It’s easy to pick up a lacrosse stick and start firing on a cage, but it takes practice to shoot with accuracy and velocity. To be the best, the New York Lizards and other lax professionals follow these seven steps of proper shooting mechanics.
New York Lizards Tips to be a Better Shooter
The New York Lizards know a thing or two about scoring goals. Last season, they averaged more than 15 a game. Players like Paul Rabil and Rob Pannell led the league in goals scored in 2016, because they know the right way to shoot a lacrosse ball.
1) Shoot Overhand
Youth lacrosse players do best when they don’t shoot sidearm. This motion causes players to push the ball, because they hold their elbows close to their body. The result is decreased accuracy and power.
The push/pull effect of overhand shooting is more effective, because it causes tension that creates greater shot velocity.
2) Twist your Body
The power of a professional lacrosse player’s shot comes from their body.
If done properly, opposing players should be able to see the numbers on the back of the shooter’s jersey.
3) Fully Extend your Arms
To gain maximum leverage, it’s important for players to extend their arms as much as possible during the shooting wind up. Ideally, their arms should no longer be bent when reaching back to the farthest point.
4) Shift your Weight
Rather than shifting their body weight, many young players make the mistake of shooting flat-footed, which results in a weaker, less accurate shot.
While players usually focus on the motion of their arms, shifting weight properly can make a big difference.
5) Raise your Front Elbow
The lead elbow (the left for right-handed players) is another focus of proper mechanics. To create leverage, a player should try to keep that elbow as high as possible.
This elbow then leads the body toward the target.
6) Snap your Wrists
A quick snap of the wrist is an essential part of a high-velocity shot. This is what sends the ball on its downward trajectory towards the goal. While difficult to master, this is one of the differences between truly great shooters and everybody else.
7) Follow Through
Just like a baseball pitcher or a golfer, following through is an important part of the lacrosse shooting motion.
New players often make the mistake of stopping the follow through too early. This is detrimental, because it slows down the velocity of a shot. Instead, shooters should snap their wrists and swing their back leg around.
After practicing these finer points of shooting, catch the New York Lizards in action this season to see how it’s really done.