Lacrosse Catching: Beginner Lacrosse Basics
The 4 points outlined here describe the proper lacrosse catching mechanics aimed at helping beginning lacrosse players learn to catch properly. Without learning the basic lacrosse catching fundamentals, it becomes difficult in excel in any other part of the game. Working on the improvement of the non-dominant lacrosse catching hand is critical for those who aspire to excel in the game of Lacrosse.
1. Hand Position and Stick Grip
To consistently catch a pass successfully, a player must have the proper stick grip and hand position. The bottom hand should be placed near the end cap. The top hand should be placed near the throat of the stick. The reasons for this grip are because it allows full mobility to catch errant passes. It is to be expected that players will be receiving less than perfect passes that which need to be caught. Having hands placed in these positions will allow a player to adjust to passes inside and outside the box.
The bottom hand stick grip should firm with fingers and thumb wrapped around the shaft. The wrist should be loose and allow the flexibility to bend freely.
As for the top hand grip, the shaft of the stick should be resting along the palm of the hand just below the first set of knuckles. The fingers should be gripped loosely around the shaft and the thumb should be extended upwards along the stick for support.
Remember, keep the wrists loose and flexible.
2. Giving a Good Target
When catching a lacrosse pass, the head of the stick should be in the box position. The box is the imaginary square over the shoulder and next to the head. This is the optimal position for the head of the stick to be in. It helps give the passer a clear visual target to throw to and it also allows the receiver of the pass to catch the ball in a protected area. From this position, the receiver of the pass can more easily move into a shooting, passing or stick protecting position.
In addition, be sure to have the front face of the stick facing the target. The more surface area the ball has to enter the pocket will mean a better chance of catching the pass
Remember, give a good target.
3. Keep Your Eye on The Ball
The importance of keeping your eye on the ball cannot be overstated. It’s one of the main reasons why lacrosse players drop passes. They simply do not watch the ball as it enters the stick. Instead, they react as if they caught the ball and mentally move on to another point in the space without having control of the ball in their stick. The solution is to watch the ball as it completely absorbs into your stick before mentally moving on and focusing on the next skill.
It is recommended for beginning lacrosse players to have their whole stick in their line of sight in help facilitate looking the ball into the stick. With elbows slightly bent and arms in front of the body, players will have an easier time locating the head in relation to the receiving pass.
Remember, keep your eye on the ball.
4. Soft Touch, Letting the Ball Come to the Stick
This point is by far the toughest skill to acquire for beginning lacrosse players. It takes time and practice for one to develop this concept well. The main idea is that the player catching the pass must provide a cushion of motion whereby the head of the stick yields in the direction of the moving ball. This means that wrists should bend slightly as the ball enters the pocket. This will reduce the force of the ball hitting the mesh and help retain control.
Think of it like an egg toss. When catching an egg, one never wants to have their hands flat out. This will act like a hard surface and crack the egg. On the other hand, if a player gently moved their cupped hands with the egg, it will greatly reduces the impact force and the chances of the egg breaking since both objects are moving together.
This same concept applies to lacrosse catching. By having soft hands, you will control the ball better and catch more passes. Another way to help with this concept is to bring the head back into the box area after it is caught. This will accomplish two things. It will get your stick in the ready position to either pass, shoot or stick protect and it will help understand the idea of giving with the ball.
One more method to help with the concept of soft touch is to catch with the dominant hand in the middle of the shaft. If the dominant hand is loosely gripped around the shaft, the natural movement of the wrist should bend slightly back as one catches the ball. This should help a player become familiar with catching the term “giving back.”
Remember to have soft hands, don’t break the egg.
Points to Remember:
1. Hand Position and Grip
Keep wrists and hands flexible and not stiff
2. Give a good target
Have front of stick facing the target with the head of the stick in the box area.
3. Look the ball into the stick
Make sure the ball is securely in the pocket before moving to the next skill.
4. Have Soft Hands
Don’t attack or stab at the ball. Let the ball come to the stick.