Cradling: A Most Important Skill


The art of cradling is essential in lacrosse and it’s a skill that doesn’t come easy particularly to young athletes new to the game. Being able to run full-tilt during a lacrosse match while keeping the ball in the pocket of your stick is much more difficult than it appears. Experienced lacrosse players make it look easy, but it requires extensive hours of practice to perform the maneuver successfully.


The first step for players is learning to hold the stick properly. Use one hand to hold the stick just below its head – but use the fingers instead of the fist to ensure the full range of motion that will be required during play. The bottom of the stick should be held lightly with the other hand to provide the maximum level of control while rolling the stick in and out.

Fluid Motion

While the wrists and arms provide the basis of motion, cradling is about fluidity of motion by being able to use both limbs in unison. Players will need to practice rolling the stick in and out smoothly. It’s important for athletes to begin slowly and gradually increase the pace as they become more proficient.

Remember to use a light touch. Gripping the stick too tightly severely limits motion and will affect the ability to get better. Cradling is critical to prevent players from dropping the ball as they move throughout the field and employ strategic tactics.

Holding Off Defenders

The exercises are essential to help athletes learn cradling so they can keep defenders at bay during a match, while maintaining possession of the ball. Mastering the art of cradling will make it much easier for athletes to move across the field. Understanding the mechanics behind cradling and practicing the movements enables athletes to improve their skills and gain proficiency in advanced moves and techniques.

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