Wondering how professional lacrosse players throw a ball? If you’re looking for tips on how to throw a ball like a pro, then you’re in the right place. Here, you’ll learn about a number of tips to help sharpen your ball-throwing skills. Even if you’re not planning on playing in any professional games, throwing a lacrosse ball is still a vital skill in lacrosse, professional or not.
How Do the Professionals Throw a Lacrosse Ball?
Ready to learn some lacrosse-throwing tips? Check out these 10 tips.
1. Proper grip is the key.
In lacrosse, the grip is everything. If you don’t know how to grip your lacrosse shaft right, then you won’t be able to shoot, let alone do anything in lacrosse except for running. So do you know how to grip your lacrosse stick?
The right grip starts with putting your non-dominant hand at the butt of the stick. The position of this hand should be as if you’re making a fist while you hold the end of the stick. Your dominant hand goes above. No, not directly, but it goes in between the lacrosse head and the butt. Ideally, it should be a few inches below the lacrosse head.
This position helps balance out the proper movements with the stick. The dominant hand drives the stick and gives it force, while the non-dominant hand guides the direction. This is why professionals tell you that the dominant hand’s placement is important. Put it near the head and your moves become limited. Put it near the butt, then you lose control of the stick and have less force when you throw.
2. Practice with your non-dominant hand.
Did you know that being ambidextrous is a skill you should have if you want to be good in lacrosse? This sounds ridiculous because being ambidextrous seems impossible especially since it’s more than just getting used to your non-dominant hand. Being ambidextrous is often a gift, but it can be done if you practice it right.
If you feel downcast because being ambidextrous is just too much work, don’t be. You don’t have to learn how to write with your non-dominant here. Instead, what you should be able to do is to throw with your non-dominant hand as if you’re doing it with your dominant hand.
When you know how to throw with both your hands, you will lessen the chances of taking time to change the grip of your hands. You will also feel confident because you’ll be able to shoot with both hands. Just think about not worrying that your other hand can’t throw properly.
3. Learn how to position your body.
For obvious reasons, you have to learn how to position your body. The right grip is very important but that isn’t all when you actually play the game of lacrosse. Positioning will help you gain more control of your throwing.
So how do you position your feet and body? Know that your feet also have a dominant and non-dominant side. The dominant foot should be the opposite side to your dominant hand. In other words, the lead foot should be the opposite side’s foot. It’s confusing, but you’ll get used to it.
When people say that your lead foot should be placed in front, that means that your non-dominant foot should be supporting your upper body movements. On the other hand, your anchor foot (the dominant foot), is placed at the back. This positioning helps you move your hips better when you throw, run, or catch.
4. Don’t forget your footwork!
By now, you already know that your positioning will help you play like a pro. But what’s the other half of your positioning? It’s your footwork. Trust the professionals – you will rarely throw by just staying where you are. You will almost always have to throw while you’re running.
This means that you have to work on your footwork. The only way to do that is to do some drills. There are many drills that will help you perfect your footwork – whether you plan on working on your speed, agility, or balance. The key here is to do a lot of drills as you can because you will learn more from them than you will ever learn by just reading tips.
5. Do some drills regularly.
Needless to say, drills are important. This point has been stressed by the tip above. However, you have to do your drills regularly. Doing a drill once doesn’t make you a pro at it. Besides, you won’t be able to get the drill right the first time you do it. So what should you do? Practice regularly.
When you do your drills, you’ll most likely hold your lacrosse stick while you move. This is a good thing. When you have your lacrosse stick with you, you’ll be more aware of your overall position when you move. If you’re practicing to be ambidextrous, this is also the perfect opportunity.
6. Practice following through.
Don’t forget to follow through. Following through is an essential part of your movement. But the sad part is that a lot of people overlook this important part in practice and especially in official games.
A follow-through is the full movement of your body towards the direction of your throw or hit. Most non-contact sports require a follow-through whenever a ball is hit or thrown (e.g. tennis, baseball). Lacrosse is included, too. This means that if you want to be good at lacrosse, you shouldn’t forget your follow-through ever.
Why is a follow-through important? Aside from getting the positioning right, it also helps in increasing the accuracy and improving the direction of your throw. The full swing you’ll do will be more directed towards your teammate or the goal if you complete a follow-through.
7. Shoot from different angles and positions.
There are drills that focus on footwork, but there are those that focus on throwing from different angles. In the same way that it’s rare to throw on a stationary position, it’s rare for you to throw right in front of the net. There are a lot of instances when you’ll be by its side or when you’re in a different angle other than 90 degrees.
By practicing your throws from different angles, you learn the best positions to shoot the ball wherever you are in the field. This will help you learn how to aim even in non-ideal spots. Shooting from different angles will also help you learn more arm and hip movements for maximum mobility.
8. Shoot and move.
Don’t like running? Sorry to burst your bubble, but if you don’t want to run and throw, then lacrosse isn’t the sport for you. If you didn’t realize it yet, lacrosse involves a lot of running. So you have to work on moving fast while having accurate shots.
And the best way to do perfect this is none other than practicing your throws while you move around the field. For this type of practice, it helps to have a coach or a teammate act as an opponent. With this, you have a more realistic way of learning how to shoot while someone is trying to get the ball from you. This is probably one of the best drills you can repeatedly do.
This is the advice that you should never forget – practice. Unfortunately, like many sports, you can’t read or watch your way to becoming a good player. You have to work hard for it. If you have to practice every day, do so. No one got better at lacrosse by just watching games and reading techniques.
What are other reasons why you need to practice? Well, you’ll learn a lot of other skills that you won’t normally learn on your own. For example, if you practice with a team, then you’ll learn communication and cooperation. You also learn anticipation. If you didn’t know yet, anticipation is important when you play lacrosse. It helps you predict your opponent’s moves.
10. Play with a friend.
And lastly, try playing with a friend. Playing with a friend or with your team is going to be very helpful when you play an actual game. Just imagine not knowing how your teammates play on the actual game. It’s going to be a disaster!
So what should you do? Gather your teammates and do drills together. Even by just doing drills, you already get an idea of how each person plays. The more you get to know their techniques, the better you become. Plus, the best takeaway here is that you get to learn how to communicate as a team.
If you’ll notice, most of these tips are very basic. However, even if they’re pretty basic, a lot of people still forget to do them. That’s the thing about basic lacrosse skills – they’re often overlooked. If you’re not careful, you’ll miss out on doing them, too. Hopefully, these tips are helpful reminders that will push you to learn and sharpen the basic skills to become a pro player.