We are going to give you 4 killer tips on how to master your Lacrosse shot, and if you follow them, you'll be a better shooter. If you don't, and the opposing team does, well, good luck to you on defense. You'll need it.
You might automatically think that good stick work starts with your stick, but that's only half the battle here. The other half is you, your body and the time spent working all of these components together. (Think Karate Kid, wax-on, wax off, and you'll get the picture.) You must get the basics down before you can become a stick doctor because the basics are where it's at.
Beyond your core
Your shot starts in the core of your body, and the better your core is, the more powerful and more accurate your shot will be. Why? Well, flexibility allows you to aim the shot where you want it to go, and musculature lets you fire the rock ~ hard.
Rotational strength from your body is only part of the equation, and many players believe it is the ONLY part of the equation. Get your head out of the clouds with that, because both your legs and arms are the other part. A lot of Lacrosse players think their legs are only used for running, but they are instrumental in allowing your upper body to spool up before every shot.
Slideboard lunges, both forward and to the side, build flexibility in your hips and upper thighs. Suspension bands build flexibility in your arms and shoulders. Pull ups, push ups, and sit ups should be done as a matter of course, and not when you feel like it. Core work first, video games afterward. Get it?
So get off your duff and work all of your muscles together because that's where your shot begins, from all of your muscles.
Accuracy over power
Great, you have a stick and you can throw that ball at one-million miles per hour. But where does it go? Past the goal? In the stands? Out to the parking lot? To the moon? What good is power without accuracy? No good, that's what! But all you hot-shot laxers out there always want power first, because power is showy and gets the "Oooos" and the "Ahhhs" from the crowd. The problem is, power doesn't win games, accuracy does.
One way to do this, and there are many others, is to practice by running in the field, at a comfortable speed, and putting the rock in the cage. Make sure you are always shooting on the run, and get the ball in the net 10 times in a row. Always back off on the power of your shot until you can get 10 consecutive shots into the net. The power level where you can do 10 shots in a row, is where you begin, and do this from every angle, left side, right side, every side. Bounce shots, corners, high and low. As you become more accurate, up the power level, especially if you are more proficient at scoring from one side or another. Just remember, laser shots are only pretty when they go in the net.
Accuracy trumps power every time, and until you can control accuracy, leave the power alone.
Accuracy, power and movement all come together here. You can practice passes, goal shots, and hitting the same spot over and over again. Move side to side, take a few steps back for power shots, change hands and hit the wall. Grab the stick at least 3 times per week, and more is better, and spend a good 30 minutes on the wall. Too much power and not enough accuracy, and you are going to be chasing a lot of balls. This is where real shooting and passing starts, get it together on the wall.
Run, baby, run
Lacrosse is a running sport first and foremost, and sure, you can get out there and run around a track and that may seem fine. But when you are playing Lacrosse, you are not just running, you are running, jumping, dodging and sprinting too, and all of these disciplines need to be incorporated in your running practice.
Try some cross country running, and make sure to go off the trail. Jump logs, dodge trees, sprint down paths and keep your legs moving. The harder you run in practice like this, the less tired you will be at the end of the game, and being able to pick up the pace then and outrunning your opponents, may be the difference between winning and losing.
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