Every lacrosse player wants to step on the field and be able to rip a 100 mph shot in the corner. It’s not that easy though. Being able to shoot hard and accurately takes time and hard work. However, it doesn’t start in the weight room. Like any sport, fundamentals are the key to success. Here are the basic mechanics of shooting to help get you started. Remember, it doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or pro, applying the fundamentals is vital to your success on the lacrosse field.
How you hold your stick can determine a lot about your shot. Keep your bottom hand tight on the butt of your stick. There is no correct answer as to where your top hand should be. If it is too high on the stick, you won’t be able to generate any speed, and if it is too low, you’ll lose control of your accuracy. A good place to start is about a third of the way up from the bottom. Start there and adjust accordingly.
Assuming you’re a right-handed player, you should stand facing sideways with your left foot towards the goal (picture a tennis player hitting a forehand or a pitcher in baseball). Keep your stick high and behind you (the further back it is, the more speed you can generate). Try to make the head of your stick reach behind your head. Keep your eyes on your target, but try to twist your shoulders and torso as much as you can to create torque. Torque is what’s going to add velocity to your shot, so the more you can create the better.
You want to begin your motion by stepping with your lead foot (in this case, the left foot) pointing towards your target. The ball will follow your foot so make sure you are pointing your toe at the goal as much as possible. As you plant your lead foot in the ground, bring your shoulders and hips through while snapping your wrists and elbows down, bringing the stick diagonally across your body.
Try to “snap” the stick as much as possible with your wrists as you shoot – this will increase the efficiency of your shooting motion. Remember to follow through fully – your stick should finish upside down on the opposite side of your body. The momentum of your shot should force you to continue turning after you have released the ball. Following through will ensure that you have generated as much torque (and as much speed) as possible. Also be sure to shoot overhand. Fast, overhand shots are the hardest for goalies to handle. Three-quarter shots can also be useful, but try to stay away from the side arm and underhand cranks.
You can be the biggest, strongest player on the field, but if you haven’t mastered the fundamentals of shooting, you won’t be a consistent goal scorer. All lacrosse coaches appreciate a skilled shooter, so focus on the details of your mechanics. Not only will your shooting percentage increase, your playing time will too.
Whether you are a lacrosse coach or an up-and-coming lacrosse player, be sure to check out the rest of our lacrosse articles and coaching resources to reach your full potential.
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