A major part of playing lacrosse is definitely about strength and stamina, but if you want to win, you've got to have the speed, too. Beginning players practice for endless hours, perfecting their stance and learning the angles, but some never reach the velocity they want when it comes to shooting the ball. Increasing the speed when throwing a ball is a complex challenge, and not all of them have to do with practicing with a stick. Being a better lacrosse player means taking advantage of all aspects of training in order to increase the speed of the ball and the efficiency of scoring.
The Pocket in Your Stick
No amount of practice can ever turn a mediocre player into a great one if he is playing with poor equipment. The way the ball lands in the pocket and then leaves it again can affect trajectory and speed to a great degree. Switching from a generic practice stick to a high quality product like STX lacrosse sticks can mean shooting the ball faster without changing anything else. If you don't have the highest quality equipment, you'll never achieve the results you're looking for.
Practice all day long, but if you don't have the essential strength at the core of your body, you'll never be able to convert that strength to speed on the ball you throw. Working out your arms is great, and essential, but work out your entire body to increase core strength and stamina. Shooting a lacrosse ball is a process that involves the entire body, from toes on the ground to the fingertips holding the stick. Do core workouts at the gym. Learn to love the weight room; don't just endure it. Getting stronger throughout your entire body will allow you to transfer more power to the lacrosse stick, resulting in a faster ball during the game.
Hands and Feet
The first and most important part of your body in lacrosse is your hands. Some people are born with great hands, and others have to learn to develop theirs through hard work. Your hands will grow and improve as you practice the game. Shooting a lacrosse ball is a talent similar to cracking a whip. That little extra "crack" at the top of the throw is what puts the speed on the ball and gives it spin and power. That crack is what you need, because the whipping action is what gives the ball its speed.
Keep your feet on the ground whenever you shoot. Some hotshot players jump when they shoot, thinking that it looks cool, but lacrosse isn't beach volleyball. When you keep your feet grounded, you're able to leverage your entire body when shooting, giving you the added torque you need to increase your shooting speed. It's basic physics. If you have something to push against, you'll add speed. If you're in the air, that speed will stay in your body instead of transferring to the ball, and you'll spin in the air instead of moving the ball forward quicker.
Using these tips from now on is going to take your game to the next level. For more lacrosse insiders, visit the lacrosse tips section of our blog, and as always, keep it locked here at Lax World!