For offensive lacrosse players, shot speed is an important metric to look at and understand. Coupled with a fast running speed, you could truly become an elite shooter when you can shoot fast as well. The faster the ball travels, the less likely the goalie can react quickly enough to intercept.
Thus, to understand where your shot speed stands relative to other players and how it compares with the average lacrosse shot, we will break down the numbers by age and skill level. Remember it’s pointless to look at the average of all lacrosse players. It only makes sense to compare yourself with players in the same age group and skill level.
Without further ado, let’s run some comparisons.
Average Shot Speeds At Different Ages/Skill Levels
The average speed of a lacrosse shot is anywhere between 75-80 mph as a recreational lacrosse player. Depending on the age and skill level, this number can vary from one player to another.
Hence, in this section, let’s figure out the average shot speeds by age and skill levels respectively to get a good gauge of your shooting ability.
When doing the comparison, one important thing to keep in mind is that the average shot speeds listed below are recorded under controlled conditions. Meaning these aren’t the real in-game shots. And on average, a lacrosse player will shoot 2 mph to 7 mph slower in game than in shootarounds during practice.
|Age Range||Average Shot Speed Range|
|21 & Above||90-105 mph|
Due to a lack of good information and detailed data, I decided to keep the age and speed ranges broad to ensure accuracy. The conclusion is you could expect a younger player to have slower shooting speed and an older player to have faster shooting speed.
That said, breaking down the average shot speeds by skill levels provides a more insightful and indicative comparison. See below:
|Skill Level||Average Shot Speed Range|
|Youth / Beginner||60-75 mph|
|High School||70-85 mph|
As you improve your game, it makes sense to see beginner players have relatively slower shot speeds than elite and professional players who are on the other end of the spectrum. One is due to experience. The longer you practice and play, the faster your shots will become. Second, as you become more familiar with your lacrosse stick it’s easier to maximize the shot speed potential.
When comparing yourself against the tables above, put more emphasis on the average shot speed per skill level table. As long as you can shoot somewhere in between the range, it’s good enough.
Nick Diegel Fastest Lacrosse Shot Speed
The fastest lacrosse shot record for a long time belonged to Patrick Luehrsen, at 119.9 mph in 2015. For the next three years, no attempt at breaking the record was successful until Nick Diegel in 2019 hit 123.1 mph. Hungry for more improvement, Nick Diegel managed to hit a whopping 127.4 mph in 2020 which is the current fastest lacrosse shot speed ever.
Watch this clip to see the shot. Also watch this video below where Nick explains his story behind the fastest lacrosse shot.
As I mentioned before, it’s nearly impossible to get shot speed this high during normal gameplay. Nick didn’t face any defensive pressure that allowed him to extend his windup as much as possible to reach the maximum speed.
However, professional lacrosse players are able to launch shots that are above 100 mph quite frequently in real games. One interesting story is out of all players who broke into the triple digits, Zack Dorn, an amateur lacrosse fan, is in the top 5 with his 116 mph shot. Watch the clip here. This goes to show you don’t have to be a professional lacrosse player to work on your shots. Likewise, a well-rounded elite player doesn’t necessarily have the best shot speed to be great.
How to increase your average lacrosse shot speed
If you are natural and have no problem launching fast shots, that’s an incredible talent for an attacker. If you are not yet at where you want to be, don’t fret. In this section, I will walk you through how to make faster shots.
A proper shooting execution starts with an extended windup. It not only gives you a better aim at the target but also translates more power into your shot. This additional extension allows players to get their hands out and away to incorporate the entire body into the motion.
Fast shots are made when your arms are loose and away from your body. The further you can outstretch the arms, the more momentum it generates.
If we break down the shooting motion, it’s not hard to notice the body torque largely determines the shot speed. A powerful and fast shooting is fueled by rotating your entire body and core.
One rookie mistake players do is to swing their arms as hard as possible. In contrast, the best lacrosse players utilize the law of physics, which says twisting your body generates far more energy and power than swinging your arms.
When you finish a shot with a proper follow through, your body will involuntarily step towards the goal. Beginners overlook this step as they stop the momentum midway through the shot, which is called a “still” shot.
What you want to do is after the ball exits the pocket, continue to engage your body and rotate your hip all the way through. Then end with your shoulder facing the target.
Want to see how these key elements are done in real action, watch this clip below.
Truth be told, I was never one of the fastest shooters on the team. Although I improved significantly after countless practicing and drills, I then realized having a crazy shot speed won’t give you tremendous leverage without accuracy. It’s not an end-all-be-all solution.
If your goal is to become a deadly attacker, improving your shooting accuracy and deception outweighs the benefit of trying to drill a hole through a goalie’s stick. Thus, take some time to think about how a faster shooting speed benefits your play style.
Read more: How To Shoot A Lacrosse Ball
I hope at this point you have learned a thing or two about lacrosse speed. In addition to your daily shooting practice, don’t forget to do strength and core training. Your core is where the most energy to shoot and pass comes from.
As always, feel free to drop me a comment if you have any questions. If not, time to get outside and start shooting.