Women's lacrosse players need immense skill to catch, throw and cradle the ball while moving at full speed. A wall ball program can build your confidence for when you need to thread the needle to make a game-winning feed. It can also develop both your left and right hand skills so your scouting report will read: "Can go either way. She's a handful to defend. Bring your 'A game' defense."
Skill transfer is a term used to describe the impact that the practice of one skill has on another. There are three types of transfer: positive, negative and neutral. Positive transfer occurs by rehearsing the exact skills used to perform a task. Motor learning experts agree that it is impossible to reproduce the neuromuscular pattern used to perform a skill unless that specific skill is repeatedly performed. Negative skill transfer occurs when you learn a skill, but it actually harms your game. For instance, although racquetball and tennis appear similar, the skill sets are different. A skill you learn for tennis may make your racquetball game worse.
Neutral transfer describes a skill or activity that neither helps not hurts the development of another skill. You periodically hear of an athlete touting the positive impact of an activity on her performance. The activities might include karate, judo, ballet, aerobics, juggling or jumping rope. We have all heard "jump rope to improve foot speed." Jumping rope will improve your jump rope skills. But since you don't jump rope while playing women's lacrosse, it will not transfer to the sport. (But try one that does!)
How do you develop the skills you need? The answer is easy. Improve your skills by practicing those skills—a.k.a. positive transfer. Whenever possible, practice them under game conditions. Do not attempt to mimic or imitate a skill in the weight room. It cannot be done.
The following women's lacrosse wall ball drills can be performed as a warm-up before strength training, after a conditioning session as a finisher, or as a team competition (tracking who hits the target and makes successful throws and catches). Focus on a location on a wall and try to hit that spot consistently with the ball.
This workout is designed to improve your hand-eye coordination as well as your stick skills. Concentrate on good mechanics. To enhance your game, complete at least five drills three times a week. Perform the drills for 15-20 minutes each session.
Check out Coach Taylor's SMARTER Team Training podcast below.