Lacrosse is the fastest growing sport in America. There are at least 5 new college teams being added yearly, many in non-traditional lacrosse areas. With these new college teams comes new high school and youth programs. The importance of the teaching the fundamentals of the game are more important than ever. With the rules changing yearly, the one constant that doesn’t is the fundamentals
When working with new players to the game, it is so important to get their grip right from the very beginning. Just like Golf, if your grip is bad, your game will be too. Lacrosse is no different!Here’s some tips to help your new player get the right grip….
1.First tape use athletic tape and place tape marks at the top of their stick, the bottom of their stick and one slightly above the middle of their stick. If you are able to use different colored tape for each section that is best. Why? Beginners tend to have an easier time following directions like “place top hand on red, bottom on blue” etc.
2. With their stick now taped, put their stick down directly out in front of them. The back of the stick should be up towards the player. Instruct them to bend down and pick up their stick with their right hand. They should be picking up the stick at the middle tape spot.
3. Tell them to pick uptheir stick with one hand without wrapping their fingers under the handle orshaft. It will almost be a “pinch grip” allowing for their thumb and indexfinger be doing most of work to get the stick up from off the ground.
4. Once they have it in their top hand they can now gently wrap the rest of their fingers around the handle or shaft.
5. Cradling is all done in the top wrist. When you have the stick towards your ear you want that top wrist to be bent almost in a 90 degree angle. Similar to if you were a waiter and you were carrying a tray of food.
6. Keeping that angle of the wrist now have them cradle out from their ear to their nose. Their wrist will straighten as they cradle out toward their nose and then as they move back to their ear they once again should have that 90 degree angle in their wrist.
7. Once they have that 1 handed cradle motion down they can then add their bottom hand. This should be placed at the bottom of the stick. Tell them to make an “ok sign with their left hand and put the handle in the middle of the circle, gently wrap other fingers around.
8. Now put it all together and remember everything they do with their right hand they SHOULD do with their left. Follow these steps above for when switching hands.
Beginner Players can practicecradling without a stick!! How? Have them grab a lacrosse ball. Have them pickup the ball with the pinch grip just as they did with their stick. Keeping the“ I’m a Waiter” angle with their wrist, have them do the 1 handed “nose to earcradle” with just the ball.