In the U.S., there has been a surge of interest and lacrosse is one of the fastest growing sports nationwide. While practice is the best way to build muscle memory and skills in any sport, there are some specific tips for playing lacrosse that will improve your stick skills and your accuracy.
Try Soft Lacrosse
Before spending the time and money on lacrosse equipment only to discover you don’t like the game as much as you’d thought, try what’s known as soft lacrosse. It’s a modified version of the game, but utilizes many of the same skills.
Communicate with Teammates
It’s essential that every member knows what their mark will be and how to handle any situation that they encounter. Be sure everyone knows their position, who the mark is, and always ensure clear calls are made for the ball.
Keeping it Simple
Going for a long glory shot will typically end in an interception. Keep your passes short, sharp, and try to immediately pass it should you scoop up a loose ball. A defender will likely be nearby.
Cradle the Ball
Knowing for sure that the ball is in the stick is a problem, especially for novice players. They typically take their eyes off the field to make sure the ball is still there. Catching the ball in the stick’s pocket is called cradling and it’s a skill that improves with practice.
Gently is the Key Word
One of the biggest mistakes beginners make is being too stiff. When catching the ball, use a gentle touch, let the stick “give,” and address the ball as if you were catching a fresh egg.
Don’t Wait for the Ball
Get in the game and follow the ball – don’t wait for it to come to you. When it comes in your direction, move toward it to reduce the likelihood that an opponent will scoop it up first.
Being able to catch and throw with either hand is a definite advantage. The opposing team will have more difficulty when it comes to discerning your play.
Know the Four Basic Shots
The underhand long shot, overhand long shot, sidearm long shot and backhand shot are the four basic moves in lacrosse. Practice faking your shots to one location while actually going in the other to avoid transmitting your moves to opponents.
Face the Passer
Facing the passer enables you to always know the ball’s location and its trajectory.
Don’t Face the Receiver
Turning slightly sideways to the receiver keeps your body between a defender and the receiver and doesn’t transmit who will be catching.
Practice Makes Perfect
Use every practice session to hone your skills until they become second nature. It will improve your mastery of the stick and accuracy of your every shot.