Lacrosse is a very active sport that needs a successful combination of mind and body. Your motor skills and eye-hand coordination should be outstanding to meet the needs of the demands of this ever-changing physical game. Although there are many skills to master to win this game, there are 5 basic lacrosse skills that every player must know to play the game properly. Without these skills, lacrosse is incomplete.
The five basic lacrosse skills are:
Here are the details of five basic lacrosse skills to boost your game.
Cradling is the skill of running on the field with the ball in the pocket of the lacrosse stick. It is one of the very important basic skills to excel. Cradling allows you to have the ball’s possession; it will lead you towards achieving your goal. There are two common ways to cradle:
- Full cradle: It includes cradling from an ear to ear with the stick near the face
- Half cradle: In it, the stick is moved back and forth with the help of the wrist from the ear to the body’s midline at a higher speed. This keeps the ball inside and in a more appropriate position to be played.
Keeping the ball inside and protecting the stick while running must be considered in both types of cradling. The half cradle is deemed more beneficial for the player when it comes to passing, dodging, or shooting.
A player must practice both techniques while running and standing to gain perfection in this skill.
The shooting skill is what makes you score a goal. It is a skill that needs great precision. The special hand and body movements boost your shooting action. While shooting, the body must be in a wide and low position. You must have a very stable stance so that you can be accurate with your shot. Your hands should target the goal and your hips and torso should add more power to your shooting stance; this will make your shot powerful.
When you are shooting the ball, keep these things in your mind:
Placement: Decide where you want your ball to be and aim for that spot. Go for the lower or upper corners of the goal. You must aim to shoot around the goalie and away from the center. Wherever you think the space is more empty, go for it.
Accuracy: Be precise with your movements and shootings. Be around the goal in the most effective position with or without the ball so when you get the chance, you shoot with accuracy.
Power: Placement and accuracy are nothing if you do not generate enough power and transfer it to the ball to reach the goal. Your shot should be full of strength and power. Use your whole body, and not only your hands, to add power to your shot. While you shoot, slide your dominant hand down the stick, it will enhance the shot speed and add more leverage.
Picking up the loose balls definitely takes you to the winning condition; however, pickling those balls need much practice to master. These ground balls add to the scoreboard when picked right and played skillfully.
You need to pick the ground ball while running. For that, bend your knees toward the ball and then lower the stick head to the ground with a handle a bit higher. Then moving in the forward direction, scoop the ball in the head and lift the stick up to retain the ball. During this, your shaft must be parallel to the ground.
You can practice picking the ground balls at home or on the field. But try to be in the same stance and motion that you will follow during the real game to polish your skills further.
Passing is another important skill because you can not continue the game while keeping the ball in your pocket for the whole game.
The best way to make a pass is by placing the stick next to the face at your side. One hand must touch the stick end while the second one should hold the stick in the middle. The head of the lacrosse stick should be in the direction of the receiver when you make your move.
Your hands must give a lever-like action to the ball. Push forward and pull down to make your pass worthy. You must target the partner’s stick when throwing the ball. To throw the ball efficiently, your dominant hand should be at the top, and your non-dominant hand at the bottom to add leverage to your pass.
It is best to practice this skill with a friend or a coach. Focus on the friend’s lacrosse stick directly when you make the throw to be more precise. However, you can also practice on a wall. Change your distance from time to time when you practice to add more value to your session.
In whatever way you practice, just be accurate and try following your best movements again and again. Being precise and consistent augments your game truly.
Your catching skills take you one step closer to victory. When your team player relies on you for catching the ball, you must keep your eyes on the ball and not on the player. You must continue watching the ball till it is in the pocket. Once in the pocket, it is time to cradle immediately.
Consider your ball to be an egg – that’s enough to emphasize how careful you must remain. Do lots and lots of practicing to catch the ball, then cradle, and then pass or shoot.
All these skills may appear very simple but in a competitive game, perfecting these skills are necessary. Otherwise, you may think that you don’t even know the basics. It is not that easy to master them and you need the dedication to improve these fundamental skills. However, with practice and hard work, you can amplify your basic skills and move towards advanced ones.
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