If you're a lacrosse player, you know that having solid stick skills with both hands is essential for success on the field. Whether it's dodging, passing, or shooting, using your weak hand effectively can give you an edge over your opponents.
Unfortunately, many players struggle to master handling and control their weak hand—but the good news is that there are ways to improve!
In this blog post, we'll explore the best methods on how to improve your weak hand in lacrosse and take your game to the next level by mastering your weak hand in lacrosse.
Read on to learn how you can quickly become more confident using either hand!
Take Away Key Points:
Table of Contents
- Best Lacrosse Tips to Improve Your Off-hand
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Lacrosse Tips to Improve Your Off-hand
If you want to advance your non-dominant hand and become a more confident player, read the methods below to help you get better results.
1. Practice wall ball drills with your off-hand
A wall ball routine is an effective way to improve your non-dominant hand. Once you find the wall, you can practice two sets, twenty minutes each, so forty minutes in total.
It's crucial to remember your pace and not give up. You might struggle with the first few seats of the wall ball drills. Your off-hand is not as strong and advanced as your dominant hand, so it might initially cause trouble. But this is the main reason you should play wall ball. The goal is twenty minutes, so don't give up - advance your off-hand and body mechanics.
Most players have that cumbersome feeling of not improving the weak hand at the beginning. Still, advanced lacrosse players recommend sticking to repetition and simple daily tasks for better lacrosse stick skills.
If you're not sure how to do correctly do wall ball routine, find the guide below for better insight:
Please refer to the off-hand routine as a primary reference. Then, you can change it according to your strong or weak side and adjust slowly to your lacrosse skill.
Throwing and catching
50 Reps Three sets
50 Reps Three sets
Throwing and catching on the run
50 Reps Three sets
The wall ball practice offers you a basic idea of how to build your off-hand skill. The plan makes the training more effective to advance games and has more fun while practicing.
2. Practice ground balls with your weak hand
When it comes to strengthening your off-hand, scooping ground balls is a must for every lacrosse player! The main point is to force your off-hand to become stronger.
Read below for a better understanding.
Trusting your weak hand more (both right and left hand)
Most people are right-handed, so they must improve their left hand; however, the rule applies to other people trying to strengthen their right hand as well.
Ground balls indicate that you can subconsciously use your off-hand as well. Although they might be soft hands, your brain builds up the muscle connection so that you can effectively operate on the lacrosse field.
Multiple players evade the weakness in their game in the pre-season period, so mastering your off-hand will help you break the mental barriers in the future. The training might be rigorous, yet the main point is to make your offhand equal to your strong one. So, you won't have catching, passing, throwing, or shooting issues.
For this reason, you must scoop up the ground balls with your off-hand only, without exceptions. The more exposure your off-hand gets during these sections, the more advanced it will be.
3. Practice off-hand shooting
Try shooting with your off-hand a few times to match your body skills. Start slowly, then enhance the technique to ensure the body matches your method so there are no obstacles in your weak hand routine. You should make a video of yourself using both the right and the left hand.
Compare the two shot styles with both the weak and strong hand. Notice and focus more on how your arms extend and your rotations in both methods.
As a lacrosse player, you should focus more on and correct your off-hand shooting mechanics. Practice a few balls more to improve your weak side and quick stick skills and make your game more professional.
4. Practice shooting with targets
Finally, you can master your off-hand shooting and practice shooting with targets. Once you have a solid base with the off-hand shot form, you can work on your release. It would be best if you had a portable goal and shooting targets. Attach targets to the corners of the goal and hit them with your off-hand shots.
If you struggle to hit them, notice how close or far our shots are to the specific targets. For instance, if your shots constantly reach below the targets, you must release the ball early by snapping your wrists earlier. But, if your shots consistently surpass the targets, you must taper your release by snapping your wrists later. So, you will find the right time to release the ball.
5. Practice cradling with your weak hand
There are many benefits of cradling drills by using the weak hand. Below are the most important ones.
a. More control over the balls
Each lacrosse player looking to improve their off-hand skills should consider cradling drills in their practice regimen.
The primary purpose of this drill is to challenge lacrosse players to improve their quick-sticks skills with precision and power using their off-hand.
In addition, it helps build strength, coordination, and control over the lacrosse stick in the same way that lifting weights or practicing your shooting builds skill.
Cradling off-hand also substantially increases lacrosse players' ball-handling capabilities, as both hands must be used in lacrosse for maximum efficiency when moving the ball downfield.
Over time, a lacrosse player can become more comfortable and confident, cradling with both hands, dramatically improving the overall play of any lacrosse team.
b. Enhancing stick protection
For lacrosse players, using the off-hand to cradle can provide enhanced stick protection when playing. Through simple cradling drills, lacrosse players can strengthen their muscles to protect their sticks from attack.
By developing a comfortable grip on their off-hand side, lacrosse players can use this grip to defend their sticks from opponents and prevent them from getting stolen.
Doing these drills not only helps lacrosse players keep their sticks safe but also makes it harder for opponents to steal away a loose ball. With some commitment and practice, lacrosse players can improve their overall stick protection skills immensely.
6. Repetition is crucial!
Repetition is essential for mastering lacrosse skills, particularly in improving a player's weak hand. By constant practice and focus on the weaker side, lacrosse players can develop coordination and dexterity in their weak hand to give it the same strength as their string hand.
Moreover, repetition helps lacrosse players better internalize a particular move so that it comes naturally when playing in an actual game situation. For example, lacrosse players can build consistency in their moves through repeated practice of catching, throwing, and shooting with both hands.
In addition, they can practice more to strengthen their left or right side, based on their weak/strong hand, and play better. For instance, opponents might attack them while passing, so they need to be firm and pass the ball quickly, regardless of the strong hand. This gives them an edge over their opponents in the game.
Repetition is a fundamental part of lacrosse training and needs to be prioritized if one wishes to excel at the sport.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the common lacrosse hand injuries?
Common lacrosse hand injuries include fractured fingers, fractured hands and wrists, sprained wrists, tendonitis, and ligament tears. Protective gear is strongly recommended to reduce the risk of injury while playing lacrosse.
How to get better at using your non-dominant hand in lacrosse?
There are four main tips to improve your weak hand in lacrosse:
- Practice: The more you use your weaker hand, the more comfortable you will become with it, and the better you'll get. Practicing drills specifically designed for using your off-hand or playing catch with yourself using both hands is an excellent way to get better.
- Strengthen: Strengthening your core and shoulder muscles will help to improve coordination in both of your hands as well as overall balance and body control when playing lacrosse.
- Be mindful: When shooting, passing, and catching, focus on lengthening and extending through your release while remaining aware of where the defensemen and goalies are positioned so that you can make smarter decisions when handling the ball with either hand.
- Visualize: Visualizing yourself executing the game-play with success using both hands can help to build confidence and encourage further practice in using both hands in the game.
How to increase hand speed for lacrosse?
To increase hand speed, perform the three drills below:
- Alternating plate taps drill
- Lateral plate taps drill
- In and out plate taps drill
How long does it take to train your weak hand?
If you practice constantly, you can advance your weak hand in less than two months. You can always refer to your coach to improve your left/right hand and evaluate your progress.
It is essential to focus on developing your weaker hand no matter which sport you practice. Lacrosse is particularly beneficial for practicing these skills as it requires both hands.
With patience, repetition, and practice, you can increase your accuracy and power with both hands. Even if it takes longer with your weak hand, improving it will open up the field to gaining new skills and furthering your lacrosse career. It is an important skill to master to become a well-rounded lacrosse player.