Like athletes in every other sport, lacrosse players are constantly getting bigger, faster and stronger, leading to more bone-crushing checks by intimidating defensemen. But while you can’t prevent these hits from coming, you can reduce the damage they cause by having proper stick skills.
“The way lacrosse athletes are growing, being able to protect your stick and have great ball control is important,” says Ryan Moran, former Navy and current University of Maryland assistant coach.
Moran offers some tips to help you maintain possession while running, cradling and being defended.
1. With one hand, hold the stick where the head and shaft meet
Moran: You have the most control of the stick when you’re holding it in that position with one hand.
2. Keep your stick vertical
Moran: The shaft of the stick should be perpendicular to the ground and parallel to your body.
3. While cradling, keep the ball in the bottom of the pocket
Moran: This allows you to have good control, know where the ball is and have a sense if it’s going to come out when you get checked.
4. Hide your stick behind your body
Moran: Holding your stick behind your back with one hand and keeping the other hand in front of you makes it difficult for defensemen to see your stick.
5. Use your opposite hand to shield the head of your stick
Moran: This provides your stick a little more protection.