So you just picked up the lacrosse stick and now you are ready to learn how to pass! If you are new to the sport, it can be overwhelming to think of the proper passing form and how to practice it correctly.
Today I am going to make it easy and show you exactly how to pass in lacrosse. Then I will show you how to practice passing on your own and show you a few great professional lacrosse players that are great passers.
Lacrosse Passing Part 1: The Grip
In order to pass the lacrosse ball correctly, you need to have a proper grip. Start by putting the stick in your dominant hand (in my case it’s my right hand).
Your bottom hand (in this case my left hand) should go on the “butt end” or bottom of the stick. The palm of my hand should be facing down.
Your top hand (in this case my right hand) should go a little bit below the middle of the stick. Your palm should be facing up. If you are having trouble finding where to put your top hand, find the exact middle of your lacrosse stick and slide your hand 4-6 inches below the middle. Don’t overthink this step too much.
Another tip to keep in mind is to hold your stick loosely. Our tendency in the beginning is to grip our stick really tight, but we lose all of our power and accuracy if you hold the stick too tight. I like to shake out my wrists for a few seconds before I start passing just to loosen things up.
My other big tip for passing a lacrosse ball is to think about the motion similar to how you would throw a football or baseball. We all have played toss in your backyard, and throwing a lacrosse stick is really nothing more than that, except with a stick in your hand.
Lacrosse Passing Part 2: The Throwing Motion
The first thing you want to do is stand perpendicular to your target. This way you will be able to generate more power from your hips. If you are right handed, this means you want your left hip to be facing your target.
Next, you want to point your foot at your target, which will help your pass be more accurate. If you are right handed, this means you want to step with your left foot.
Now just like you would throw a football, you want to turn your body and throw the ball to your target. This will feel super weird if you are doing it for the first time, and that is totally okay!
You want to follow through with your pass with your back shoulder pointing directly at your target. If you are right handed, this means you want your right shoulder to follow through and be pointing at your target.
The other big part of your passing form is called the “wrist snap.” It is the last part of the throw where you quickly whip your wrists, almost like you are cracking a whip. This is the most complicated throw and takes many repetitions to get down fully.
Lacrosse Passing Part 3: How to Practice Passing
Congratulations, you are on your way to becoming a great passer. I know it feels strange to pass, but I promise you that every great lacrosse player felt the same way when they started out. The next step is to practice over and over again.
Lucky for you, there is a super easy drill that you can do on your own called wall ball. Go find a brick or wood wall and simply pass against the wall. You can use a piece of tape to mark a spot on the wall, and try to hit that spot every time.
Wall ball is the single most important lacrosse exercise to exist, and you can get ahead of your peers the more time you spend on the wall. Throw on some tunes, relax and have fun getting better at passing.
I have a challenge for you, try to do 100 passes on the wall 5 days per week. The next week, do 200 passes. Keep going until you get to 500 passes. I guarantee that you will be a different lacrosse player after!
Several lacrosse companies have created rebounders specifically designed for wall ball if you cannot find a brick or wooden wall.
The other great way to practice passing is with a partner. You can find a teammate, coach or even a parent to pass to. If you only have one lacrosse stick, your friend can use a baseball glove to catch the ball. Remember, you are focused on passing right now, so you just need a target to throw to.
My biggest piece of advice with lacrosse passing is to be patient! It takes a long time before your brain gets the muscle memory down to pass. If you keep working at it every day, you will eventually be able to pass without thinking. How cool is that?
Lacrosse Passing Part 4: Great Lacrosse Passers
One of my favorite ways to get better at lacrosse is by watching films on great lacrosse players. In this case, if you want to become a better passer, here are a few college and pro players who pass extremely well. We just went over the basics of passing, but you can learn more advanced passes from these guys.
Grant Ament is considered by many to be the best passing lacrosse player in the world. He can throw crazy no-look passes and fakes better than anyone I have ever seen. You can check out a complete breakdown of how to pass like Grant Ament on my YouTube channel:
Schreiber is probably the best lacrosse player in the world right now, and a big part of his game is passing. He can pass from all sorts of crazy angles, and it really feels like you are watching a pro basketball player. Here are some of his highlights:
Speaking of basketball, Pat Spencer is a former lacrosse player turned pro basketball player who is definitely one of the best passers lacrosse has ever seen. He looks like a point guard dishing out assists left and right.