The majority of shots that players take in a game are on the move in some way or form. Therefore, it’s important for players to become comfortable and proficient with shooting on the run from a number of different positions on the field.
With Johns Hopkins University Offensive Coordinator Bobby Benson as your guide, you’ll learn about different techniques for shooting on the run. Coach Benson first breaks down each drill before having his team run through multiple reps at full speed.
Shooting on the Run: From Up Top
First, no matter where you are a player on the field, you must always move your hips toward the goal. This is how you generate the most power and accuracy. When it comes to practicing it, set up cones down the middle of the field (about 5 total, with the second cone being about 10 yards away and slightly to the right or left) starting at the midfield line.
Players should initially make a dodge at the initial cone. At the next cone, concentrate on turning your hips and going to the pipe. The last two cones are set about five yards beyond the third cone, about 3 yards apart from each other, and 12 yards away from the cage. Run between the two cones so you make your move toward the goal and not running away from it.
Remember, your shot should not be much different than other shots: Keep your arms back, keep creating tension, and keep swinging through.
Note: Coach Benson likes to have players practice spinning around as they shoot so they are facing the other direction. This helps with follow-through and swinging that opposite hip into each shot.
Wing Dodges and Behind the Cage
The next dodge is from the high wing. After making an initial move, players should split down the side in this case, turn their hips to the pipe as they shoot, and finish between the two cones. Concentrate on getting those hips toward the goal as you shoot.
Now start from the mid or low wing. Too often when guys dodge from the wing, they end up drifting away from the cage. We want to make sure we are going towards the goal with these shots.
Finally, we are coming around from behind the goal. The biggest mistake guys make when dodging from behind or when shooting around the cage is that they drift and don’t turn the corner. The first cone is placed where we want to make our move, the second is at the goal line, and then split the last two cones when coming around the edge. When you get to the goal line, it’s key to turn those hips and make a beeline for the front of the cage. Your back should be facing the opposite side of the field when done. Swing the right hip into the shot and bring the back around.
Pass Across Dodge Opposite Drill
This drill is perfect for practicing dodging on the run. It forces you to shoot the ball out of your split dodge. Players will catch the ball inside the box and won’t have a ton of time to shoot the ball at 10-12 yards. Therefore, focus on staying inside the hash marks and moving north-south. That means we are going to the goal. Work on spinning around with each shot and getting your hips into it.
You can also do the same drill from behind the goal. Start with a pass across, split the top side hard, and work on turning the corner and finishing in front of the cage. If you do this drill correctly, you should finish in front of the cage and move right into the opposite line.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “35 Championship Shooting Drills for Lacrosse” with Bobby Benson. To check out more shooting-oriented videos, head over to our lacrosse library.