By Joe Keegan | 2/29/12 3:00 PM
Lacrosse season is upon us, and whether you are picking up a stick for the first time or trying to make your high school varsity team, Cannons midfielder Mike Stone has some valuable advice.
“Passing and catching are crucial to becoming a competent lacrosse player. Effective passing, especially with longer passes, can be very difficult,” says Stone. “Teams that do it well are usually the most successful as they can limit turnovers, make the defense move, and get the ball to open players.”
Proper technique is vital to a young player’s development. When passing, feet and shoulder should be sideways. As Coach Duffy says, arms should be up and away from the body. “Step and point your toe at the target and follow through with your hands,” says Stone. It is important to follow through your passes, while pointing the head of the stick at the target.
When catching, players should slide their top hand up the stick. Having a hand near the head of the stick gives a player maximum control while catching – almost like wearing a baseball glove. Raise your stick head slightly in front of the body, giving your teammate a target. Stone advises to “look the ball into the stick and give with the ball to bring it next to your head.”
According to Stone, wall ball is the most effective drill in developing these skills. Playing catch with a partner can also help. “Start close,” says Stone, “and get farther away as you improve.” Skilled players should also practice passing and catching on-the-run. For those who want to develop soft hands, try playing catch with water balloons, or even eggs (à la Mighty Ducks).
What are you waiting for? Your season starts soon – grab your lacrosse stick, and start passing and catching! More advice from your Boston Cannons is on the way, so stay tuned.