Basic Lacrosse Skills That Make a Successful Player (2023 Guide)

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Playing lacrosse is a thrilling and challenging sport that requires physical strength, agility, and strategy. It is both exhilarating to watch and satisfying to master.

Basic lacrosse skills include scooping the ball from the ground, cradling or protecting it in your stick, and passing it accurately to your teammates.

Knowledge of the rules and being able to move around the field quickly while keeping possession of the ball are also essential and fundamental skills for any aspiring lacrosse player.


Take Away Key Points:

  • Lacrosse skills include physical agility, the ability to catch lacrosse balls, endurance, and shooting accuracy.
  • Mastery of lacrosse fundamental skills can take time and practice, but with consistent effort, anyone can become great at the sport.
  • Other vital aspects of lacrosse skill development are discipline and dedication. With these characteristics, players can refine their skills to reach their peak performance level.

8 skills lacrosse players needs to master

1. Cradling

Cradling is an integral part and skill in the game of lacrosse. It involves controlling the lacrosse ball with your lacrosse stick while on the move, which is important for both offensive end and defensive players.

Cradling helps players maintain possession of the lacrosse ball, which is critical to success in lacrosse. It also lets players quickly transition from offense to defense and make quick passes or shots on goal.

Cradling is an essential skill for any player looking to improve their game in lacrosse.

With proper technique and practice, cradling can help you maintain possession of the ball while moving, allowing you to make quick and accurate passes or shots on the goal when needed.

2. Throwing

lacrosse skills and drills

Throwing is an essential skill in lacrosse and involves a player propelling the ball from their lacrosse stick to another player on their team. It is important for advancing the ball down the field and scoring goals, as well as for quick passes across the field.

Throwing also requires excellent accuracy and precision, as the throw must reach its destination accurately to succeed. Moreover, it is essential to have a good feel for how much power should be used when throwing so that it reaches its destination without going too far. Without this skill, teams would not be able to get up and down the field quickly or accurately enough to score goals!

3. Running

Running is an extremely important skill in the game of lacrosse, as it allows players to move around the field quickly and efficiently. In addition, players need to build up endurance to keep up with the constant activity of the game.

Lacrosse is a very physical sport, while running provides an excellent opportunity to develop agility and coordination on the field, especially when it comes to dodging opponents and evading checks.

Without proper running technique and conditioning, players may struggle to keep up with their team or take advantage of opportunities to score goals. Therefore, running is a significant factor in lacrosse that can help make the difference between winning and losing.

4. Scooping ground balls

Scooping ground balls is picking up loose balls when the ball hits the ground with a lacrosse stick head. It's one of the most basic and essential skills needed to play lacrosse, as it enables players to retrieve possession of the loose ball and ground ball in a game quickly and efficiently.

A helpful tip would be to keep the stick low in the dominant hand and have a fast reaction speed when it comes to ground balls.

Scooping also requires strong hand-eye coordination and balance and an understanding of how much force is needed when engaging with the ground ball. Without this skill, teams would struggle to gain possession of the ground balls during games, making it difficult to score goals or make successful passes.

5. Catching

Catching is an essential skill in lacrosse and involves a player receiving an incoming pass and securing possession of the ball inside their stick head. It is decisive for completing passes and confidently controlling the ball's path in a game situation.

Catching also requires excellent coordination, as the catch must be made quickly and accurately to succeed.

Moreover, it is imperative to have a good feel for how much power should be used when catching so that it does not end up bouncing away from one's stick head. Without this skill, teams would struggle to receive passes, making it difficult to move the ball quickly down the field or score goals!

6. Checking

Checking is a defensive technique in lacrosse and involves a player using their stick to make contact with their opponent's stick to gain possession of the ball.

This skill requires good knowledge of the game rules and regulations and the ability to know when is an appropriate time to check. It also takes a lot of strength to check successfully and win the ball from an opposing player while running or holding it.

Checking is essential for controlling the flow of the game and preventing your opposition from taking advantage of any errors that you or your team might have made. Without this skill, teams would struggle to defend or put pressure on their opponents, making it difficult for them to stop scoring attempts or take back control of the ball.

7. Dodging

Dodging is an offensive skill in lacrosse and involves a player attempting to beat their defender by quickly changing direction with their body or stick handle. It requires great speed, agility, coordination, and the ability to anticipate defensive movements and react accordingly.

This fundamental skill is essential for attacking players, as it allows them to create space between themselves and the defender and thus increase the chances of making a successful goal attempt. Furthermore, it is a key component for team plays, such as passing motion or creating openings for the opposing team and other lacrosse players. Teams would struggle to attack or break down opposing defenses without this skill, severely limiting their scoring opportunities!

8. Passing

how to improve lacrosse skills

Passing is one of the most fundamental skills in lacrosse and involves a player throwing or hitting the ball at another teammate. This skill requires good accuracy and timing, as well as the ability to read the game and assess when it is a suitable time for a pass. It also takes strength and precision, as passes must be delivered with speed and accuracy to succeed.

Lacrosse passing is crucial for creating chances for scoring, as it allows young players to quickly move the ball upfield without relying on dribbling or running with it.

Furthermore, passing helps teams maintain possession of the ball and leads to more fluid transitions between offensive and defensive players on the lacrosse field. Without this skill, teams would struggle to team-play effectively and create scoring opportunities!

Other fundamental skills of a good lacrosse player

1. Footwork

Footwork is an essential skill for lacrosse players, allowing them to move around the field quickly and accurately.

Proper footwork positioning helps to ensure that players have both the agility and power needed to outmaneuver their opponents and take advantage of scoring opportunities.

Additionally, good footwork allows players to be more agile when dodging checks or making cuts.

2. Communication with teammates

Communication between teammates is a crucial component of any successful lacrosse team. By keeping in constant communication, players can ensure that everyone on the field has clear instructions and an understanding of what needs to be done.

Communication between players also allows for quick decision-making, which can help build trust and collaboration between teammates.

Furthermore, communicating with other players helps build trust and confidence that can lead to more effective play on the field.

3. Agility

Agility is a key component of lacrosse, as it helps players to quickly move around the field and react to ever-changing game situations. For example, good agility allows players to transition from defense to offense quickly and vice versa, which can be vital in setting up scoring opportunities or defending against attacking plays.

4. Discipline & dedication

Strict discipline ensures that players focus on the task at hand and dedicate themselves to making the most out of their practices.

Dedicating time to understanding the game's intricacies can help players gain an edge over the competition and make them smarter, faster players.

Additionally, by dedicating themselves to improving their skills, players can stay ahead of the curve and become more proficient in different lacrosse areas.


What are the basic skills of lacrosse?

Basic game skills include catching, throwing, cradling and scooping, passing, shooting, and dodging. The fundamentals of the game also involve shooting accurately and dodging opponents' sticks to create space on the field.

Other important skills are playing defense effectively by using proper body positioning, footwork, maintaining stick check, and communication with teammates.

lacrosse basic skills

What is the most important thing in lacrosse?

The most important thing in lacrosse is teamwork.

Cooperation between teammates is essential to the game, as it requires both offensive and defensive players to work together to control possession of the ball and score goals.

Good communication and understanding of each other's roles are essential for a team to win games.

How can I improve my lacrosse skills?

To improve your lacrosse skills, practice is key! Implement drills that focus on the fundamentals of the game, such as hand-eye coordination and footwork.

Increase your physical strength and agility with conditioning exercises focusing on agility and balance.

Final Words

Lacrosse requires various skills, from physical agility and endurance to pinpoint accuracy in shooting the ball.

It is a challenging yet highly rewarding sport that rewards players who take the time to perfect their lacrosse skills.

Learning how to play lacrosse effectively can be difficult at first, but with practice comes mastery and a sense of satisfaction.

With discipline and dedication, anyone can become a good lacrosse player.

Freddy Woods

Freddy is the heart and soul of Lacrosse Runner. As a former athlete, Freddy is very passionate about Lacrosse. He keeps up with the sport's changes and innovations and often tests the new equipment released by the leading manufacturers. Read more here