Throughout most of my high school career, I didn’t get to use a rebounder or a portable lacrosse goal. Part of it has to do with the fact that I didn’t realize how important they were (big mistakes!) and I was mainly using a wall to practice shooting and passing.
So I want to preface this post by saying that here are some great temporary solutions. To achieve the best results, I highly recommend you buy a rebounder or a portable lacrosse goal. To see the best options you can buy today on the market, click here and here.
So if you don’t yet have access to a lacrosse goal, you can instead practice using a wall, a baseball backstop, or a caged tennis court and if you are handy, building a PVC pipe goal with a hanging sheet is also a great idea.
Each method presents its own pros and cons so we will go over them one by one in this post. Read through the post and if possible, take some time to test them out and see which option works the best.
Without further ado, let’s go over the best ways to practice shooting without a lacrosse goal.
Using A Wall
No matter how advanced and how many years you have played lacrosse, I find it interesting how effective simply hitting a wall could be. Most people do wall ball for getting better at passing and catching. In addition to that, you should also practice shooting with wall ball.
After finishing your regular wall ball routines, you could either draw an imaginary square on the wall or use tape to tape up a square. Then during the entire shooting drill, you would aim your lacrosse shots at this square from different positions and distances.
Now depending on what type of shots you want to practice, you can move this square to different positions on the wall. Working on your off-hand side shots, you would put the box off to the opposite side of your off-hand and make sure the box is below your eye level. This is simply an example demonstrating how to take advantage of the wall. In addition, you could shrink or enlarge the size of the square to make it easy or difficult.
As aforementioned, I did a lot of wall ball at the beginning of my career, and in retrospect, it really benefitted me. Although this is not the best setup, my shot precision has improved drastically due to this. And it’s free!
Therefore, if you are a beginner who just started, I simply would suggest you not get too fancy yet with all the equipment, get a pair of gloves, a lacrosse stick and a few lacrosse balls, and start hitting the wall. It’s really that simple.
In a similar spirit, if you feel comfortable doing it on a wall, you will also find this method very easy to do. If you can find a baseball field either at your school or near the neighborhood, you can use the backstop as a lacrosse goal.
Exactly like what we did before, we would tape up a square on the fence, and depending on what type of shot you are looking to practice, find your position and distance and start hitting. One difference to note here is that the wall is bouncier than the baseball backstop. Therefore, to make the shooting practice more efficient, consider bringing a few lacrosse balls.
Another thing I realized is that since the baseball backstop is put on the dirt ground, you can’t really work on shooting on the run. My lacrosse cleats simply don’t generate good traction on dirt, so I would mostly do stationary shootarounds if I am practicing in front of a baseball backstop.
In other words, if you want to focus on shooting in motion, this option might not be the best. So let’s move on to the next option that presents a better solution.
A Caged Tennis Court
Also similar to a baseball chainlink fence, you could use a caged tennis court to practice shooting. If you don’t have easy access to a baseball backstop, a tennis court is probably your best alternative.
What I like about using a tennis caged fence are the open space and hard tennis court surface. Unlike the baseball backstop which only allows you to practice shooting stationery, a tennis court allows you to incorporate shooting on the run and shooting at full speed. No need to put on lacrosse cleats. On the clay or hard tennis court surface, a normal pair of running shoes will suffice.
Just like what we went over earlier, we are going to use tape again to square up a tiny box on the fence as the target area. And this time, you could do more different types of shooting drills. Since the cages are often high enough to prevent the ball from flying over, you don’t need to worry too much about that.
Between the baseball backstop and a caged tennis court, I don’t have a strong preference for either. It ultimately comes down to your situation. And if you don’t have access to both, you could always find a wall to practice!
PVC Pipe Goal
If you are a more hands-on person who likes to build things on your own, make this a great summer project by building your own lacrosse goal using PVC pipes. But before we get into the details, if you are still in high school or younger, I strongly recommend you do this with your parents rather than on your own. Because it will require cutting using a hacksaw.
Here are the things you would need: PVC pipes, lacrosse net and glue. You can buy them at your local Home Depot or Lowe’s. If you are putting the goal outside in the backyard, consider buying a few sandbags as well. Because the PVC pipes are light so you need to weigh down the goal, especially in windy weather.
To be honest with you, I have never done this before, so I am probably not the best person to ask for advice on this. But based on a couple of friends who built PVC pipe goals themselves, it’s pretty easy and fun to do.
So in order to let you learn from the best, watch this video done by Greg from ECD where he went over the process of building a PVC pipe goal.
Because you will be building this from scratch, you might run into some challenges the first time doing it. Don’t get bogged down. Try your best. Plus, you can always ask for help from your parents.
So when should you purchase buying a lacrosse goal?
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, although these are some nice alternatives, you should still consider buying a portable lacrosse goal at some point. As soon as you start playing high school varsity lacrosse, you should seriously consider buying one.
Based on my own experience, a lacrosse goal is much more convenient that let me basically practice whenever and however I want. Because I also practiced a lot during college, a lacrosse goal was definitely worth every penny. Moreover, if you started to feel like your shots aren’t improving as much as you want, it’s probably time to purchase a lacrosse goal.
Again you will need to make the decision for yourself based on your situation and need. If you feel perfectly great without a lacrosse goal, that’s awesome as well. There’s no right or wrong. As long as it’s working for you, double down on it.