In lacrosse, the offensive players must learn ways to handle the ball. They have to know the best ways to cradle, shoot, pass, catch. The offensive skills developed by a player can aid his team to a large extent.
As an offensive player in lacrosse, you will have to outshine a defensive player with ease. Your eyes have to be on the ball at all times. You have to be one step ahead of the defenders, with or without ball.
Practicing Efficient Stick Handling
Stick handling or ball handling is somewhat misleading. You don’t have to use the hands that much but handling the stick is what you have to do. Stick handling lets you manage the ball well and stay one step ahead of the opponent team players.
To become good at stick handling, there is simply no alternative to practice. Try to spend as much time possible cradling or catching the ball. This can be done at home or backyard. You can also practice with a goal-shaped target to enhance efficiency. However, keep in mind developing skills in passing, catching or cradling takes time.
To catch a pass in lacrosse, you have to be in a position facing the passer and observe the path taken up by the ball. As the ball is near your stick, you will have to position the stick in a slightly bent position. This ensures the ball gets inside the pocket but does not pop out.
Ensure you are facing the direction from where the ball is coming and move a little so that your stick can receive the ball well. This will ensure you can intercept or catch passes easily.
It is necessary that you become good at cradling the ball. This lets you assess your options for running with the ball or making passes to the teammates while not being compelled to keep looking at the ball or stick. Players good at cradling are assured of the ball remaining in the pocket of the stick. There are many styles of cradling you can use. When you are being chased by defenders it makes sense to use both hands to cradle the ball. If the stick is kept closer to your body, the defenders will find it hard to snatch the ball away from you.
Your aim is to:
- Safeguard the ball from the defenders.
- Hold onto the ball as you wait for a termite to be in a position to receive the pass.
- Be ready to make the pass.
As you get ready for catching a pass, maintain the right position matters for making the pass too. It is not ideal to face the receiver. Take a slight sideways stance so that you can keep the ball away from the defending players. It is also necessary that you establish proper eye contact with receivers before sending the passes.
Shooting is much like passing the ball. The key difference is that the target does not move. However, the defending players will try to intercept your pass. There are 4 shot styles used by the offensive players in lacrosse and you have to use whichever fits the bill at any given time. These are- backhand shot, sidearm long shot, overhand long shot and long shot made with underhand.
Moving- without and with the ball
Lacrosse is a game involving constant movements. When you have the ball, you are looking for a position using which you can find an opening. When you are not with the ball, you are running and moving with an objective to intercept or receive the passes. Most players in the file do not stay idle for long, as it is.
Moving with the ball requires you to have good analytical skills and agility. You have to be somewhat unpredictable for the defenders of the rival team. You should be able to guess from where the passes will be coming. Then you can intercept the passes.
You have to be mindful of what other offensive players are up to while keeping an eye on the defenders too. This is tricky and your concentration skills have to be very sharp. Top lacrosse players are said to have eyes at the back of their heads.
Moving without the ball may aid you in outshining the defenders. Even without the ball, you have to move faster than the defending players. Using deceptive moves and agility can work in your favour in this regard. Checking the defender should be done with care. You have to snatch the ball without breaking the game norms.
Knowing the location of the ball
Field vision is crucial for succeeding in lacrosse. The top players keep their eyes on the teammates and the opponent team players- at the same time. They are also good at predictive analysis. Developing field vision takes time, for sure. Developing agility and presence of mind will keep you ahead of others on the field.