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Don’t have access to a lacrosse field this summer? Well don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Wall ball workouts provide a number of ways to improve your lacrosse skills, from catching and throwing, to playing on the move, to developing your wrists, and to making you a more explosive player overall.
The great thing is that you can find a wall just about anywhere, whether its at the gym or school. So find a wall, grab a handful of lacrosse balls, and bring your gloves along with a partner. Remember to go into your wall ball workouts with a purpose. As you will quickly discover, the benefits are tremendous.
One Cradle: 10 Right, 10 Left
Sometimes players will use their arms to throw the ball or they might hold their stick too tight. Focus on your wrists. You want explosive hands to be a good player.
Look to maintain a good base, keep your hands up at your chin, and your feet should be shoulder width apart. Your bottom hand should be a little higher than your top hand. Next, get a little cradle going and get comfortable with the stick in your hands. This really trains the wrists to be explosive.
Quick Sticks: 10 Right, 10 Left
There is no cradle here. This drill is similar to pepper, but without the cradle. Get a good base, stand five yards from the wall and look to establish a decent pace off the wall.
Focus on that triple threat position with your hands up by your chin and maintain a staggered stance. Keep that opposite foot forward and try to snap that ball off the wall. Use soft hands but don’t go reaching for the ball. The ball should be in and out of your stick quickly.
One Hand, One Cradle
This really helps to develop your feeding/passing and shooting. It’s also a great way to develop a stronger stick. For this one, take the bottom hand off your stick. Snap your wrist with each throw. Catch the ball deep and use soft hands in and out.
Catch and Switch: 10 Right, 10 Left
This drill is similar to a crossover in basketball and is ideal for working on exchanges typically seen during a game. You need to be comfortable moving the stick from hand to hand. Your feet are always working underneath. They are not waiting for the ball. Remember the progression “Ear, Chin, Ear.” This will help you maintain proper form throughout the drill. Also, don’t abandon those fundamentals for speed. If your fundamentals suffer a bit, just slow things down.
Grounders: 5 Right, 5 Left
With this one, play the ball off the bounce. Get the ball off the ground, right to your ear and snap it out of your stick quickly.
Here, you will be catching the ball across your body. This is also an effective drill for defenders and works on game-like situations. Basically, you’re going to work on a cross-body shovel. Catch the ball, give a face dodge, and then shovel it away.
Cross-Hand Catch and Throw
This is an ideal exercise for those moments when you have to catch the ball on your opposite side and then have to throw it from that side, too.
Backhand: 5 Right, 5 Left
This drill is a little more advanced, but it involves taking a normal pass, making a half cradle and then throwing the ball over your shoulder. Take your time with this one to make sure you maintain proper form and get the ball in and out of your stick cleanly.
Once you’ve practiced the wall ball drills for a while, it’s then time to proceed with the wall ball test. Here, we will incorporate the following techniques: One Cradle, Quick Sticks, One Hand-One Cradle, Catch and Switch, and Shovels.
The wall ball test will make your workouts more competitive and also allows you to shoot for goals every time. Eventually, look to do 110 reps under two minutes. Grab a partner to feed you balls as well. Then, start five yards from the wall. Once you get comfortable, take a stopwatch and time yourself and look to improve your time on each occasion.
Watch the video below of a few Ohio State lacrosse players going through their wall ball test:
The entire wall ball workout can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Explosive Skills & Drills for Offensive Lacrosse” featuring Nick Myers. To check out additional lacrosse videos, visit our lacrosse catalog by clicking here.