So you’re a lacrosse player and you want to get more playing time and improve your game.
You’ve come to the right place!
Here are 10 things you can do to instantly become a better player and make any coach want to play you more. Let’s go.
If you’d prefer to see a video version of this article, check out this video on my YouTube channel:
#1: Use More Fakes
Nothing is free in lacrosse. Except for fakes. Fakes are free and you should use them.
Fakes are an easy way to score more goals and deceive your defenders.
The two best fakes are the passing fake and shooting fake. With the passing fake, you can pretend like you’re passing it to one teammate which will make a defender move, and then it will open up a lane for you to dodge or pass to another player.
Shooting fakes deceive goalies and make it easy to score. Before you shoot, take a deep breath and throw one or two fakes. Watch your goal numbers increase significantly.
#2: Keep Your Eyes and Stick Up
If you want to instantly become a more dangerous lacrosse player, always keep your eyes up and your stick up. It might sound like a little change, but it will actually make a huge difference.
When your eyes are up, you’ll be able to find open teammates and lanes that you can’t see when your eyes are down. When your stick is up, your defender has to respect you as a passer – it looks like you’re about to make a pass when your stick is up. This will open more dodging lanes and make it easy for you to make quick passes.
Here’s an easy way to practice this. Go out to a field and start running around with your stick and your eyes up. Constantly scan what’s around you – trees, equipment, other people, whatever. Just don’t keep your head down.
It will feel weird at first. You’ll want to put your head down, but soon you’ll get more comfortable and it will become second nature.
Overall, keeping your eyes and stick up is one of the best ways to become a better player.
#3: Practice Good Recovery
One area of lacrosse that I know most people don’t pay attention to is recovery. This is the time in between your games and practices where you’re not playing and your body is trying to rest and get ready for the next time you play lacrosse.
If you’re not taking your recovery seriously, you might not be performing as well as you could be. Luckily I have three super simple ways to make your recovery better.
First off, you need to be drinking at least a gallon of water each day, no questions asked. If you’re not hydrated, your body will break down. Get a reusable water bottle and it will be easy to track your water intake.
Second, you need to eat protein at every meal. Protein helps rebuild muscle and most people don’t get enough of it. You can get protein from lean meats like chicken, steak, turkey or salmon. You can slo use protein powder if you don’t like or eat meat.
Third, you need to be sleeping 8 hours a day. Not 6 hours, not 7 hours, but 8 hours a day. Sleeping is the most important part of your recovery and you need to make sure you get enough of it.
I talk a ton about the best lacrosse fitness and recovery tips in my free email newsletter. If you’re not one of the 1,000 people subscribed already, come join now!
#4: Start Jumping Rope
In lacrosse, there’s not many shortcuts to getting better. But one shortcut I have found is the jumprope. If there’s one exercise you should be doing right now, without a doubt, the jumprope. Jumprope is pretty much magical for your footwork, conditioning and muscle endurance. It pretty much works out every part of your body, and it’s super easy to do.
I’ll never forget it, my coach told me, Jake, jump rope for 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes in the evening.
I took his advice to heart and did it for a month. I was a completely different player after that month. Follow my advice and it will happen to you too.
#5: Start Communicating to Your Teammates
One thing that we don’t do enough of in lacrosse is communicate with each other. There’s plenty of lacrosse games that I go to where it’s dead silent. That needs to change.
It doesn’t matter if you’re an attackman, defender or bench warmer, communication is key in lacrosse. Call out for the ball or tell your teammates if someone’s behind them, whatever it is just talk.
Getting in the habit of talking will make you more fun to play with and coaches will be impressed with your ability to command your team.
I always used to get nervous before lacrosse games, and my way of getting over that nervousness was talking. The second I got onto the field, I’d talk to my teammates and the nerves would go away.
#6: Watch More Film
There’s much more lacrosse on TV and YouTube than ever before, which means tons of opportunity for you to watch more film. One of the best ways to become great at lacrosse is by watching great college and pro players. Watch a game and focus on one or two players. See what they do with the ball and without the ball. Take notes and go practice some of their moves.
I like the break down individual plays piece by piece in my lacrosse film breakdowns, and you can check out dozens of these breakdowns on my youtube video.
#7: Go on Long Runs
I always did plenty of sprints during lacrosse practice, but one thing we always neglected was long runs. Long runs help you build stamina which will help you last the whole game. Pick a day each week where you know you won’t have a lacrosse game. Then commit to running for at least 35 minutes without stopping. Throw on a music or podcast and you’re good to go. Add 5 extra minutes each week until you can run an hour or two without stopping.
By going on these long runs, you’ll find yourself much less tired during practice and in games. Coaches will always pick a player who’s fresh and ready to run than a player who’s gassed and out of breath.
#8: Go Back to the Fundamentals
In lacrosse, there’s so many fun moves like behind the backs and between the legs that it’s easy to forget to focus on the fundamentals. Although learning another stick trick is cool, the best thing you could be doing right now is wallball. Or shooting.
The best players and teams always go back to fundamentals. I remember going to a Duke lacrosse camp and coach danowski, one of the greatest lacrosse coaches of all time, said that duke players spend almost all of practice on fundamentals. And these guys are the best of the best. If they’re doing it, you should be doing it too.
#9: Master One Skill
Another thing I’ve noticed in lacrosse is how easy it is to try to get a lot of things. You want to be the best outside shooter and really good at dodging and really good at passing. Yeah that’s great, but start by being AMAZING at one thing. Then you can expand. If you’re the best dodger on your team but aren’t great at shooting, coaches will put other players who are better at shooting around you. But if you are average at dodging and shooting, where do you really fit in?
I think the first skill to master is outside shooting, there’s not a lot of players who can do it really really well. If you can become automatic from 10 yards and in, any coach will want you on their team.
#10: Learn Defense
No matter your position, it’s always a great idea to learn how to play basic defense. If you’re an attackman, you’ll play defense when you ride to try to get the ball back. If you’re a midfielder or defender, you’re playing plenty of defense. Even goalies play defense sometimes.
Learn basic footwork and how to force your man to one side of the field. If you just learn these basics, you’ll be a much better player. Coaches hate when someone is a liability on defense, so make sure you brush up on your skills and you’ll be ready to go.
I hope you have a great day, I’ll see you next time.