Lacrosse has been dubbed “the fastest game on two feet,” and this nickname is well deserved. The speed of lacrosse, when played at top levels, is amazing. It seems that there isn’t more then a second or two in which the ball is not in motion, especially when a good offense is working at maximum potential. Behind the back passes and quick-sticks are skills that need to be learned, but are impressive when performed well.
When you pick up a lacrosse stick for the first time, you quickly get a feel for how you should hold it. A problem with many young players is that they hold it extremely tight, which makes a throw stiff and forced. It is preferable to hold the stick more with your fingers rather then the palms of your hand. The stick should feel light, and using your fingers to properly hold the stick will allow you to give with the ball while catching, making your motions look less robotic.
Once you’re comfortable with gripping the stick, it’s time to move onto some more advanced aspects of lacrosse like throwing and catching. It takes time – many hours of practice – to transform yourself into a top feeder or a great shooter. Your coaches will tell you that you need to be practicing your catching and throwing on your own, but what they might leave out is that it is as important, if not more important, to be working on the hand that seems less comfortable. If you are right handed, try throwing the ball against a wall with your right hand 50 times and with your left hand 100 times a day. The key is to try and make both your hands as dominate as possible.
For the young guns out there, always do these exercises with your gloves on, even though it may feel uncomfortable. It may seem silly to be wearing just your gloves and none of your other pads, but you’ll be better prepared on game day, and that’s where it matters most.