Welcome to Drill of the Week, a series on ACTIVEkids.com that explains individual and team drills for parents and coaches to help kids improve at the sports they love.
This week's drill is Catching the Ball, a lacrosse drill brought to you by CoachUp.com.
Lacrosse is considered one of the fastest games on two feet; however, that isn't because of the running, that's thanks to the ball's hurried speed as it's pinged around the field.
Fast and accurate catching is vital for great lacrosse players for obvious reasons, but most importantly, how will your team keep possession if you can't catch the ball? When you miss and create a ground ball, you could be creating an unforced turnover and scoring opportunities for the other team.
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It might seem simple, but catching in lacrosse is more than putting the head of your stick near the incoming ball. In order to effectively retain and throw the ball, consider implementing the fundamental tips that Mike Stone, midfielder for the Boston Cannons and CoachUp coach, discusses in the video above.
To start, place your leading hand at the top of your stick and keep your hands out in front of your body as this placement improves hand-eye coordination and allows you to watch the ball go into your stick.
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Additionally, one foot should always be behind the rest of your body when you're getting ready to catch. Remember that you want to be in a position to keep moving once you catch, so don't get caught flat-footed. When the ball hits your netting, bring the stick back to your body, high and tight next to your ear.
This location helps you retain possession, protect the ball, and will enable you to pass or shoot more easily. And, finally, you'll want to keep soft hands on the stick so you can move your hands up and down the stick as quickly as possible.
Ultimately, try to think about catching as the most efficient way to receive, protect, and get into the triple-threat position during Lacrosse. Newcomers to the sport see the hard shots and big shoulder checks and forget about nailing down the fundamentals like catching. It may seem minuscule at first, but accurate and reliable catching will set the rest of your game up quite nicely moving forward.
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