Lacrosse Passing: Lacrosse Basics
The 4 points outlined here describe the proper lacrosse passing mechanics aimed at helping beginning lacrosse players learn to pass properly. Without learning the basic lacrosse passing fundamentals, it becomes difficult in excel in any other part of the game. Working on the improvement of the non-dominant throwing hand is critical for those who aspire to excel in the game of Lacrosse.
1. Holding the Stick
The bottom hand should be placed near the end cap of the stick. The grip should be firm, but not too tight as to affect fluid movement of the wrist. The wrist should be free to bend. The bottom hand controls the angle of trajectory. You can imagine that the bottom hand is the fulcrum of a catapult. The angle at which the bottom hand stops is the angle at which the stick will release the ball.
The top hand should be placed around the middle of stick, between 10-12 inches away from bottom hand. The top hand grip should be loose to allow fluid movement of the stick. The bottom hand controls the direction and movement of the stick, not the top hand. The stick should be resting along the palm of the top hand, with the fingers loosely around the stick and the thumb pointed up for support.
2. Lacrosse Arm Position
The top hand gripping the stick should be about 5-6 inches away from the ear. Like a quarterback cocking his arm back to pass, the top hand of a lacrosse stick should right next to the ear to allow the option for a lacrosse pass, shot or a quick face dodge.
The bottom hand gripping the stick should be parallel with the forearm of the top hand. The bottom hand and the end cap help to aim a lacrosse pass. When the bottom hand grip is parallel to the forearm top grip, it helps facilitate the follow through motion of consistent lacrosse passing mechanics.
Arms should be extended away from the body bent at the elbow at around 90 degrees.
3. Lacrosse Passing the Ball
Lacrosse passing is the combination of equal force of the bottom hand pulling the stick, and the top hand pushing the stick to release the ball. It is the same concept as the catapult we mentioned before. The bottom hand controls the angle of release and the top hand is the main force driving the lacrosse pass.
When lacrosse passing, the wrists snap to provide quick movement of the ball. As the stick is in the ready throwing position, the top hand is bending back and quickly snapping forward as the driving momentum releases the ball.
It is much easier said than done, but try this out yourself.
Practice lacrosse passing with the bottom hand only. You will notice the difficulties in gaining enough power to release the ball properly but will understand the purpose and movement of the bottom hand.
Now practice throwing with the top hand. You will notice that more leverage and power is gained, but it puts more strain on the wrist. The top hand wrist lacks the movement needed for accuracy and the delivery of crisp passes. The addition of the bottom helps control the force and accuracy of the passes.
Now combine the two movements to create the lacrosse pass.
4. Body Positioning and Weight Transfer
Once the mechanics of the pull-push throw are understood, body positioning will maximize power and accuracy of every lacrosse pass.
When lacrosse passing stand with your feet shoulder width apart, your front hip facing the target and your weight placed on the back foot.
As you pass, shift your weight from the back foot to the front foot. Simultaneously, rotate your hips, torso, and shoulders toward the target. Once your pass is completed, the head of your stick, chest, shoulders and hips should be pointed towards the target.
The shifting of your weight from front to back, together with the rotation of the hips, torso and shoulders will add power into your pass.
The same concept of throwing a baseball applies to throwing a lacrosse ball. The concept of weight transfer applies to all sports. It’s important to practice enough so that the motion of throwing is committed to memory and the player can focus on other skill improving mechanisms.
Get out to the lacrosse wall and go hit 10,000 reps.
Practice, Practice, Practice!