As an attacker, your primary task is to become a commanding offensive force that attacks the opposing team’s goal as much as you can. In our previous post on shooting, I walked you through how to shoot a lacrosse ball step by step. But to truly master this crucial skill, there are more depth and nuances you need to understand such as shooting power. Because shooting is a full-body effort, you involve your lower body, core, and upper body altogether to make a quality shot. Thus, in this post, you will learn how to increase your lacrosse shot power using proper techniques.
One side note before we begin. If you are in high school or want to get better at lacrosse, summer is the best time to hone in on your skills and massively improve yourself overall as an athlete. This is exactly what I did during my sophomore and junior year summer at high school, and that allowed me to successfully get recruited to college. Now let’s talk about how to add more power to your shots.
How You Generate Shooting Power
To learn how to make your shots more powerful, let’s first understand how you generate power when shooting. Coupling with a proper shooting technique, a lacrosse player uses arm/shoulder strength, core strength, and leg power in unison to generate shot power. In addition, your forearm strength also plays an important role in getting a good snap in your shots.
So there are two key components to building more power in your shots, first, you should make sure you have solid techniques with a proper form. One mistake I have seen young players make is to focus on the wrong thing when they haven’t nailed the basic shooting form. Read my post on the basic techniques of shooting and next time when practicing, film yourself to make sure you are actually doing the proper form. Practice hands up and away.
Second, if your form is perfect but your overall body strength veers on the weaker side, especially your lower body, it’s time to hit the gym and integrate a few exercises into your daily routine this summer. We will prioritize the focus on your core strength and your legs.
1. Barbell Step Up / Weight Vest Power Step Up
I will include a video demonstration to walk you through how exactly to do this exercise. The way this exercise is done is to utilize a barbell across your shoulder and initiate the exercise by stepping onto the riser with one leg at a time. As you will drive through the front foot and extend the knee as you stand up fully. Slowly lower back to the starting position. And then switch to the other leg.
Another variation to this is to use a weight vest so that the weight is spread across. You will be doing the same action as in barbell step up to develop your lower-body power and endurance. This is a great exercise to develop your lower body strength.
2. Pause Back Squat
In this exercise, we will be doing high bar back squats. This is due to the fact that when playing lacrosse, you will be in the upright position 90% of the time. So it’s important to train your core strength and dynamic trunk control.
So when you are doing high bar back squats, the bar is placed high on the top of your shoulders. The feet are shoulder-width apart with toes pointed slightly outward. Once you place the bar on the back, you will be in a more upright torso position and forward movement of the knees to descend properly into a squat position.
3. Battle Rope Figure 8
Battle rope is one of the most effective exercises that target your shoulder, core strength, upper back, grip strength, and stamina. It’s one of my favorite exercises to do while training in the weight room. Unlike the usual battle ropes you probably have been doing, Figure 8 is cross-sectional, not linear.
This pattern of battle ropes will engage your legs, core, and lower back to keep them in an isometric hold while your upper back, shoulders, and arms maintain the movement of the rope. It drastically improves the power and snap of your shots.
4. Band Core Rotation
This is a great exercise to muscle up your core because it will challenge two dozen muscles that make up your core. You will need a resistance band to do this exercise and you will be twisting your torso against the resistance of an anchored elastic band. In each rep, you will perform 10 band core rotations, twisting to your right and 1-band core rotations, twisting to your left without resting. By the end of this training, you should feel the burn in your core!
Although I haven’t personally tested out this, you can also consider filling sand in your shaft. It will add a lot more weight so that you can train with a heavier shaft to start building the muscles. In addition, another fun exercise to do apart from doing lifting is to sit on the ground and try to shoot on the goal. This will force you to actively engage your “torque” and core strength to improve the shots.
For more training tips and tutorials, go check out all the training posts here.
Now I hope you have a detailed game plan on how to train and work on your shooting power. To remind you again, shooting consists of two components, one is your techniques, second is your strength. You must first have the correct form and techniques in order to correctly and properly improve your strength.
Once you do that, start lifting weights and focus on your lower body strength. Outside of wall balls, I do think the most beneficial thing is to work on your core and body strength so you will outcompete your competitors during physical contact.