Hey everyone it’s Jake with Lax Weekly, and today we are talking all about shooting in lacrosse. Some lacrosse players have clocked in shot speeds of nearly 120 miles per hour, and today I want to make it super easy for you to increase your shot speed.
Today I’m going to tell you 5 things you can do right now to instantly have a faster shot, as well as 3 bonus tips to keep in mind. I’ll also tell you who the best college and pro lacrosse shooters are right now so you can go watch their film. Whether you are a beginner who is just learning how to shoot or an advanced player who is looking for a quick refresher, I think this article is perfect for all offensive lacrosse players.
If you’d prefer to see a video version of this article, check out this video on my YouTube channel:
I highly recommend getting a pen and paper and taking some notes and re-reading the article just to make sure you understand everything.
Tip #1: Hold Your Lacrosse Stick Looser
My first lacrosse shooting tip for you is that you need to hold your stick way looser than you are right now. Our tendency as lacrosse players is to tense up and grip the stick super tight when you shoot, but in reality, it’s best to do the exact opposite. By holding your stick looser, you’ll be able to put way more velocity on the shot. Let me explain.
A relaxed grip loosens up your wrist joints, and believe it or not, your wrist flexibility is a huge component of how fast you shoot. When you tighten up that grip, your joints get all tight and the range of motion of your shot is limited.
So, next time you go out for a shooting session make it your mission to hold the stick looser and watch your shot speed increase.
Tip #2: Bring Your Hands Further Back
So the second thing you can do to improve your shot is to bring your hands further back, away from your body. It’s gonna be uncomfortable, it’s gonna be hard but i see way too many people try to shoot the ball with their hands in close.
Coaches call this alligator arms, and you want to do everything you can to avoid that. When your hands are back, you can generate way more power on your shot.
I think an easy way to make sure you’re doing this is by having your hands far and away from your body enough that you could fit a basketball through your arms. If you always have this much space, that means you’re doing it right.
Tip #3: Strengthen your Core
The third way to increase the speed of your lacrosse shot is by having a stronger core. You might think you use your arms the most to shoot, but it’s actually your core – which includes your abs, back and legs. Most of the power from your shot should come from these muscle groups, and if you’re not training them, you’re missing out on some extra speed to your shot.
Good thing there’s an excellent exercise you can do right now in the comfort of your own home – planks. Planks are a great way to train your core without any weight, and if you’ve never done one, get ready for quite the surprise.
I like to keep things simple, so start by seeing if you can do a plank for 20 seconds. Rest for 40 seconds and do another one. Shoot for 10. Once you feel comfortable with that, try 10 with 30 seconds on 30 seconds off and work your way up.
I remember when I started doing planks regularly I felt like a different lacrosse player. I was shooting faster, I was harder to push around, and I just felt more confident. I’m excited to see some of you all implement planks into your game and see what happens!
Tip #4: Use the Right Release Point
The fourth way to increase your shot speed is by making sure you have the right release point, meaning, what angle you hold your stick out when you shoot. If you think about shooting like a clock, 12 o clock would be straight overhand high to low, while 6 o clock would be straight underhand low to low.
In my opinion, the best release point is the 3 quarters release, or about 1:30 on a clock. This gives you the best balance of accuracy and power, and most of the great shooters in the game use this release.
Tip #5: Follow Through
And the fifth way to increase your shot speed is by making sure you’re following through when you shoot, meaning that your momentum from the shot should be so much that your back is facing the goal because you’re turned around.
I see a lot of young lacrosse players shoot almost like a basketball shot with the flick of a wrist, but shooting in lacrosse is very different – it’s a full body movement. I remember I listened to a podcast with Paul Rabil, one of the greatest lacrosse shooters of all time, and he said shooting a lacrosse ball is like throwing a heavyweight punch – that’s a lot of effort.
Bonus Tip 1: Think of a lacrosse shot like a baseball or golf swing.
I think there’s a lot we can learn from those two sports when it comes to form. The best baseball players and golfers are able to generate so much power from their core, and we should learn from them so we can do the same.
Sometimes when I’m bored I like to look at slo mo videos of golf and baseball swings and try to break down what they do.
Bonus Tip 2: Everyone’s shooting form is a little different
One shot form might work well for one person and not another person – I think a lot of it comes down to feel. For example, Mac O’Keefe is a lacrosse player from Penn State and is definitely one of the best shooters in the world, and he shoots most of his shots underhand or sidearm. On the other hand there’s a guy like Ryan Brown, also one of the best shooters in the world, and he uses a 3 quarters release. Overall, it can be different for everyone.
Bonus Tip 3: Film yourself while you shoot
Try to start filming yourself shooting. That’s the best way to really see if you’re shooting the right way. And you don’t need anyone else to watch you – all you need is a tripod with a phone attachment which you can find here. And you can use your smartphone’s camera to slow down the footage. So all in all it’s super easy.