You’ve gotta score goals to win the game, right? Great shooters take atleast 200 shots every single day! We want to reinforce great habits in our players and develop them into snipers, so here are a few tips on perfecting technique and working shooting into your practices!
Power Shot/Time and Room Shot
No defenders close by – all the time in the world to wind up and get maximum power on the shot. These don’t happen as often but are great opportunities for attackers!
- Lead with opposite foot to top hand
- Step into it
- Rotate torso to generate more power
- Slide top hand down
- Hands AWAY from the body
- Elbows up
- Push with top hand, pull with bottom hand
- Drive bottom hand past same hip (left hand past left hip). Think about bringing that elbow around your body toward the ponytail
Here are two great example from Team STX!
Finesse shots are the most common type in women’s lacrosse. They happen anytime a shot is contested. There is often a lot of traffic inside the 8 so it is imperative that our attackers learn to look around the goalie and develop the ability to quickly snap the ball around the keeper, while keeping the stick protected.
- always try to have your body between defender and stick
- use the frame of the shoulders as a guide and keep the stick head inside there
- more spread out than on a Power Shot
- must get hands AWAY from your body (the video below will show you what this looks like)
- Shot is still a “push/pull” motion – top hand pushes, bottom hand pulls – there is just much less follow through than in the Power Shot
- there is no wind up for this shot as stick must stay inside shoulders, away from the defender
- never ever stop moving inside the 8!
- this shot is taken on the move
- The key to scoring on finesse shots is to put the ball where the goalie isn’t – sounds simple enough, doesn’t it?
- An exaggerated cradle, or a simple hitch (in videos below) is a great way to move the goalie before the shot
- Encourage your players to break down this skill and be comfortable faking at all levels
- The key to faking is having a LOOSE GRIP on the stick – have a look at your players’ hands – are their knuckles white? If so, work on loosening them up!
K. Anders Ericcson, a Psychogist at Florida State University, has done a ton of research on expert performance in sport, and he believes that the way an athlete practices greatly impacts their ability. Repetition is key, but how we repeat a skill always plays an important piece to how this practice will translate on the field. Ericcson advocates for Deliberate Practice – continually practicing a skill at more challenging levels. A shooter practicing deliberately might take 100 shots but instead of just standing and firing 100 sidearms, the player will be fed balls at all different levels and shoot accordingly. This player will catch the ball on off angles etc (to stimulate real game situations) and will look at the cage and finish to a target. The trick is having players practice what they will ACTUALLY do in a game once they have the basic body mechanics down.
How then, will we work deliberate practice into our next shooting drill?
Have a look at your offenses, and break down your motions or your plays. Rather than taking any random, elaborate shooting drill and doing it for the sake of getting reps, working deliberately within your offense. Take the last 2 or 3 steps of your motion or play and cone the spots out – there is your drill! As proficiency includes, you can add in other challenges – on ball defenders, crashing weakside defenders etc. Prepare them for what they will see and work on perfecting that. You should still focus on their technique, but ensure they are practicing as they will do it in the game!
Don’t forget to ensure your players are doing everything EQUALLY with both hands! If you expect Sally to finish that shot righty in a game, have her work on it every single day in practice!
What’s your favourite shooting drill?