Before you can dream of scoring game-winning goals for your lacrosse team, you need to learn how to properly handle your stick.
Stick range is how you are holding your stick in relation to your body, and it is a crucial step in turning a shot on goal into a ball buried in the back of the net.
“As an offensive player, it is super important to get off all the shots you want to take,” says Kayla Treanor, a former collegiate All-American and professional all-star. “The tighter in the stick is to your body, the lower amount of shots you can get off. The farther away, the more amount of shots you can get off.”
It is key to learn to cradle the ball away from your body to help develop skilled shots like the behind-the-back or between-the-legs.
“One thing that’s helped me to work on my stick range is to work on my forearm and arm strength,” Treanor says.
Work on controlling the ball away from your body, too. Don’t keep your elbows in, but extend them out instead.
There’s also a drill you can practice to help develop these skills. Here’s what to do:
- Set up cones in an oval-like formation near a goal
- Scoop up the ball
- Hold your stick with one or two hands and carry the ball to each cone
- Keep the ball in your pocket while playing away from your body and touch each cone
- Try to get shots off to the goal as quickly as possible and remember to make sure the shots come away from your body.
Improving your stick range can help you be prepared to take on talented defenders on the field.
“When you are going against a defender who might be more athletic than you or might be faster than you,” Treanor says, “working on this skill set and working on your stick range allows you to shoot the ball around your defender as opposed to beating them with your feet.”
Now that you’ve mastered stick control and range, check out some lacrosse shooting tips and drills like 8-Meter Shooting Tips with Kayla Treanor and Lacrosse Shooting Drill with Jerome Thompson on the Thompson Brothers.