Sunday, January 25, 2009

How Can I Shoot The Lacrosse Ball Faster?

Question: hey, I've been playing lacrosse for a while now, and I always wonder how come my shot isn't as speedy as it should be. I have the right stance perfect angles when shooting, but I still can't get the ball 2 go as fast me..I would really appreciate it...thank you

My Answer: Hey there Iz. You know this is a great question. And it is extremely complex. But I'll give you a few things to think about that may help you.

1) Your core strength. You can have all the best technique, but if you are weak at the core then you aren't going to be able to transfer any power into the stick and therefore into the ball. You need to be strong from your feet to your fingertips because that is how we develop power, from the ground up. If you have any glaring weaknesses between those two points then you're not going to transfer power into the ball. I tell all my guys to fall in love with the gym. Learn to love the weightroom. Get stronger. I can take any great athlete and turn him into a lacrosse player. But I can't always take a lacrosse player and turn him or her into an athlete.

2) The pocket in your stick. This is a place where you can lose a lot of technique but it is too detailed to get into here. If you've got a crappy pocket in your stick it is really going to affect your technique and that brings us to number 3...

3) Your hands. Some guys have it and some guys don't. Your hands will develop according to the pocket you have in your stick. When I used to coach in the North East we used to joke about how our guys didn't have any hands. It's because they were using store bought sticks with really bad pockets. The guys in Maryland and Long Island all had great hands and when they shot the ball it was like a rocket.

Shooting the ball is like cracking a whip. It's the little "flick" of the end of the whip that makes it crack. That's where all the speed comes from. If there is no speed, and no whip, there is no 'crack.' And that crack is the power that we are looking for.

One little thing, make sure you've got your feet on the ground when you shoot. Some college guys will jump and shoot. It looks cool but you lose a ton of velocity on your shot. The reason being is that you need to be in contact with the ground to generate significant torque. If you aren't anchored to something you're just going to spin in space. Not cool.

Hope that helps Iz. Let me know if you need anything else.

Jonathan -

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Misc Goalie Questions

Hey Jon, It is Bobby again. I just have a couple more questions. (I asked about
the Mesh, not too long ago). So Im in this winter league and it started off
really well, but recently its been awful, It is much smaller fields, so you can
crank shots from the mid line and still get a goal on a bad goalie. I normally
don't play on turf like this but for this league I do. I was in goal off to a good
start last week. We were playing one of the top Teams Varsity with 3 middies,
2 attacks and three D. (its a 7 v 7 league) with 2 subs. The games are usually
very fast and high scoring. But it was 3-1 us at the half, and then i was in
goal, and this kid threw a crank at me and I suspected it would just bounce
up, but it didn't, it just rolled between my legs and went in. I was in disbelief.
I was so upset with my self, next play, their captain shoots it top left and i
miss completely. And for the next couple plays, they start bouncing them in
front of me (10 feet) and now their bouncing like Crazy. I really have trouble
with those outside shots. And the ones that are right in front of me. (only in
this league). I just have a question on what to do on those far outside shots
because they just bounce over my head.

Also, any tips on how i should be saving low shots (not bounce), because i
don't feel like i am getting low enough, but i cant fix it. Any tips for that.

Also, I don't feel like I am fast enough.60% on a missed shot, i beet the
attack, but a lot of the time i don't. Any tips on speed and power.

One last thing. Any tips on stepping to the ball?


My Answer:Hey there Bobby! Man I never got your first question so sorry this took so long.

This is super-easy to fix. You're just not judging those outside shots correctly. Two things:

1) You need to be more aggressive and think of yourself as a catcher in baseball and not a lacrosse goalie. You need to drop the hips. Get your head down and over the ball. And your hands waaay out in front of you. Your goal here is to snuff the ball and not try to pick it clean with your stick. Especially if the turf is a little weird which this sounds like it may be. Does that make sense? Your saves on those shots are going to be ugly so make sure you've got enough padding on you so that you feel confident blocking them with your body just in case.

2) You need more practice on those types of shots. Your next warm up just work on those types of shots. Spend all your time on them. This league doesn't matter for you as much as the real season does so get some work done and work on those shots. If you don't spend a lot of time on that surface don't worry about them too much. You're a good goalie. You'll be fine long-term so don't sweat it.

Ont the low shots...rule #1. Never ever ever say "I can't" Got it? Seriously. If you think you can't guess what? You're right. Think about how you can fix it. By your question I know you already know the answer. Drop your hips. Bend the knees. And read back to #1 above. It's the same answer.

Speed and Power? Get in the gym man. Fall in love with training. Get bigger, faster, and stronger in the gym and you will be a better goalie.

Any tips on stepping to the ball? Yes, it's overrated. Just be agressive and lead with the hands and the head. Where they go the body will follow. By getting stronger in the gym you'll be better at stepping to the ball as well.

Kick ass Bobby. Let me know if you need more help. Get your butt over to the forum too and sign up.

I can answer your questions over there as well.

Jonathan -

What Lacrosse Shaft Should I Buy?

Question: Kevin writes: "
I am going to buy a middie and another defense lacrosse shaft. Right now I am having a tad bit of trouble. I am a middie who likes to face off and when I play D I like to be a little ruff. I do not care about cost as long as I am not going crazy. What I want to know is this:
Which Lacrosse Shafts Would you recommend? I want light and strong. I know it will not be cheap.
I am looking for something stronger then the krypto and just as/or lighter. Here are just a few of the ones I was looking at.
For Midfield (most important)
Titan Pro
Sci Ti Pro
and I was eyeing the Brine Ti-22

Ti-22 by Brine

My Answer:
Kevin man you can't go wrong with Titanium. To be honest everything else is just a compromise for Titanium. I've been saying it for years. Even if you look at some of my other answers you'll see one commonality, I always recommend Titanium. You will spend more on it now, but in the long run you will save a ton of money because it won't break.

Hope that helps. Let me know if you need anything else.

Jonathan -