Lacrosse is a sport that requires diligent practice before you become adept at it. Especially for beginners, it is important to extensively work on their basics in order to start their lacrosse career on a sound footing. Here are some valuable tips for how to play lacrosse for beginners. Following these tips, you will be able to master lacrosse basics and be on your way to become a good lacrosse player.
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Catch the ball flexibly
One of the most important things in a lacrosse game is to be able to catch the ball well. You will frequently receive passes from your team mates and you will be able to make a good show only if you catch the ball well. Now that sounds simple enough. You simply catch the incoming ball with the head of your stick.
However, if you catch the ball by placing the head stiffly in its path, the ball may bounce against the head and drop. So make sure you move your stick slightly when the ball reaches it and let it give a little in order to stabilize the catch.
Master the art of receiving a pass
When a team mates throws a lacrosse ball towards you in a pass, you must be ready to receive it. This requires several things. First, you must create some space between you and any opponent nearby so that your team mate can easily throw the ball towards you. Second, you should be facing the team mate and make a quick eye contact before the ball is thrown. That way, your team mate as the thrower and you as the receiver will be on the same page during a pass.
Try to catch and throw with both hands
It is a very valuable skill to be able to catch and throw with both hands. During the game, this can particularly confuse an opponent and gives you the freedom to quickly switch from one hand to the other. So it is certainly worth it to train yourself and practice catching and throwing with both hands. With practice, you should become so well at it that it may become an instinct to swap hands during the game.
Be perfect at cradling the ball
Once the ball is in your pocket, it may not stay there. Especially if you are running around the field, the lacrosse ball may simply fall out. This is why you need to be good at cradling. Cradling, in lacrosse, refers to retaining the lacrosse ball in your pocket. It requires some practice but once you are good at it, you wouldn’t even have to look at the pocket to see if the ball is there. Developing cradling into an instinct will help you a long way towards being a good lacrosse player.
Making effective passes
We’ve discussed how to receive a pass effectively above. It is time to consider how can you make a good pass. When making a pass, you will nearly always have an opponent lurking somewhere near you, trying to intercept the pass. So you have to find a flexible position in order to make the pass.
Before making a pass, make a direct eye contact with the team mate who is supposed to receive the pass. Once this line of communication is established, find an effective space around your opponent to throw the ball towards your team mate. At the start, your passes may be intercepted by opponents but don’t lose heart. With time and practice, you will be able to make good passes even if an opponent is standing right besides you.
Focus on the basics
As a beginner, it is very important that you focus on the basics of the game. If you start thinking about advanced stuff such as catching glory passes and making long shots, it will impact your game in an adverse way. So at the start, it is best to establish a style which comprises of short and successful passes. Once you get really good at short and sharp passes, you will gradually get the hang of being able to make passes over longer distances.
Always be on your feet
Never stand still during a lacrosse game. Always be on your feet and constantly on the move. At one hand, this will keep your opponents on the edge and make it harder for them to judge your next move. At the other hand, this makes it easier for you to create a space for receiving and passing whenever the need arises. When you are able to make a pass or receive one, it is worth it to slightly pace up just before the actual move in order to confuse your opponent.
Practice basic lacrosse shots
As a beginner, you need to get really good at the basic lacrosse shots. These include the sidearm long shot, the backhand shot, the underhand long shot and the overhand long shot. Once you practice these well and get really good at it, you are on your way to become a good lacrosse player.