10 tips for lacrosse beginners
A few pointers for those starting out in lacrosse
Like most sports there’s only one way to get a proper grasp of the basics of lacrosse, and that’s practice… and lots of it. We can however give you a few tips for lacrosse beginners which will set you off on the right track.
Catch the ball as if catching an egg
As you catch the ball in the lacrosse stick head, let the stick give as it receives the pass. This means dropping the head back with the ball which should prevent the ball from popping out. This is similar to manner to how you would let your hands give with the direction of the throw to prevent a thrown egg breaking.
Always face the passer when receiving a pass
Make sure you are always aware of the location of the ball by facing the passer. That way you have a better view of the path the lacrosse ball takes as it heads toward your stick. Get into the habit of turning to face the direction the ball is coming from when passed to you.
Practice ‘cradling’ the ball
The art of keeping the ball in the pocket of your stick is known as cradling. Practice cradling ‘til you no longer have to look at the ball to know it’s there. This frees your eyes up to scan the field and look for an opportunity to pass or shoot.
Don’t face the receiver directly when passing
When passing don't face the receiver directly but turn slightly sideways since you need to keep your body between a defender who will be attempting to get to the ball while you are passing. Make eye contact with your receiving team mate before you send a pass to them.
Throw and catch on both sides
Being able to throw and catch with both hands and swap hands quickly will make you a better player. The opposition really won’t be able to read your play and which way you are going to go, so this versatility is a great skill to acquire.
Keep it simple
Keep your game simple by playing short, sharp passes. Trying to go for a glory pass the length of the pitch will only end up being intercepted since it has a long distance to travel. If you scoop up a loose ball, pass it straight away because there will usually be a defender near you waiting to pounce.
Go to the ball
If you want one of your team mates to pass to you, don’t just stand there waiting for the ball to come to you. Instead, create some space and when the ball has been passed in your direction make sure you run towards it to reduce the chance of it being intercepted by an opponent.
Good communication is a key factor in any good team. Keep talking to each other, telling each other who to mark, who should take up what position, making clear calls for the ball when you are available. A silent player is not an asset to a team so don’t be shy.
Practice the four basic shots
Shooting is like delivering a pass, the only difference being that your target is stationary and protected by a goalie. The four lacrosse basics shots should be practiced including the overhand long shot, the underhand long shot, the sidearm long shot and the backhand shot. Practice faking shots so you appear as if you are going to shoot in one direction but then go the other way.
If you fancy getting a taste of lacrosse without being thrown into a full game then try Mini-Lacrosse or Soft Lacrosse which is an inexpensive modified version of the game and uses many of the same skills as the main game without the body contact and stick checking.