Introduction: How to Shoot a Lacrosse Ball
I will show you how to properly shoot an over hand shot in just six easy steps.
Step 1: Hand Placement
Hand placement is very essential in order to have a fast and accurate shot. Having comfortable hand placement allows for you to more easily handle your stick in all shooting situations. Your shot begins with your hands, so if they are not properly placed the rest of your shooting motion will not be effective. Your hands should be close together to allow for more control over your stick which will result in more accuracy while shooting. A general rule would be to have your top hand slightly below the middle of the shaft. If your hands are too far apart, it is harder to generate the necessary torque on your stick in order to make a fast shot. This is where all great shooters will have their hands placed.
Step 2: Balance and Leg Placement
Next, balance and leg placement are essential parts of having an effective shot. Many people get caught up in the mindset that all power in your shot comes from the upper body. This is simply not the case. In fact, one could argue your upper body is the least important factor in a successful shooting motion, despite this being the area that actually produces the shot. Your lower body is what will generate the most power in your shooting motion. In order to allow for this production to occur, you must be properly balanced through correct positioning of your legs and feet. This includes having your feet shoulder width apart in order to create a strong and comfortable base for the rest of your body to work off of. If your feet are too close together, you will not give yourself the opportunity to produce the necessary drive and force required from your lower body in order to produce a fast and effective shot. You will also not have a strong base which will allow for yourself to be knocked off balance by defenders, resulting in a poor shot attempt. Your feet and body should be perpendicular to the goal prior to your shot.
Step 3: Extend Arms
Many beginners have difficulty with their arm placement. They will often have their arms very close to their body, often referred to as “T-rex arms”. Having your arms too close to your body will restrict your range of motion, and also not allow you to generate as much power as you would be able to with a full back swing. Having your arms too close to your body will also allow defenders to more easily be able to check the ball out of your stick. The proper mechanic is to have your arms high and away from your body to allow for a full range of motion in your shot. When your arms are high and away, you are allowing yourself to be much more accurate with your shot placement. This is due to the fact that you are giving your arms much more freedom and space to move properly. An added bonus to having your hands high and away from your body is more deception to your shot. Due to the placement of your arms, your head and helmet will be blocking the goalie’s vision of your stick and reduce the amount of time he has to react to your oncoming shot.
Step 4: Eyes
Much like many other sports, your eyes provide a very important role in being an effective shooter. Another mistake many new players make is that they will not be using their eyes correctly when they shoot. The eyes are the part of your body that relays much needed information to your brain that is important to shooting, such as where the goalie is, how far you are from the goal, and what part of the net is most open. Your eyes should be focused directly on the spot you are trying to hit. They should not wonder around to your feet, other players, or anywhere other than the spot on the net you are aiming for. If your eyes are correctly placed on the goal, this will allow for the rest of your body and shot to follow accordingly.
Step 5: Footwork and Hips
Your foot placement as well as your hips are the bread and butter for having a fast and accurate shot. As you step to the goal right before you shoot, your lead foot should be planted with your toes of that foot facing the net. This will serve as the base, and your body should follow accordingly. If you keep both feet facing forward, you will not produce an accurate shot and will throw off the remainder of your shooting motion because there is no longer a reference point of aim. Another thing that pointing your lead foot toward the goal does is that it allows for you to rotate your hips during your shooting motion. Opening your hips makes your shot flow more smoothly and lets your legs generate even more power during the windup. Swinging your hips allows for a full range of motion from your body, very similar to a golfer’s swing. Proper hip movement is very necessary for all of the steps to work properly and be effective. If your hips are stiff and closed, the rest of your movements will be rendered useless.
Step 6: Follow Through
The last step for having a great shot is your follow through. Follow through is an essential mechanic in any sport that requires you to shoot, pass, or throw an object. During your follow through, your stick should continue to travel in what is called an “over head” motion. Continue this trajectory until your arms do not allow your stick to travel any further. Ideally, your stick should end up facing behind you located around your feet with your top hand down and across your body. If you do not follow through enough, the ball will sail high over your destination. The ball travels as a result of the motion and pathing of your stick, so if your follow through is poor, the shot will most likely be poor as well. A good follow through will guarantee that the ball travels to wherever you intended it to go.