well. While they lack some maneuverability, defense sticks give you the strength vital for absorbing and delivering hits.
The Right Stick Enhances Your Game
Just as NFL quarterbacks have different hand size needs than defensive linemen, lacrosse players benefit from sticks tailored for their positions. While some players enjoy switching between stiff and flexible sticks to work on stick skills, having at least one optimal setup for your position helps maximize talent.
Beyond position, also consider your experience level, height, age, and strength when selecting equipment. Youth sticks help young players develop fundamentals with lighter materials and narrower heads. Take time to experiment with pocket placement and head width to find your ideal combination of control, handling, and power.
With the right lacrosse stick in your hands, your confidence and comfort level will rise. Spend time researching gear options online and demoing sticks before purchasing. A stick suited for your needs becomes an invaluable asset out on the field.
How to Hold Lacrosse Stick for Cradling
Cradling is one of the fundamental stick skills in lacrosse, used to transport the ball down the field or protect it from defenders. With proper hand placement and grip, you can cradle smoothly and maintain excellent control of your stick.
The key is finding the right balance between being relaxed yet firm. Your hands work together to create a “rocking” motion by utilizing the flex point of your stick. With some adjustments for your height and experience level, you’ll be cradling like the pros in no time!
Top Hand Placement
Your lead hand positioned at the top of the stick helps guide the cradling motion. The exact grip will vary, but generally your top hand should hold the stick just under the head. Keep a relaxed grip to allow fluid movement, with your thumb pressed softly on the side.
Don’t grip too tightly! This can hinder the natural rocking motion. Some players like to keep their index finger pointed straight down the shaft for extra control. Find what works best for your style.
Bottom Hand Does the Work
The bottom hand placed lower on the shaft generates most of the power for cradling. Gripping just above the very bottom gives you room to utilize the stick’s flex point. Keep your fingers wrapped firmly but not tensely around the shaft.
This bottom hand position allows you to achieve maximum motion from your cradling. If gripping too low, you lose the flex you need. Go too high and power diminishes. Experiment to find your sweet spot!
Hand Spacing for Stability
Keeping your hands separated gives fluidity to your cradling motion. Approximately 8-12 inches between hands works well, though taller players may prefer more hand space. Wider spacing also helps shorter players fully control longer sticks.
If gripping too narrowly, your range of motion will be limited. But go too wide and stability decreases. Find what feels balanced for your frame and stick size.
Utilize the Flex Point
The key to smooth cradling is engaging the flex point where your top and bottom hands meet the stick. Allow this midpoint to act as a hinge as you rock the stickhead back and forth.
Stay conscious of this flex zone as you cradle, keeping the motion fluid rather than rigid. Let the stick do the work for you by flexing in your hands.
Cradling Arm Position
Your cradling arm should be relaxed but engaged, swinging from your shoulders rather than solely your elbow or wrist. Keeping your elbow tucked in near your core helps control the motion.
Don’t try to muscle the cradling with your arm strength. Rotate your torso as you cradle to gain momentum. The energy comes from your center core, rippling out through the stick.
Added Elements for Advanced Players
Once you master basic cradling mechanics, you can incorporate advanced techniques:
- Switch hands periodically to build dexterity on both sides.
- Cradle while in motion to simulate game play.
- Cradle with your head up to improve multitasking.
- Add dodges, face dodges, and rolls for evasion tactics.
Maintain sound fundamentals even as you increase complexity. Mastering clean cradling gives you the confidence to cradle on the run, through traffic, or under pressure.
Develop Your Style
Lacrosse players have unique cradling styles based on their hand size, arm length, and overall comfort. Tweak your grip, hand spacing, and motion until cradling feels innate.
With consistent practice, cradling becomes second nature. But always revisit the basics like hand positioning and flex point engagement. Smooth cradling leads to crisp passing, pinpoint shooting, and superstar moves!
Tips to Strengthen Top Hand Grip on Stick
In lacrosse, the top hand positioned right below the head often gets less attention than the power-driving bottom hand. But don’t overlook the importance of your lead grip strength and endurance for superior stick skills.
While the bottom hand generates most of the force, that energy transfers through the top hand. A weak top grip causes inaccuracy in passing and shooting. Use these tips to develop your top hand dexterity.
Add Top-Hand Drills
Many players focus grip strength training on the bottom hand. But tailor exercises specifically for your lead hand as well. Some options:
- Squeeze a racquet ball or tennis ball in just your top hand.
- Loop a resistance band around your top hand fingers and open/close.
- Toss and catch a ball using only the top hand.
- Practice quick stick moves holding the bottom of the shaft.
Emphasize small and fast hand motions over just crushing power. Think dexterity, coordination, and stamina.
Lighten Your Mesh
Installing a soft nylon mesh pocket rather than hardened traditional leather encourages a gentler top-hand grip. Less tension is required to hold the stick, reducing fatigue.
You still want good control, but a lighter touch helps accuracy on passes and feeds. Work the pocket to maintain a defined channel without overly stiffening the mesh.
Watch Hand Placement
Keep a close eye on your top hand positioning, as it can slide lower unintentionally. Gripping too far down the shaft robs you of full head control.
Before passing and shooting, actively think about getting your top hand anchored right below the head. This ensures maximum feel and command of the stick through the release.
As you reposition your hands up and down the shaft during play, check that your top grip returns properly each time. Regripping lower for ground balls requires an immediate regrip up top.
Scan where your top hand lands after every stick move. Quick yet precise regripping preserves top hand dexterity.
Keep a Loose Grip
Avoid clenching your top hand tightly around the stick, which leads to faster fatigue. Maintain just enough tension to keep control.
Consciously relax your hand muscles and wrist while cradling. Soft hands enhance feel and let the stick do the work.
Stick With It!
As you continue strengthening top hand dexterity, don’t get frustrated. Keep reminding yourself the importance of an engaged lead hand.
While not as visible as your bottom hand driving power, a commanding top grip gives accuracy and touch. Do dedicated drills to isolate your lead hand until controlling the top of the stick becomes second nature.
With perseverance and focus on proper technique, your top hand will develop the grip strength and agility needed to take your lacrosse game to the next level.
Importance of Bottom Hand Placement on Shaft
While your top hand guides the head of the lacrosse stick, your bottom hand positioned lower on the shaft provides the major power. Proper bottom hand grip and placement are crucial for generating speed, accuracy, and force in passing, shooting, and checking.
The exact bottom hand location will vary based on your technique, arm length, and the desired stick movement. With experimentation, you can learn optimal bottom hand placement for cradling, scooping, passing, and ripping shots.
For maximum cradling control, grip the shaft just above the very bottom, leaving an inch or two of room. This allows you to utilize the flex point where your top and bottom hands meet.
Staying low gives you a wide range of motion for smooth rocking cradle. Choking too high up makes cradling rigid and awkward.
When scooping ground balls, slide your bottom hand all the way to the butt end of the shaft. This extended length lets you dig under the ball for quick pickup.
Low bottom hand placement also weights the head, keeping the pocket open wide to channel the ball. Just be sure to regrip higher immediately after scooping possession.
Passing and Shooting Accuracy
For accurate passing and powerful shooting, your bottom hand wants to be closer to the center point on the shaft. This allows maximum force transfer and stick control.
Experiment with hand positions in the upper third or even mid-shaft area to find your shooting sweet spot. Keep the elbow in tight for stability.
When delivering checks, drop your bottom hand low again for maximum drive and push on contact. Really engage your core and shoulders as you drive from the legs up through the low bottom hand.
You can also choke down on the shaft when absorbing checks. This helps withstand slashes and pokes from opponents.
During quick stick moves around the crease, try gripping closer to the midpoint with your bottom hand. This compact arm motion creates fast release speed perfect for tight spaces.
Bottom hand position will vary depending on the type of pass or shot. With practice, you’ll instinctively place your hands for optimal power.
As your bottom hand shifts up and down the shaft, focus on smooth regripping during play. Changing hand positions should feel fluid, not forced.
Explosive yet controlled hand slides will become natural with enough repetition. Regripping without hesitation maintains stick momentum.
With mastery of bottom hand placement for diverse stick skills, you’ll dominate games with the complete lacrosse stick package!
Common Mistakes Lead to Lacrosse Ball Drops
Few things are more frustrating than seeing the ball take an unplanned exit from your lacrosse stick onto the turf below. While the occasional drop is inevitable, paying attention to grip and technique helps minimize uncontrolled ball ejections.
Often, the same correctable mistakes lead to lacrosse ball drops again and again. Let’s examine some typical errors in order to diagnose and treat your case of the dropsies.
Gripping Too Low
Sliding your bottom hand too far down the shaft may feel natural, but removes the flex point leverage so vital for control. Choking down does help lifting ground balls, but regrip higher immediately after.
Low grip placement also causes the stick to rotate in your hands on checks, leading to loose balls. Keep the bottom hand in the power position, not maxed out low.
Top Hand Slips
Many players forget about grip pressure from the lead hand at the top of the stick. But a slipping top hand sabotagesaccuracy and touch.
Anchor the top hand right below the head with your thumb locked on the side. Check hand positioning before cradling, passing, and shooting.
Hands Too Close
Failure to separate your top and bottom hands restricts the cradling range of motion. Gripping too narrowly also limits torque on passes and shots.
Keep enough space between hands for fluid mechanics. Exact distance depends on arm and stick length.
Holding Stick Too Tight
White knuckles do not improve lacrosse ball control. Overgripping constricts the stick head’s natural flex and dampens feel.
Maintain a firm but relaxed grip, letting the stick work for you. Avoid strangling the life out of the shaft.
Incorrect Pass Trajectory
Focusing too much on power, some players spike passes into the ground. This leads to unintentional skips causing drops.
Throw level, tight spirals by following through toward your target. A tight flick of the wrist adds spin for accuracy.
Late Pass Release
Trying to thread passes through thick traffic often results in defenders tipping the ball loose. Release sooner before lanes close.
Quick passing combats sticks in the throwing lanes. Make your pass before the window disappears.
Overthinking securing each catch causes stiffness and juggling. Meet passes with soft hands and watch into your pocket.
Relax your grip pressure as the ball arrives to cushion reception. Fluidly give with the ball on contact.
Diagnosing the causes of your lacrosse drops spots techniques to refine. Dial in proper hand placement, release, and passing catch technique for buttery ball control.
Regrip During Lacrosse Stick fakes
In the fast-paced flow of a lacrosse game, players must swiftly regrip to shoot, pass, scoop or protect the ball. When dodging past defenders, regripping allows you to sell fakes convincingly and maintain control.
Quick hand repositioning takes coordination. But with practice, you can regrip on the fly to unlock your full stick handling potential.
Develop a smooth regripping rhythm by sliding your hands up and down the shaft. Start slowly, then increase speed while maintaining control.
Work on making regrips fluid, not forced. The motion should feel innate as you switch grip spots rapidly.
Sell the Fake
Faking out a defender requires selling the validity of your stick moves. Quick hand repositioning helps sell the fake before you redirect.
As you jerk your stick one direction, rapidly regrip to amplify the fake. Then recoil and attack the open space as defenders commit.
Power on Contact
When initiating contact with defenders, regrip low on the shaft for maximum force transfer. Drop your hands quickly before driving upward into checks.
Sudden bottom hand slides down the shaft load power into contact. Return hands high post-check to maintain control.
Load the Shot
Right before shooting, rapidly choke up to the power position higher on the shaft. Pulling hands upward helps sink hips and load torque into shots.
Time the upward regrip so your bottom hand lands in the upper-middle handle. This placement drives shot power.
Quick Release Passing
When passing under pressure, regrip higher to get the ball out quickly. Compact arm motion from raised hand positions increases release speed.
As your cutter breaks open, urgently slide both hands up higher to zip crisp passes before defenders recover.
Scooping Ground Balls
To scoop ground balls, drop bottom hand rapidly to shaft’s end for maximum reach. Extend handle length momentarily to dig under grounders.
Once secured, regrip higher immediately so you can pass upfield or evade pressure. Practice quick choked-down scooping.
Make it Second Nature
With dedicated repetition, fast regripping will become instinctual. Smooth transitions keep defenders guessing and enhance your lacrosse ball control.
Fluid hand repositioning unlocks next-level stick skills. Master the art of the quick regrip!
Angle Wrist for Optimal Lacrosse Stick Control
A slight wrist angle as you grip your lacrosse stick does wonders for ball control, passing, shooting and dodging. Avoiding a death grip with tense, straight wrists enhances feel and fluidity.
Focus on finesse over brute force. Bend that bottom wrist just enough to unlock the finesse game hidden in your stick.
Relax the Wrist
First, relax your bottom wrist so it’s not rigid or clenched. Imagine your wrist as a hinge swinging a door, not a steel beam.
Soft, loose wrists allow you to feel the ball in your head for superior control. White-knuckled grips hinder finesse.
Add a Slight Angle
Once relaxed, angle your bottom wrist slightly inward. Point your thumb somewhat down the shaft rather than straight back.
This subtle wrist break increases touch on cradle exits, feeds, and shot placement. Not too exaggerated!
Enhance Touch and Feel
Angling your wrist gets top hand and bottom hand working together. The wrist hinge channels energy to the ball.
You gain delicate feel for passing touch shots and threading tight feeds. Like dribbling a basketball, keep the wrists involved.
Quick Wrist Flicks
That tweak of the wrist really fires quick-release snaps, slaps, and wrist shots. Flick the bottom wrist for added velocity.
Follow through toward your target, allowing the wrist angle to naturally rotate. This imparts spin on shots.
A slightly angled cradle improves ball control coming out of dodges or contact. It provides precision exit points from the pocket.
Time the cradle wrist action to angle the head precisely where needed. This places the ball accurately.
Don’t Muscle Up
Avoid relying solely on brute strength in your grip and arms. Finesse shooting utilizes the entire body connected to angled wrists.
Let the stick do the work rather than muscling the ball. Keep wrists loose and engaged.
Dial in the optimal wrist bend through repetition. Develop a feel for the sweet spot angle that unlocks accuracy.
angle unlocks next-level lacrosse stick skills. Break your wrists gently!
Lacrosse Glove Impact on Stick Handling
While often overlooked, lacrosse gloves directly affect how you handle and control your stick. The right gloves improve grip, dampen vibration, and protect hands from wear and impact.
Factors like fit, padding, and materials determine glove performance. Dial in your gloves to optimize ball control and confident stick skills.
Snug, Flexible Fit
A lacrosse glove needs to fit like a second skin for maximum dexterity. Tight enough to stay secure when active, but flexible to allow full motion.
No bunched material in the palms or fingers. If too loose, you sacrifice feel. But overly tight compression reduces circulation.
Many gloves incorporate tacky grips in the palms and fingers to help control your stick. Grip coatings grab and stick to the shaft.
Less clamping force is required, reducing hand and forearm fatigue. Be sure to replace gloves once grips wear smooth.
Gloves cushion hands from routine shaft and ball impact. Thicker padding on knuckles and fingers helps on face-offs and ground balls.
Hard checks can bend unprotected fingers back. Quality gloves shield hands from damage while maintaining dexterity.
Foam or gel padding helps absorb stick vibrations for a smoother feel. Cushioning provides comfort while reducing “sting.”
Palm cushions can soften catches on passes and shots. Vibration dampening enhances overall feel and control.
Sweaty hands loosen your grip and make the stick slippery. Moisture-wicking glove linings keep palms dry for superior grip.
Synthetic leather and mesh promote airflow. This ventilation reduces sweat buildup when playing in heat.
Durability Over Time
Quality leather palms hold up against abrasion from the shaft. Double and triple stitching reinforce seams.
Replace worn gloves regularly to maximize stick control. Don’t wait until they shred mid-game!
Finding lacrosse gloves with the perfect blend of fit, grip, padding, and ventilation takes your skills to the next level.
Exercises to Build Lacrosse Grip Strength
Boosting your lacrosse grip strength pays huge dividends in stick skills and ball control. A variety of off-field exercises target the exact muscles used for cradling, shooting, checking and scooping.
Isolate your hands, wrists and forearms with targeted training. Gradually increase resistance to build usable grip power.
Tennis Ball Squeezes
Squeezing a tennis ball or racquetball builds finger dexterity and strength. Target each finger individually, holding for 10 seconds per squeeze.
You can also roll the ball in your palm using just your fingertips to work the extensor muscles.
Hold a bucket handle and walk with moderate weight inside, gripping for time or distance. Use both hands for duration.
Farmers carries with dumbbells also work, but the bucket handle better mimics a stick shaft diameter.
Stand with arms by your sides, palms facing upward. Slowly curl wrists upwards then reverse back down.
Holding light dumbbells increases resistance. High reps with low weight perfects lacrosse wrist snap.
Grab a towel with both hands extended in front of you. Twist towel back and forth by rotating your wrists inward and outward.The gripping and torquing motion engages forearms and finger flexors essential for lacrosse.
Wrap a latex exercise band around your fingers and open and close your hand against resistance. Reverse the wrap direction frequently.
Great for building finger independence and extensor strength needed for quick release passes.
Add small weight plates to a dumbbell handle. Grip plates together as tightly as possible for time.
Placing a foam ball or towel between the plates varies the texture and grip roundness.
Massage Pressure Points
Use a massage ball or TheraBand ball to roll out forearms, palms, and fingers. This breaks up fatigue-causing adhesions.
Target pressure points to relieve stiffness and enhance circulation. Improves grip recovery.
Dedicate 10-15 minutes 2-3 times per week to build vice-like lacrosse grip strength over time. Stay patient and consistent!
Do Drills to Improve Stick Skills
Mastering lacrosse stick skills requires repetition through solo drills. Cradling, scooping, passing, catching and shooting drills develop the muscle memory needed for in-game mastery.
Set up practice stations to isolate each skill. Perform repetitions focusing on proper form and increasing speed. Drill stick skills every training session.
Cradle back and forth continuously while walking, then progress to jogging and sprinting. Switch top hand periodically and add dodges.
Cradle with your head up or while looking side to side to improve multitasking. Do double cradles with rapid figure-8 motions.
Throw against a rebounder or wall working on quick releases, changing arm angles, and catching in rhythm. Move around the arc.
Demand fast reactions by standing closer to the wall or using rapid fire passes from in close. Always receive passes softly.
Scooping Ground Balls
Roll balls on the ground and practice scooping up into a smooth cradle. Drop step to accelerate out of scoops.
Do repeat scoops touching the ball down instead of catching to increase reps. Emphasize scoop form.
Quick Stick Passing
Set up cones as targets to hit with rapid fire passes. Start stationary then add dodges before passing.
Focus on quick hands and release points. Follow through directly at cones and make crisp rotations.
Work on form shooting at a goal or wall target. Vary shot speed, placement, and arm angles. Take shots on the run.
Set up a goalie dummy to practice different types of shots like overhands, sidearms, and bounce shots.
Place four dots in a box formation. Jump between dots in patterns while tossing ball from stick to stick.
Great for developing agility, coordination, and smooth handling. Mimics in-game dodging.
Dedicate practice time for skill drills along with scrimmages. Isolating techniques accelerates development so they become instinctual.
Focus on Proper Shooting Technique
In lacrosse, a wicked shot can be a game-changer. But without sound shooting mechanics, you’ll lack accuracy, power, and touch on your rockets.
Whether winding up for a bomb or flicking a quick-stick, keep these proper shooting technique pointers in mind.
Load From Low to High
Initiate shots by dropping your hands low on the stick, then rapidly shift them higher into the power position. This loads energy from the ground up.
Time the upward hand motion so they land about mid-shaft when the stick reaches full rotation. The wrists act as slingshots.
Rotate Torso and Shoulders
Don’t just rely on arms and wrists. Fully rotate your core and shoulders back, then uncoil explosively. This generates tremendous stick head velocity.
Let the energy whip through your body into the stick by staying loose. Don’t fight the recoil.
Follow Through Toward Target
Keep driving the stick head directly toward your aiming spot, finishing high. This follow-through creates accuracy and ball speed.
Locked on your target, let the stick swing fully until pointing at the goal. Resist dropping the follow-through early.
Wrist Snap for Spin
A sharp downward wrist snap right before release imparts backspin on shots. Get wrists over the ball at peak rotation.
This helps flight stability and accuracy. Roll the ball off the pocket’s sweet spot just as you snap wrists.
Aim Small, Miss Small
Rather than shooting vaguely netward, pick tiny targets like corners or off-stick hip. Precise aiming improves accuracy.
Consistency comes from repeating your exact shooting motion and release point thousands of times through practice.
Change Shot Angle
Vary sidearm, overhand, and 3/4 arm angles to keep goalies guessing. Alter stance width for balance on angled shots.
Master shooting from multiple angles and on the run. Sidearm rockets can bend around defenders.
Maintain Proper Form
Reinforce sound mechanics until they become automatic, even when fatigued. Never sacrifice technique.
Proper shooting form generates the speed, spin, and placement that puts goalies on their heels.
Cradling Form Ensures Smooth Scooping
In lacrosse, quickly scooping up ground balls is crucial for gaining possession. Proper cradling form allows you to smoothly channel ground balls into your net after scooping.
With the right hand positioning and cradle technique, you can confidently scoop and retain control no matter the pressure.
Bottom Hand Low
When scooping, slide your bottom hand all the way to the butt end of the shaft. This extends your reach to get under ground balls.
Dropping the bottom hand also weights the head, keeping the pocket wide open to receive entry passes.
Angle Wrists Down
Point your wrists downward as you lower the stick head to the ball. This angles the pocket to engulf the grounder.
Don’t stab straight down at the ball. Think hands forward, handle back to feather the scoop.
As the ball enters the pocket, step forward through the scoop. This creates momentum to ride out checks.
Simultaneously drive your bottom elbow up to lift the ball. Explode through contact.
Quickly Regrip High
Once the grounder is secure, in one motion regrip your hands higher up the shaft into cradling position.
Raising bottom hand rapidly gives you full control to pass or evade pressure after scooping.
Protect Stick Sideways
As you regrip high, also rotate the stick horizontal with the pocket facing sideways. This shields the ball.
Swing the elbow tight against your core and turn your shoulder to the pressure.
Sell the Fake
Pump your stick as if shooting once or twice after scooping to fake out defenders.
Sell this fake during your regrip by exaggerating the motion before redirecting.
Explode Out of Scoops
Utilize a crossover step or drop step immediately after scooping to gain a step on defenders.
Sync these exit moves with your regrip and pump fake for a quick escape.
Regrip Before Passing
Once space is created, complete your regrip to passing position before feeding upfield or shooting.
Consistent form ensures composure through the turmoil around ground balls.
Maintain Control Passing Under Pressure
In lacrosse, crisp passing despite tight defense is crucial for advancing the ball and scoring. Handling pressure requires focus on mechanics for controlled passes.
Use proper technique, smart reads, and handle composure to maintain accuracy when passing under duress.
Defenders in your face require fast passing to hit tight windows before they shut. Accelerate stick speed and snap passes.
As cutters flash open, rapid hand movement creates fast tempo passes to beat defenders.
Sell the Fake
Sell a fake dodge or shot to make defenders commit. As they react, separate hands and fire to the opposite side.
Quick push-pull moves take advantage of overpursuit. Sell the fake then strike.
Vary Arm Angles
Keep sticks guessing by changing sidearm, overhand and 3/4 arm angles. Vary pass speed and trajectory too.
A defender shading one side gives you room to zing opposite angled passes.
Step Into Throws
Transfer weight forward through front foot on passes to drive power from the legs up. Don’t just rely on arms.
This puts body behind throws. Step toward target, don’t just flick from stationary feet.
Follow Through Accuracy
Extend your finish toward the receiver’s chest, not just firing vaguely netward. This elevates precision.
Follow-through direction controls ball flight. Point passes for pinpoint catching.
Scan the Field
Keep your head up while cradling in traffic to spot cutters springing open. Peripheral vision picks up windows.
Don’t just pass blind. See two moves ahead and put purpose behind passes.
Avoid rushing passes when pressured. Control pace and make smart reads rather than hot potato passes.
Force defenders to play your tempo. Finalize target before passing.
With mechanics and savvy, you dictate terms passing under pressure. Take control!
Master Stick Skills With Practice
Elevating your lacrosse stick skills requires dedication through repetitive practice. Daily solo training drills ingrain proper cradling, scooping, passing, catching and shooting technique.
By making stick work a focus in your workouts, you’ll gain dexterity and confidence controlling the ball.
Train Small Muscles
Isolate the intricate hand and finger muscles needed for lacrosse. Use visualization to feel positions.
Target grip strength, wrist snap, and finger control with squeezes, extensions, and isolation drills.
Cradle throughout warmups and cool downs. Vary cradling side, direction changes, and cadence.
Fluidity comes from thousands of correct reps. Cradle until it becomes unconscious.
Set up goals or rebounders for target practice. Strive for consistency hitting corners and outlets.
Work on catchable spirals and quick release. Passing accuracy builds offensive flow.
Wall Ball Control
Smacking passes against a wall forces quick reactions to receive. Add elements like receiving over the shoulder.
Sharpen reflexes and hands receiving off uneven walls. Play the angles.
Scooping Second Nature
Roll balls on the ground and smoothly scoop into a charge downfield. Situate your body behind lifts.
Flick just the top wrists to feather under grounders. Scoop through contact.
Shooting in Motion
Practice shooting on the run and at different angles. Vary dodges before shots too.
Mimic in-game shot diversity. Change speed, placement, and stutter steps.
Dot Drills for Dexterity
Place four dots in box formation. Jump between dots in sequences, passing the ball between sticks.
Great for hand-eye coordination. React and stick quick moves.
Train to Fatigue
Extend solo sessions to build lacrosse-specific stamina. Play until hands cramp and legs burn.
Mental focus keeps technique sound even when gassed. Don’t allow form to fade.
With dedicated skill practice, dexterity grows. Master the craft of the stick through training!