Possession is everything in lacrosse. The lacrosse ball is on the ground 50 plus times per game and that means there are plenty of opportunities. This makes picking up ground balls one of the essential parts of lacrosse. This is why Lacrosse Ground Ball Drills are crucial! Keep in mind that you can’t score without the ball and faceoffs are ground balls after each goal. If you can not pick up a ground ball you probably won’t play very much even if you are excel in other ways. Lacrosse Ground Balls are the most basic, yet the most important key to being a better player and winning games.
If You Can Pick Up A Ground Ball You Can Play Anywhere You Want!
Picking up ground balls is an easy task, but there is a right and also a wrong way to get them. Every player on the lacrosse field needs to be able to correctly pick up a ground ball or that team will never win. You definitely don’t want to hear your coach yelling “first-time GBs” or miss a ground ball that costs you the game because you were lazy. Ground balls decide games and can make any new player into a valuable asset. Follow these simple fundamentals, nail them down packed, and become a ground ball machine.
Getting Ground Balls The Right Way: Lacrosse Ground Ball Drills
Ground Balls are 100% are effort and positioning:
- Keep your eye on the ball at all times.
- Place your front foot next to the ball
- Have your stick more parallel to the ground. (Don’t stab the ground.)
- Angle your head to get underneath the ball before you reach it.
- Keep your top hand by your head for control. (D-poles should do this when very close to the ball)
- Keep your bottom hand strong at the end of your shaft to prevent lift checks. (Not applicable to D-poles using the top half of their stick.)
- Get LOW. Standing straight up puts your farther from the ball and easy to knock over. The low man always wins.
- Hips to the ball. Don’t reach out because you don’t want to get hit, get close to the ball.
- Helmet over the ball. Potentially draw a penalty if the other team swipes at the ball.
- SCOOP THROUGH. Don’t stop moving when getting a ground ball. A smooth scoop underneath the ball with TWO hands for first-time ground balls is best.
- Use your back to protect your stick. If someone pushes you in the back or slashes you then it’s your ball.
- Bring the stick to a protected position by your helmet. If they swipe at it and hit your helmet they will get a penalty.
- Keep those feet moving! Don’t stop once you have the ball or you may lose it as soon as you get it.
- DON’T BE LAZY! Whoever wants the ball more will get it. Don’t let off the gas or you will regret it.
- If you miss the ball, forget about the miss and go get that ball! Everyone makes mistakes, but hustle and effort make up for mistakes. Don’t let a bad attitude hold you back.
Getting Out Of Tough Situations With Ground Balls | Lacrosse Ground Ball Drills
There are many instances during a game when getting a ground ball can be much more difficult than normal. For this situations, you need to be a little creative and very determined. Remember that ground balls are all about hustle and wanting it more so do whatever you need to in order to get the ball.
Ground Ball Is At Your Feet Or In A Scrum
If you can’t get the lacrosse ball because it is too close to you, or there are too many players around, move the ball. “Goosing” the ball is moving it with your stick without picking it up. Basically, try to use your stick like a hockey stick to get the ball to an open player that can pick it up or get it to free space for yourself. Kicking the ball is also a solid option to move it to a better place to pick it up. Just don’t kick or goose the ball too hard or it will fly out of bounds.
Someone On The Other Team Got To The Ball First
If you are showing up late to the ground ball party don’t worry. You can still get the ground ball and be the hero if you can prevent the other player from getting the ball off the ground. Attack their bottom hand with a lift or dislodge the ball from their pocket by checking their head. The lift is a much safer, and more efficient play but it depends on where you are on the field. Just stay off their back and helmets so you don’t get a penalty.
Another Player On My Team Is Going For The Ball Too
So help them out! You’re on the same team, so communicate about what is going on to be successful. Calling “man” and protecting the other player by boxing out the other team is just as important as a GB. If they call “man” then call “ball” and get the ball the way that was explained above.
A Simple Ground Ball Drill For Everyone
An easy drill you can do to practice GBs is placing a bunch of balls all over a field and running around scooping them up correctly. You can then outlet them to an open teammate or empty goal to practice moving the ball upfield. You should be running the whole time to work on conditioning too. This drill will help those that are new to lacrosse and also those who have been playing for many years. Ground balls can always be improved and you can always get in better shape.
You can also place sticks on top of some of the balls to practice picking up contested balls and scooping through. The stick will create just enough disruption to make you really work for it or goose the ball to an open area. You need to be determined to get that ball so even though might be working on this skill alone don’t do it casually. Be fierce and aggressive enough to get the ball no matter who is trying to stop you. Remember, whoever wants the ball more is going to get it.
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