Introduction: How to Shoot in Lacrosse
I’m Zachary Berger member of the Virginia Tech club lacrosse team and I am here to teach you how to embarrass goalies and score goals. Shooting is an extremely important skill a player must learn to excel in the game of lacrosse. When it comes to shooting, there are 3 main fundamental areas to focus on: hands, body position and the motion. Practicing the fundamentals and using all three of these areas efficiently will help get the most out of your shot and have you ripping goals in no time.
Step 1: Hand Position
Starting with your hands, Step 1 is to pick up a stick and hold your hands roughly 12 inches apart. If you are a righty, you want to have your left hand at the bottom of the stick (opposite if you are a lefty). This will help allow you to freely move the stick without any limitations.
Step 2: Foot Position
Step 2 is to place your feet shoulder width apart. Having your feet shoulder width helps give the shooter balance and allow them to evenly distribute their weight throughout their shot. If you are a righty, you want your left shoulder pointed towards the goal (again opposite if you are a lefty). You want your body and feet pointed perpendicular to the goal. At this point, your body is set up and ready to go.
Step 3: Stick Positioning
Once your hands and feet are in position, Step 3 is to hold the stick high and away from your body. You want to reach backwards with both away from the goal with your eye on the prize. Doing this will help keep your hands from defenders and let you follow through once you begin your shooting motion. You will often hear people say, “get your hands free” … this is what they mean.
Step 4: Footwork
Once you have your initial body and hand position prepared, it time to work on the actual shooting movement itself. Step 4 is the shooting footwork. The basic stationary shot will require a shooter to step with there front foot towards the goal. This will assist a player to get their momentum moving towards the goal. If you have gotten the step and body position down, you can work on what we call a crow hop. This is done when a shooter has time and room and it allows them to get everything they have into their shot. To crow hop you start by stepping with your front foot. After you step you follow it with your back foot crossing over behind your front. Finally stepping forward with your front foot again. This might sound confusing at first but after a couple tries you will be crow hopping in no time.
(Picture provided shows the crow hop progression)
Step 5: Shooting Motion
With the footwork mastered, step 5 is working on your upper body motion. Once you begin to step, your hands that were pulled all the way back begin to come forward. While they are coming forward you want to rotate your hips and open them up towards the goal. Your upper body should follow your hands motion during the shot. You are using your body to create torque. The more torque you can create with your hips and arms, the faster and more power your shot will be; i.e. scoring goals for your team.
Step 6: The Follow Through
The last but maybe one of the most important aspects of a shot is the follow through. Step 6, when you begin twisting your body and shooting the ball, you want to follow all the way through past your front knee with the head of your stick. When your body is done, if you’re a righty, your right shoulder should be now facing the goal (again if you are a lefty this is opposite). Your body should be completely ‘torqued’ and your stick head should be passed your front knee. The follow through transfers all the energy you have produced throughout your shooting motion and puts it in the ball now traveling for the top right corner of the cage.
Step 7: Crow Hop Follow Through
Step 6.5, if you have gotten your shot down and want to begin working on a wind-up shot (called this because of the crow hop), the follow through will be a little different. You still want to have the head of your stick following passed your front knee and your body uncoiling with your back shoulder now facing the goal. BUT, The only difference is your back leg will now be following through as well. When you have that much momentum moving forward as you do with a crow hop, you will need your back leg to help release all of the energy built up throughout the crow hop. If you do not complete this follow through, you might as well be just stepping with only your front foot. Most of the energy will be lost without this extra rotation.
Step 8: Conclusion
If you follow these easy steps to shooting a lacrosse ball, you will be plucking corners and score the game winner in no time. Remember, it takes constant practice and hard work to master these skills before that dream can become a reality. Hope you all learned a lot from my tutorial and can go out and enjoy the game I love.
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