Lacrosse shooting drills are the best way to improve and maintain your shooting form. Regular drilling in the various lacrosse shooting techniques will ensure that you are able to shoot accurately, powerfully and consistently, even under pressure from defensive players.
Training with your teammates is an ideal way to learn how to shoot in lacrosse, but if you want to maximize your skills, you should also do regular training on your own. The best way to do this is to use a lacrosse rebounder, a piece of equipment that allows you to practice shooting even if you don't have a partner available. The lacrosse rebounder is basically a high tension net, adjustable to different angles, which you can shoot at and the ball will bounce back towards you, simulating blocks or passes from multiple angles.
Some of the most popular lacrosse shooting drills include:
Picking the corners
This is an ideal warm-up drill and works well if you want to improve your accuracy and beat the goalie. Beginning from your starting position, take shots at the goal or rebounder, aiming specifically at the corner opposite where you began. You should alternate between shooting with your dominant hand for several shots, then switch to your non-dominant hand. Then switch position and repeat the same exercise towards the opposing corner.
The basic sweep works well for attacking and midfield players. You should start by putting down a cone 12 yards from the cage, aligned with the left pipe. Add another cone level with this but 10 yards in the direction of the sideline. From your starting position, sprint to the first cone, split dodge, sprint to the other cone, and shoot as you pass. Repeat the exercise 10 times and then switch the setup to the other side of the field and go again.
Use the same setup as for the drill above. But this time, your starting position should be in the middle of the lacrosse field. Sprint at the center cone, split dodge, but this time as you perform the split dodge cut between the center cone and the outside cone as if dodging between two defensive players. When you're ready, shoot at the goal. As before, after you've repeated the drill 10 times, switch to the other side of the field and repeat.
This time, just set out one cone about 10 yeards from the cage and off to one side. Sprint towards it, and at the last moment, stutter step. Maintain your balance and keep your lacrosse stick in the same hand, continue towards the goal and shoot. For more of a challenge, pick out a corner while you're running, or have a teammate call one out to you, this helps your reaction speed under pressure. Once again, 10 reps, then switch sides and repeat.
Turning the corner
This is an agility drill, which is designed to help you beat the defensive players and get yourself into a shooting position. To set up the drill, place a cone just outside the crease, and to one side of the cage. Then, starting from behind the cage, run around the goal and shoot as soon as you pass the cone. With time you should be able to increase your running speed and still make the sharp turn with time to get a shot off on target. Repeat the drill with the cone at the other side to practice shots from both directions.
In shadow shooting, you practice stick movements without a ball. The idea is to concentrate on how you move the stick through the air. Position yourself centrally in front of the goal, with your left shoulder towards it and start to make a right-handed shot at goal. As you begin the motion, drop your right foot behind your left foot and plant it. This is known as a crow step and helps whip the ball forward in an overhand motion. As you practice, try taking more than one crow step to get more whip on the ball.
What skills do you need for lacrosse?
To succeed on the lacrosse field, you need a number of attributes: stamina, timing, quick reactions, strength. But above all, you need excellent ball skills. The basic types of skill you'll need include:
- Scooping: retrieving the ball from the ground
- Passing: transferring the ball to another player
- Catching: receiving the ball in mid-air
- Cradling: keeping the ball in the pocket of your lacrosse stick
- Shooting: aiming the ball correctly to score a goal
How do you get a good shooting form?
Good shooting form is vital - your form affects every aspect of your shot from power, to accuracy, to speed. In a game of lacrosse, shooting on the run is important, but without mastering your form first, you'll find it hard to beat the goalie from a standing shot, let alone while moving. Here are some basics that you should master before getting started with drills.
- Make sure your elbow and wrist extend in a straight line to the basket.
- Similarly, your dominant hand should extend in a straight line to the rim.
- And most importantly, keep your guide hand to the side on delivery, out of the way of the ball.
How can I increase my shot power?
One of the most important factors in shot power is how well your upper and lower body are co-ordinated. Being able to maintain a smooth continuous movement without jerking at the waist will add speed and power to your shot.
A good training exercise to help build and maintain this coordination is as follows:
- Position a bar across your shoulders, behind your head.
- Now drop down into a quarter squat, and pause.
- Reverse the motion, returning to a standing position.
- Press the bar over your head and in front of your face.
- Extend your arms, and lock your elbows.
- Repeat for 3 to 5 reps per set.
If you follow the lacrosse shooting drills and tips above as part of your regular training schedule, you're sure to make improvements in all areas of your lacrosse game, but particularly in your shooting.