How To Shoot A Lacrosse Ball

The best attackers are not only great at creating offensive opportunities but also great at making accurate shots to score goals. After all, the game is won by whichever team scores the most. Because I embarrassed myself too many times during high school games, I put in extra effort outside of team training to improve my aim and power.

Thus, the lesson for any offensive mind player is that the importance of learning how to shoot properly and accurately is essential. The good news is since you landed on this page you already beat 90% of your competition because believe it or not, many attackmen never bothered to improve their shooting skills. 

To make this guide most helpful for you, I suggest pairing this guide along with the beginner attacking guide to massively improve your overall offensive skills. In summary, there are two things you want to focus on, correct body form/movement and fundamentals. 

Without further ado, let’s start shooting some balls!

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How to shoot a lacrosse ball accurately

How To Shoot A Lacrosse Ball
Source from The Sport Journal

If you are a beginner player, catching, passing and shooting are the most basic fundamentals you have to continuously improve upon. To start off, one rookie mistake I see beginners do is shooting in a static motion without moving the feet and the body. 

In fact, I would argue 70% of the power in your shots come from your lower body, not your upper body. Hence, when you are practicing, always make sure your feet are moving and your body is following through the motion.

How To Shoot A Lacrosse Ball

In order to make the guide as digestible and easy to follow as possible, I will break down how to shoot a lacrosse ball correctly and accurately in 5 steps:

1. Griping the stick

A good hand placement facilitates the start of a good and powerful shot. Your non-dominant hand should be gripping the bottom end of the stick. And your dominant hand should be placed close to the other hand to gain good control so that it translates to better accuracy. 

Usually, players place their dominant hands either at the middle or slightly below the middle of the shaft. Try out different positions to see which hand placement generates enough torque that is needed for a fast and hard shot. The idea is to not go too low or too high. 

2. Leaning toward the goal

As we briefly mentioned earlier, this is the part that beginners tend to overlook. Your lower body leads your shot as it’s the strongest part of your body with the most power. You want to properly position your legs and feet by taking a step forward with your dominant leg so that they are shoulder-width apart. The idea here is that by separating your legs you create a strong and comfortable base that leads to a powerful follow-through. 

Not to mention, as defenders will be trying to disrupt your shooting, you need a strong balance to stay balanced. 

3. Aiming and swinging the stick

After leg placement, next is arm placement. To make a full and smooth range of motion in your shot, you want to extend your arms high and away from your body. The start of your shooting motion needs to drive a lot of power so by giving yourself space you will make more accurate shots. 

What about aiming? 

This is where your eyes will ultimately determine the direction and accuracy of your shot. Instead of looking at your opponent or your feet, your eyes need to be fixated on the spot on the net you are aiming for. 

For beginners, this could take some time to get used to but definitely important nonetheless. 

4. Turning your body

Now before following through the motion, make sure your forward foot is pointing toward the net, the direction you are aiming to shoot and keep the other foot perpendicular. This position allows you to turn and rotate your body in a way that generates the most power.  

Almost similar to a golf swing, your opening position creates a channel for smooth and perfect follow-through. 

5. Follow through

Even though this is the last step, it doesn’t mean it’s not important. A bad follow-through ruins all the effort you built in the early process. 

So the correct way to do it is to follow through as much as possible. Which means you want to complete the arc of your shot. It should draw a diagonal line from above your head to the opposite side of your lower body. To make sure the ball leaves the pocket with a good speed, a good follow-through is a must.

Below is a great walkthrough video that hit on all the key points in regards to shooting motion: 

Shooting mistakes you’d avoid

Knowing how to shoot correctly is part of the equation. You should also learn what common mistakes players make so that you can try to avoid them during your practices. 

1. Hands too closed or too far from each other

This is a bad habit that is usually formed at a young age, so if you are just starting to practice your shoot, make sure you place your hands correctly right from the start to avoid making poor shots due to hand placement. 

2. Not enough wind up

If we strictly talk about overhand shots, you want to make sure you are giving yourself a good and big wind up to generate the power needed for a hard shot. As players develop their shooting skills, they might venture into shooting sidearm or underhand.

But my general advice is always to get comfortable and great at overhand before you try out other shooting styles. 

3. Not enough body rotation

This specifically refers to hip and shoulder rotation. Don’t just focus on swinging your arms; you want to maximize the amount of power generated efficiently by rotating your core and shoulders.

Conclusion

Take your time to read through this guide as slowly and as many times as you want. It’s very important to get your shooting motion correct when you are learning it the first time. I made the mistake of ignoring the basic fundamentals until it started to impact my performance, so don’t be me!

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Adrian James
I am Adrian from Florida. After playing lacrosse for 15 years, I decided to start this website to share my journey and knowledge to help people get better at lacrosse.

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