One-Man Shooting Drills
Too often, players and coaches assume that getting shots on net will ultimately mean goals. For us at CoachUp, it's hard to disagree with that voice, but we still think they're missing a very important word. That word, of course, is quality. Think about it: shooting from bad angles, from long distances, or absolute miracle hucks aren't quality opportunities, so why would they win you a game? Simply put, quality shots on net wins lacrosse games. But how do you get take quality shots? Well, CoachUp has put together a drill guide together that will have you shooting harder, quicker, and with more confidence in no time!
It may sound like a basketball term, but working on your shooting form in lacrosse is extremely important. Stand about a yard behind the goal and shoot into the back of the net. Accentuate your shooting motion on each rep -- get your hands up and back, twist your torso to create as much torque as possible, and snap your wrists as you follow through with the shot, and most importantly shoot over the top. Make sure to follow through completely on each shot; your stick should end upside down on the opposite side of your body. You’re not working on accuracy or velocity in this drill, this exercise is simply meant to work on the form and consistency of your shot. Try to create as much torque as possible and snap your wrists over the top with each rep as well. This is a great drill to do to begin your shooting routine and after a dynamic warm-up. Perform 20 reps from the right and left each.
Catch + release shooting
Stand 10-12 yards in front of the goal, bounce a ball slightly behind you, and catch it as you are entering your shooting motion. Make sure to bounce the ball behind you so that you can catch it with your hands already back, wrists cocked, and ready to shoot. When you catch the ball, take a step, plant your foot, and release your shot as quickly as possible with a swift snap of the wrists. The entire action should be one, fluid motion. Catch, step, shoot.
This drill works on releasing a shot as quickly as you can off a pass, thus the simulation from the bounce and catch. While focusing on your catch and release time, don’t sacrifice your form. Remember to step towards your target, get your hands up, and follow through. Whip through with your elbows to sling the ball with maximum velocity. It's important to try and execute this drill with proper form, don't cut corners! You can perform this drill from any distance and angle to the goal, but make sure to get reps with both hands.
Put a targets in the bottom corners -- they could be cups, bottles, or pads, it doesn't matter, so long as you can't break it. Start twenty yards straight ahead of the goal, then run at full speed towards the goal. At fifteen yards, split dodge to either side, continue running. At 10-12 yards, release your shot on the run -- you should be aiming to hit the cups in the bottom corners. Split to the opposite side on the next rep. Don’t stop the drill until you have hit the cups ten times with each hand! Push yourself through fatigue and sloppiness -- the effort you put in now will reflective your skills later on.
(Related: Read about playing the long stick midfielder position here.)
Every time you shoot, you should aim to take at least 100 shots. Grab a bucket of balls and find a goal to shoot on whenever you get the itch. Dedication, sacrifice, and effort will make you a better shooter. If you can get a friend to play goalie and hop in a net for a shooting session, you'll both benefit even more. Being able to let off solid shots at will during a game is fun, so master and utilize this skill early on! Becoming the best shooter on your team is a personal choice and with practice, it can become a reality -- there's nothing stopping you but yourself.
On the other hand, if you're looking for a little more of a hands-on approach with shooting, consider booking one of CoachUp's private trainers to help you out. Our incredible team will have you firing from all cylinders at ease and with confidence. At the end of the day, it boils down to how badly you want to improve. If you're got that burning desire to win, get out there and shot or find the right CoachUp trainer for you! What are you waiting for?