Hey everyone it’s Jake with Lax Weekly, and today we are talking all about wall ball. Wall ball is the single best lacrosse drill ever created, and it is the easiest way for any lacrosse player to improve rapidly.
No matter what level of lacrosse you play in, you should be doing wall ball regularly. Most professional lacrosse players do wall ball every day to keep their lacrosse stick skills sharp.
Today we will go over the proper technique to do wall ball, all of the variations of wall ball and three easy wall ball workouts you can do right now. Let’s get into it.
Wall Ball Set Up
Before you go out to the wall, there are a few important items to bring with you:
- Your lacrosse helmet: make sure you always wear a helmet when you do wall ball. I cannot tell you how many stories I hear of kids breaking their nose or getting injured when they do not wear a helmet. In addition, what you see with a helmet on is different than what you see without one on, and it is important that you try your best to simulate what would happen in a real lacrosse game.
- Your lacrosse gloves: another mistake I see beginners make is not wearing gloves while doing wall ball. The feel of a lacrosse stick with gloves is different than your bare hands, and it is important that you develop this feeling with gloves on.
- Multiple lacrosse balls: chances are, you might lose a few lacrosse balls when playing wall ball. I know I have. Make sure you bring a few extra just in case!
- Athletic tape: It is important that you mark a spot on the wall where you are throwing to. Otherwise, you do not know if you are throwing accurate passes. Tape is an easy way to mark a spot on the wall.
- Your lacrosse stick: so you can actually do wall ball!
Wall Ball Variations
The great part about wall ball is that there are so many different variations (throws and catches) you can do. Here is a list of most of the variations I use:
- Normal: Stand 5 feet or so from the wall and throw the ball overhand like you normally would. You should not have to throw super hard in order for the ball to come back.
- Far Back: Now try standing 8-10 feet from the wall and throw the ball. It should definitely take some solid effort to get the ball back. From personal experience, far back throws can get very tiring.
- In Close: This is when you stand 2-3 yards from the wall, usually with your hands choked up on the stick. These throws should be softer.
- Throw right, catch left: Start with the stick in your right hand, make a throw, and quickly switch your lacrosse stick to your left hand to make the catch. It will be tricky at first, but soon you will get the hang of it!
- Throw left, catch right: Same as above with the opposite hand.
- Canadians: This is when you throw the ball and catch it across your body, still using the same hand. Canadian lacrosse players are known for keeping the stick in their dominant hand and not switching to their non-dominant hand.
- One handed: Instead of throwing it normally with two hands, try throwing and catching with one hand. It will feel weird, but over time you will be comfortable with it.
- Quickstick: Almost like a game of a hot potato, try to throw and catch the ball as quickly as possible. This is my favorite variation of wall ball, and it is especially helpful for attack man who play on the crease.
- Bounce pass: Stand 12 yards or so from the ball. Now throw the ball and catch it after it skips off the ground 1 time. This is a great drill to see if you throw the ball straight. If the ball is not bouncing back directly where you threw it, it means you are not throwing the ball straight.
- Behind the back: Instead of throwing a normal pass, see if you can throw the ball behind your back accurately. This is a fun skill to learn and can be really useful as well.
- Around the world: If you want to be extra fancy, bring the stick in front of your body and then behind the back and throw the ball. This is probably the hardest throw to make in lacrosse.
- Shuffle: If your wall is big enough, do wall ball while shuffling in one direction. This will help simulate what it is like to pass in a real lacrosse game.
Wall Ball Routines/Drills
Here are my three favorite lacrosse wall ball workouts. See if you can complete all three of them, and then come up with your own drills!
“The Essential” This is the classic wall ball workout that everyone should start out with. It is super easy to do and should be completed in 20-30 minutes.
-50 Normal Throws Right, 50 Normal Throws Left
-50 In Close Throws Right, 50 In Close Throws Left
-50 Far Back Throws Right, 50 Far Back Throws Left
Total Reps: 300
“The Warrior” This is another great wall ball drill for every level of lacrosse. If you are a lacrosse player really trying to push yourself, this is the drill for you. The key part to this drill is that you have to complete it without dropping a single ball! If you drop the ball, you must restart the exercise you were on. For example: If I drop a ball on throw #66 on my Far Back throws, I have to start over from 0 on my Far Back throws.
-100 Normal Throws Right, 100 Normal Throws Left
-100 In Close Throws Right, 100 In Close Throws Left
-100 Far Back Throws Right, 100 Far Back Throws Left
-100 One Handed Throws Right, 100 One Handed Throws Left
-100 Quickstick Right, 100 Quickstick Left
“The Mixed Bag” Once you get comfortable with the first two drills, you can move onto how most intermediate-advanced lacrosse players do wall ball.
-Pick 7-10 variations (listed above) and do 100 right, 100 left.
Other Wall Ball Tips
- Keep your feet moving: you should not be standing flat footed while you do wall ball. If you do, you are practicing bad habits that could lead to poor performance in games. Make sure you are “light on your feet” and simulating passes that you would make in a real game.
- The wall is your science lab: get creative and test out different throws and catches that you have never seen before! Some of my favorite memories of lacrosse are when I’m out on my wall, having fun and coming up with fun new ways to throw the lacrosse ball.
- Listen to music: wall ball can definitely be tedious at certain times, so I like to find ways to spice things up. One of the easiest ways to do this is by bringing a speaker and playing your favorite tunes!
- Bring a partner: it can be a lot of fun to do wall ball with a friend and race to see who can finish first. A little competition never hurt anyone!
Overall, wall ball is one of the easiest and most effective drills that a lacrosse player can do. I am a firm believer that you commit to doing wall ball at least 5 times a week, your lacrosse game will skyrocket.
Feel free to comment if you have any questions, and I’ll see you next time.