7 Tips for How to Throw a Lacrosse Ball

One of the most important aspects of the lacrosse sport is throwing. Being a lacrosse player, you simply can’t be good at the sport until you are not good at throwing. So before everything else, it is important to understand the basics of throwing a lacrosse ball well and master them.

A good throw is a fine coordination between your hands, arms and feet as well as your overall posture and stance. Here are top tips for how to throw a lacrosse ball while keeping in view all of these factors.

How To Throw A Lacrosse Ball

#1 - Understand the Position of Both Hands

When a lacrosse stick is used to throw a lacrosse ball, a player uses both hands. One hand grips the lacrosse stick halfway through its length and the other hand supports the stick by gripping it at the bottom.

If you are right-handed, your dominant right hand should grip the stick halfway and the left hand should grip at the bottom. If you are left-handed, the position should be reversed. The hand gripping the stick at the bottom is called the ‘pull hand’ since it acts as a pulling lever when throwing the ball.

The hand gripping the stick towards the top is called the ‘push hand’ since this hand delivers the actual force to throw the ball.

#2 - Learn to Use Both Hands

Most lacrosse players are able to throw using their dominant as well as non-dominant hands. This gives them the great advantage of being able to switch from one hand to another whenever they need, often putting their opponent at the defensive.

If you want to master the art of throwing well, you should practice with both hands and ideally be able to throw with both hands. This may take a while and initially, you may not be fast enough or accurate enough with your non-dominant hand.

But with practice, you will be able to master it and gain an incredibly valuable skill for the sport.

#3 - Be in the Right Position

It is very important that when throwing the lacrosse ball, you are in the right position with regard to the receiver. You should never directly face your team mate when making a pass to him. Instead, stand with your feet and chest facing aside from him so that you will find yourself at a 90-degree angle to the receiver.

This way, when you throw the ball, you will be able to target more accurately and your team mate will find it easier to catch the ball.

#4 - Mind the Footwork

Just as your hands and arms should be rightly positioned and deliver the throw right, you feet also have an equally important role to play during a throw. When you are able to make a throw, put forth your left foot so that it slightly points towards the receiver.

This puts you in a stance where you are able to stabilize yourself and channel most of your force into the throw. Left-handed throwers will put forward their right foot to give them the right stance.

#5 - The Throwing Motion

Now that you are holding the lacrosse stick correctly, standing in the right position and your feet ready to get in a good posture, it is time to throw the lacrosse ball. To do so, bring both hands holding the lacrosse stick to your chest level.

Now, pull the stick back at your dominant-hand side, keep the stick parallel and your elbows slightly bent. At the right moment, push the lacrosse stick using your dominant hand, bringing it over the top of your shoulder and right in front of you. The non-dominant hand should continue to grip the bottom of the stick and keep it stable throughout the throwing motion.

With this throwing motion, you front foot should also move a step forth and by the time the stick has traveled over your shoulder and is perpendicular to you, the front step should hit the ground.

#6 - Don’t Forget the Follow-through

Once you have completed the throwing motion stated above, the next step is the follow-through. The follow-through involves moving your stick in the direction of the throw even after the ball has been released.

This will significantly improve the accuracy of your throw and at the same time, make sure that the receiver is fully aware that he or she is to receive the pass.

#7 - Exercise to Add Speed and Strength to Throwing

As a beginner, you have to grasp the basics of throwing. Once you are able to throw, you will then face the task of adding speed to your throws in order to make them more effective. This can be done by working out not just your arms but the entire body.

That’s because the throwing motion involves the core strength of your body and only by strengthening the entire body can you add force to the throw.

6 Tips for How to Soften Lacrosse Mesh

A lacrosse pocket typically comes with a hard mesh which requires breaking in before you can use it in an actual game. If the mesh is not property broken in, it will remain stiff and you won’t be able to catch the ball effectively or to cradle it well following the catch.

There are many ways to soften lacrosse mesh. Some of them are more effective and useful than others. Here are some top tips for how to soften lacrosse mesh.

how soften lacrosse mesh runner

#1 - Understand the Pocket Type

Lacrosse pockets come constructed in a variety of materials. Typically, these include woven leather, nylon and mesh. The problem with woven leather is that although it makes for a quality pocket, it requires a lot of adjustments on the part of the player.

Nylon pockets are easier to break in but require extensive care. Mesh pockets offer excellent strength and durability and require little maintenance but they require a serious effort to break in. So once you have identified your lacrosse pocket as a mesh pocket, it is time to understand how to soften it to make a good pocket.

#2 - Go With the Classic Method

The classic method of softening lacrosse mesh is to take a lacrosse ball and press it into the mesh. This is a slow process and you need to keep doing it intermittently over many days before the mesh finally softens enough. The right depth of the mesh is typically when the lacrosse ball can easily sit between the top and lower edge of the sidewall when inside the pocket.

However, it also depends on your personal preferences and style. A practical way to determine the right amount of mesh softening is to practice catching the lacrosse ball with the softened mesh. If you are able to catch and retain the ball well, the mesh has softened enough and is good to go.

#3 - Practice With the Stiff Mesh

Another classic way of breaking in lacrosse mesh is to actually practice catching with it. This may take you even longer to soften the mesh but this way, the mesh will soften and the pocket will take a shape that is more natural and more attuned to your catching style.

You can do this on your own by hitting a lacrosse ball against the wall and then catching it with your stick. Initially, the mesh will be stiff and the ball will experience serious rebound. But gradually, it will soften perfectly.

#4 - Use a Pocket Pounder

If you’re not into the method mentioned above, there is a more convenient and quick way to soften lacrosse mesh. This requires a small tool called a pocket pounder. A pocket pounder is typically a mallet-shaped tool with a lacrosse head.

You can use it to pound the mesh on both sides until it softens it. To speed up things even further, you can use a bit of warm water. Pour the water on the threads while you pound it with the pocket pounder and you will be able to soften the mesh sooner.

#5 - Using a Fabric Softener

A number of quality fabric softeners are available which allow you to soften lacrosse mesh in virtually no time. However, it is important to use the fabric softener correctly. In order to do so, you will need a bucket half filled with hot water, a cup-full of fabric softener and your lacrosse stick.

Place the lacrosse stick in the bucket so that the mesh is fully covered in hot water. Now add the cup filled with fabric softener to the water and let the mesh rest in the solution for nearly half hour. Then take out the mesh and rinse it with clean water. By this time, the mesh will be soft enough so that you can easily turn it into a pocket of your preferred size.

#6 - Take the Unconventional Route

The standard way to soften lacrosse mesh is, as stated in the classic methods above, simply to practice it and pound it with an actual lacrosse ball. That should soften the hardest mesh given the right time. However, in some cases, such a method can take a very long time.

And then there are the unconventional methods. The fabric softener mentioned above is one such method. A number of other methods are used by players to soften lacrosse mesh. This includes using untraditional fluids such as hair conditioners to soften up the mesh threads, working the interior of the pocket with the barrel end of a strong baseball bat or use crazy solutions such as a dip in paint thinner.

So basically, it is quite possible for you to come up with your own unconventional solution to soften lacrosse mesh. However, it is worth nothing that some methods are safer than others. Using paint thinner, for instance, is not advisable since it is somewhat dangerous and the results can be unexpected.

So experiment with different softening materials while staying on the same side. And at the same time, remember that sometimes the fastest softening method is not the best. So be ready to patiently wait for the mesh to soften, no matter what method you use.

8 Tips for How to Play Lacrosse for Beginners

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.

how play lacrosse beginners

#1 - 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.

#2 - 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.

#3 - 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.

#4 - 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.

#5 - 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.

#6 - 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.

#7 - 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.

#8 - 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.

7 Tips for How to Pinch a Lacrosse Head

Most lacrosse heads come with a wide face by default. A wide face is a great help in catching the lacrosse ball but it is not so good for cradling the ball or holding it when you are moving. With a wide face, there is a greater risk that you will drop the ball while moving. On the other hand, a narrow face ensures that you are able to retain the ball more effectively.

Pinching a lacrosse head refers to a modification whereby you modify the openness of a lacrosse head. By pinching the head, you can make it as narrow as you want, modifying the lacrosse head more accurately to your own style.

There are many ways to pinch a lacrosse head. Following are some quality tips for how to pinch a lacrosse head successfully.

How To Pinch A Lacrosse Head

#1 - Get the Required Materials

If you are serious about pinching your lacrosse head, it is better to gather up the required materials before you start the process. You will need a few simple, household items to complete the process, so getting them shouldn’t be a problem.

In general, you will need your lacrosse mesh and pocket, a lacrosse ball, a pot filled with water, access to a stove, access to a freezer and a piece of string. Once you have these materials, proceed with the pinching process.

#2 - Find the Desired Degree of Pinching

Each player has a unique style and so, each player needs a lacrosse head adapted to that style. For instance, if you are able to cradle well even with an open face, you don’t need to pinch the lacrosse head too much because that may impact your catching.

On the other hand, if you lose ball quickly in an open-face head, you need to pinch it well in order to improve your cradling. A good way to find the right amount of pinching is to place a lacrosse ball inside the head.

Next, squeeze the walls and make the lacrosse head look like you want it. Make sure you get it right because once you have determined the amount of pinching, the lacrosse head will be fixed in that shape.

#3 - String the Hand-pinched Head

The hand-pinched head will lose the modification and quickly return to its original shape as soon as you release it. So it is time to keep it in that place for a while.

Use a string to tightly tie the walls together and keep the lacrosse head pinched in the desired shape. While doing so, it is advisable that you keep the lacrosse ball inside the head. This way, you will be sure that you aren’t keeping it too tight or too loose.

#4 - Retain the Pinched Head With Boiling Water

The string will hold the head pinched in a position but it will not permanently shape the head. To do that, you will need a pot of boiling water. The pot should be large enough so that the lacrosse head can easily go into it. Once you have brought the water to a boil, put the string-pinched head into the water.

Let it sit there for 3 to 5 minutes. The heat will soften the mesh and then reshape it into the pinched shape under the pressure of the string.

#5 - Put the Head Into the Freezer

The boiling water softens up and reshapes the lacrosse head. To complete the pinching process, take the lacrosse head out of the boiling water and immediately put it into the freezer.

This is very important because although the boiling water reshapes the head, the plastic is still soft and can alter its shape again. When you put the pinched head into the freezer, the low temperature cools down the plastic and permanently fix it into the new pinched shape.

Let the lacrosse head stay in the freezer for 10 to 15 hours.

#6 - Don’t Forget Standard Lacrosse Guidelines

A standard lacrosse head is required to follow a certain set of guidelines. These include limits on the narrowness of a lacrosse head. So be sure to read up on these guidelines and keep them in mind while pinching the lacrosse head to your desired shape.

As a general rule, if the lacrosse head is so narrow that the ball does not fall out when turning at a 45 degree angle, then it is illegal.

#7 - Test Your Modified Lacrosse Head

Now that you have successfully pinched the lacrosse head, it is time to test it. Specifically, it is time to see if the pinched head improves your cradling or not. 

Of course, it will take you a while to adjust to the modified head, so practice for some time and don’t rush to conclusions. In most cases, you will be able to improve your cradling significantly after spending some time practicing with the pinched lacrosse head.