It isn’t easy keeping the ball in your stick while running full speed during a lacrosse match. That is what makes cradling such a crucial skill to learn in the game. Cradling is a technique used to keep the ball in the pocket of your stick. By doing so, your team can maintain possession and ultimately score. With proper form and understanding, you will be able to keep possession while fending off an opposing player.
GETTING A GRIP
To start, hold the stick just below its head in your fingers, not your fist. This will allow you to use the full range of motion as you roll in and roll out.
Hold the bottom of the stick loosely to maintain control. It is key to protect the butt end of the stick so an opposing player does not hit it as they look for a turnover.
FULL RANGE OF MOTIONS
Cradling isn’t just about using your arms or wrists — it’s about creating a fluid motion by using both together.
To get comfortable with that feeling, roll your lacrosse stick in and out. Once you get the hang of it, quicken the pace and include the elbow to generate ideal cradle effectiveness. Remember to have soft hands as you cradle because a tight grip can limit what you are able to do. By allowing the shaft of the stick to roll and move freely in your fingertips, you will remain in control.
KEEPING DEFENDERS AT BAY
Cradling will help you maintain possession and protect the ball from a defender. One way to do so is to keep the stick between your shoulders.
By mastering the skill, you will find moving across the field easier and be able to focus on more advanced techniques of the sport.