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How To Handle your Defense Lacrosse Stick like a Pro

How To Handle your Defense Lacrosse Stick like a Pro

For beginners, a six-foot defense lacrosse stick can be challenging to balance when catching or throwing. But, if you practice a few simple drills, you can easily learn to master the long pole.

Defense Lacrosse Stick Drills for Beginners

It’s normal for a defense stick to feel very different in your hands the first time you pick it up. But, a long pole still functions in the same way as a short stick. Rather than reinventing the wheel, new defenders will benefit from learning to redevelop their core lacrosse skills.


  • The first step is to grab a ball and start cradling with your D-pole.
  • Once you’ve got the hang of it, try running down the field while cradling with both hands.
  • If you have a partner, you can practice switching hands at their call.

For more advanced practice, add light defensive pressure to the drill.


If you are making the switch to becoming a lacrosse defender, you will suddenly realize you must learn to pass all over again with a stick that may be as tall as you are.

  • You can start just by getting a feel for your new defense lacrosse stick at the wall. Throwing the ball to yourself against a wall is an easy way to teach yourself basic mechanics.
  • Next, try calling a friend for live practice. Start with a basic stationary game of catch. Switch off between left hand and right hand passes.
  • Once you’ve warmed up, the two of you can step up your game by passing back and forth while running up and down the field.

If you have another friend, the triangle drill is an additional way to increase repetitions with your defense lacrosse stick. The three of you can improve your skills by throwing the ball around the horn from right to left and back again.


As you practice passing, you will in turn receive a lot of practice catching. However, there are other ways to improve catching skills with your long stick.

  • With a partner, you can practice throwing each other misguided passes.
  • Each partner throws the other passes just out of their reach.

Players are forced to improvise to catch passes that are too high or too wide. This skill becomes particularly useful in games where not every pass is perfect.


Scooping groundballs with a D-pole can be slightly tricky because of its length. It’s important for beginners to understand that they should always scoop through the ball rather than rake it backwards. It’s also recommended that defenders choke up on their long pole when scooping groundballs.

If you have a friend or two available, you can create different groundball drills on your own.

  • Try rolling a lacrosse ball away from two standing players and let them chase after it.
  • Or, you can drop the ball in between the players and let them fight for possession.
Last modified: December 13, 2022