Follow along as Ohio State head coach Nick Myers breaks down form shooting with you. Myers covers the finer points when it comes to shooting and how players can use deception to get the most out of each shooting opportunity. See how you can implement these key tips with your squad this season so they can improve their shooting skills and overall offensive effectiveness.
Form Shooting: An Overview
Let’s start with the core fundamental pieces when it comes to shooting. You can make an analogy to golf here. In golf, you have the tendency to overswing. When you do, you sacrifice your fundamentals and form for power. Well, in lacrosse, you can compare this to a shot using only the arms. When this happens, you won’t be able to progress (especially with accuracy and power).
Continuing with the analogy, a lot of times in lacrosse, we aren’t using the right kind of club. For instance, there are different types of shots like in tight to the cage, off ball, time and space, and shots on the run. You have a number of shots in your bag, and you need to be effective at all of them.
First, you want to have good balance. By putting a piece of cheater tape on the stick, it will allow a player to have a point of reference for their hands. Coach Myers puts his stick right on his hips, gets a good base and balance, and puts his stick right to his chin. He will then rotate his chin to his shoulder. You want good space between you and your stick. And then you just let your body naturally rotate with you. This is what we call the catch and load phase.
Two Primary Phases of Shooting
1) Catch & Load — This is where you simply have a good stance, receive the ball deep, naturally coil the body, load the hips, and keep your weight on your back foot.
A great drill to practice this is to work with a partner, have light feet, and work on receiving the ball right into your catch and load position. Every rep I take, I am bringing it back and loading, catching it deep as the ball comes in, my feet are moving as the ball is in flight, I’m rotating my shoulders, my hands are out and up, my chin is on my shoulder, and I am ready to shoot the ball. You can’t be flat footed as you don’t want to drag the stick down. It makes the shot longer and creates room for error.
2) Follow-through — Start with your elbow, hip, and front foot. These three areas will be connected. You should rip with your elbow, which will open up the hips. Then turn your front foot and open your stance. This will really generate some power through the core of your body. Don’t allow your hands to come into your body.
Start with a ten-yard time and space shot. We call this our “Driver Shot.” We generate the most power out of this one. Our feet are set, we are catching and loading, and we are really trying to follow through to the goalie with as much power as we can get. Don’t overshoot. The key is to get the ball out and up quickly.
Shooting Progression: Catch and Load, Open Stance, Rip Elbow, and Follow Through.
In the slow motion clip, notice that the head of the stick is behind his body. This is hiding the stick from the goalie and forcing the player to coil his body and really get out and over the top.
With Soft Toss, we are working on the following: Stepping in and following through right at the target, not shooting for accuracy but for power, working on form, catching the ball soft, rotating the body, and delivering an explosive followthrough. Go righty and then lefty. It’s just a partner pass and shot. If you can get 25-30 reps before practice each day, you’ll really improve your technique and overall shooting.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Explosive Skills & Drills for Offensive Lacrosse” featuring Nick Myers. Check out more shooting videos by visiting our extensive lacrosse library.