What makes lacrosse such a fulfilling sport to play boils down to all the hours spent practicing. Any sport always starts with mastering the fundamentals, and that couldn’t be truer with lacrosse. If you are getting into the sport, here are the fundamental skills of lacrosse you should focus on.
When you pick up a lacrosse stick and run with a ball for the first time, you will quickly notice that the ball won’t stay in the stick for long. Because lacrosse is the fastest game on two feet, one of the first skills players need to learn is how to cradle.
To achieve this, slowly roll your top wrist up and down as you carry the ball in your stick. Beginners should keep the stick in front of them and cradle it with two hands. As you advance, you can start using only one hand to get down the field faster.
The next fundamental skill of lacrosse to learn is passing. The key to perfecting a passing motion in lacrosse is to push out with your top hand and pull in with the bottom hand to release the ball as you hold your stick across the front of the body. When you perform a pass, make sure you are stepping forward with the opposite foot as well.
In order to pass, you will also need to know how to catch. Like hockey, you need to have soft hands as you attempt to catch the ball. A helpful tip for catching is to keep the head of the lacrosse stick right next to your ear and cradle once you complete the pass.
The ability to pass and catch with both hands makes you a bigger threat on the field. However, when you first start out, figure out what your dominant hand is and go from there.
The next phase of fundamentals to focus on is shooting, which is much easier to nail once you’ve mastered passing, as the motion is similar, though slightly faster. There are several ways you can shoot a lacrosse ball, but most coaches will tell you to shoot overhand and go low. Whether you are passing or shooting, make sure you practice doing so while standing still and on the run, as this will best simulate game-like situations.
The groundball battle is one that can dictate wins and losses, which is why it’s imperative for young players to learn how to do it properly. The biggest mistake younger players make that could lead to their team being punished with conditioning is scooping up a ball on the ground with one hand.
Instead, use two hands and keep your stick low and parallel to the ground. As you pick up the ball from the ground, make sure you have your dominant foot forward and next to the side of the lacrosse head. After you scoop up the ball, secure it by holding your stick close to your body and cradling.
Get Started at Lacrosse Fanatic!
In order to excel in these different areas of lacrosse, you’re going to need the gear, too! At Lacrosse Fanatic, we set players up for success with girls’ lacrosse starter packs complete with a quality stick, gloves, a helmet or goggles, and more. We also offer starter packs and rentals for boys with all the gear needed to compete!