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Archives by Tag 'Gary Gait'

Work on Your Stick Handling with Former Lacrosse Pro, Gary Gait!

By nate.landas - Last updated: Tuesday, January 14, 2014

In this segment former professional lacrosse player, Gary Gait, demonstrates how to use the body and the free hand to protect the stick from the defender. The body should always be between the stick and the defender.

Dodging/Stick Handling

Gait also suggests using the stick to bait a defender into moving in a particular direction. Once the defender lunges for the “bait,” the ball carrier should quickly change direction to run past the defender.

The previous clip can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Becoming a Champion Lacrosse Player with Gary Gait: Stick Tricks & Dodging.” To view the latest video selections on Stick Handling, click here.

Get Stick Handling Tips from a Lacrosse Legend!

By nate.landas - Last updated: Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Learning the proper techniques of the cradle is key to maintaining control of the ball and protecting the stick. Get insight from U.S. Lacrosse National Hall of Fame member, Gary Gait! He is arguably the greatest lacrosse player ever. See what tips on stick handling he has to offer you in the clip below. 

Basic Stick Skills

Overview: Gary Gait, will show you various ways to cradle and shift the stick from side to side. He explains the two-handed and one-handed cradle techniques.

Player Movements:  Gait teaches players to hold the handle in the base of the fingers to be able to move the stick without moving your whole arm.

Drill Essentials: Allow your hand and wrist to curl for more efficient movements.

Drill Tips: Keep the cradle close to your body to protect the stick and ball.


Check out an additional clip from the Championship Productions’ DVD “Becoming a Champion Lacrosse Player with Gary Gait: Stick Tricks & Dodging”  If you’re interested in more stick handling videos, click here.

Gary Gait: Key Drills and Techniques to Grasp Basic Shooting Mechanics

By adam.warner - Last updated: Tuesday, March 6, 2012

In this week’s player development feature, learn basic shooting mechanics and key shooting drills from one of the game’s greatest players. With Gary Gait as your guide, you’ll find out how to properly isolate the hands and arms, develop release points, improve accuracy, and get important tips for generating power.

Isolating the Hands and Arms

Shooting in lacrosse is certainly more complex than just throwing the ball on net. We’ll begin with a basic shot and how it involves body mechanics.

The best shooters in lacrosse all have the ability to get shots off and put it in any place or direction they want no matter what their body does. This comes from isolation and the ability to throw the ball no matter where the body is.

To start, square up your feet towards the goal and then get the right mechanics on the hands and the arms. As for your grip on the stick, grip it at the base of your fingers and not in the palms. This allows you to get more follow through and movement on the stick. Also, slide that top hand down the stick a bit.

Now we want to get the arms in the best position so we can get the most out of them. Extend the bottom arm so you can get a long pull. Flatten the top arm so you can get a nice push. Don’t get the stick at an angle where the pull is much shorter and where the push is shorter. Instead, position your arms in a way that maximizes their potential power.


Now, let’s focus on turning the feet and changing the position of our body. We still want to practice getting good use of the hands and arms here. Now point your feet to the sideline and keep them square. Shoot the ball and come across with the stick and focus on that same quickness. Your feet should be still. All we’re doing here is shooting stationary on the goal. Get lots of reps and explode through the movement.

Finish by reversing sides. Get the stick up and get a good pull and good push.

Developing Release Points

The next step is developing release points. Release points come from how much you pull and how much you push, plus when you pull and push.

For example, if you start from the same position every time, you can push and pull from here and get the ball to stay high. You can also develop a different release point by delaying the pull and the push. As you start the motion, drag the stick a little, then pull and push. It looks the same from the starting position, but now you can release the ball low.

We can also incorporate some side-to-side action. To aim side-to-side, pull the stick across the body as you make your push-pull movement. While this makes a natural upper body turn, it also makes your stick travel on a diagonal. From this same position and with the slightest adjustment with the hands and the push/pull, it will really change where the ball releases. Now you can hit the right corner, the left corner, the mid-left, the mid-right, bottom left and bottom right.

Before, we were facing the goal, now we can adjust our body (turn it to the side) and go through the same motions and shoot it at all areas of the goal. Move the ball around the goal and keep your body in the same position. Then turn the other way (from right to left, or vice versa).


Accuracy and Power

Next, it’s about focusing on accuracy. Accuracy comes from practice. Simply get out there and practice over and over again trying to hit the same spot. You’ll develop consistency and accuracy this way.

After accuracy comes power, which derives from the body, driving through the legs, the hips and up through the body. The power then travels up through the hands, and you finish by being able to control where the shot goes using your hands and arms, how much you push and pull, and when you push and pull.

With power, line up facing the sideline and bring the stick back to generate speed with the stick. Turn your body to see over your shoulder. Drive your leg down, turn your hips through, keep your stick back, and come all the way through while twisting the body. Now we’re back into the position of how much I push and pull determines where the ball releases. So step, drive, shoot and get a really hard shot on cage.


The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Becoming a Champion Lacrosse Player with Gary Gait: Shooting Techniques and Drills.” To check out more videos featuring shooting drills and instruction, visit our lacrosse library.

Girls’ Lacrosse: Ground Ball Tips and Shuttle Drills with Gary Gait

By adam.warner - Last updated: Tuesday, November 1, 2011

In order for a player to take his or her game to the next level, it’s key that they become proficient in scooping ground balls. According to lacrosse legend and current Syracuse head women’s coach Gary Gait, the more efficient you are at picking up a ground ball, the more successful you will be as a player overall.

In this week’s skill development feature, follow along with Gait as he teaches the fundamentals of ground ball play. Then watch as the Hall of Famer leads his players through a series of shuttle drills designed to teach athletes how to play while on the move.

Technique and Form

When you go in to attack a ground ball, it’s key to bend your legs and get nice and low to get after that ball. As you go and get the ball, aim just in front of it with the front of the stick. Meanwhile, take your hand and bring it down into more of a passing or shooting position so that you can reach out for the ball.

Next, be sure to bend the knees, get the stick back, push through the ball, and push that bottom hand down as you push through. As you push your hand down, it brings the ball back up and into your protection position.

Gaining an Advantage

Most times you are going after a ground ball against an opponent, so it’s important that you focus on a few specific things. Remember, it’s not just about getting to the ball first and being able to pick it up. Your opponent may be faster and could run by you and get in front.

First, you want to think about getting in front of your opponent and giving yourself the advantage to get the ball. To do this, consider aiming somewhere in between the ball and your opponent and get your opponent behind you. This gives you the advantage to come through and scoop up the ball because your opponent can’t check you from behind. Therefore, look to step off with your inside foot before you get to the ball and use the body as a shield.

Another technique is to actually move the ball in another direction that favors you. This way, you can put yourself in a position to be in front of the opponent and scoop up the ball.


Shuttle Drills

We’ve practiced drills when standing still with a partner, but now we need to practice playing on the move. Get your stick up, call for the ball, turn and absorb the pass, catch the ball, pass it to the next player, and go behind in line. Start with the right hand before switching over to the left hand.


Switching Hands Drill

Now we are working on switching hands. As we move down the field, we will incorporate our body and some athleticsm into it. Instead of just switching hands, we are going to physically move our body, too. Catch the ball with the right hand, carry it, then plant with the right foot, drive the stick down, turn the body, step out to the left, and then make that next pass. Switching hands in this drill will help incorporate the body into dodging. Finally, switch to catching with left hand and switching to the right.


The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD Gary Gait: Coaching Girls Lacrosse – Basic Stick Skills & Drills.”  To check out more girls’ lacrosse videos in our extensive catalog, click here.

Outside Shooting Tips and Techniques with Gary Gait

By adam.warner - Last updated: Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Follow along with lacrosse legend Gary Gait as he breaks down and simulates effective outside shooting techniques. The following tips focus on developing proper range, implementing deception, using the body to generate power and maintaining proper form. See what tips you can take away from these techniques and use with your own squad this season.

Outside Shooting – Overview

Great shooters have the ability to get shots off and put the ball in any direction or place they want, no matter what their body does. But to get there, players must practice their shots over and over again while trying to hit the same spot each time. This way, you’ll be able to develop consistency and accuracy.

When it comes to generating power for a shot, your body is the driving force. To produce power, it’s key to drive through the legs, hips and up through the body and hands and finish where you can control where the shot goes. Next, we need to bring the stick back to generate speed, drive our legs down, turn the hips through and come through while twisting the body. Remember: How much you push and pull determines where the ball releases. Developing power also comes from leg drive, too.

Meanwhile, deception is also crucial to effective shooting. This comes from utilizing the body to telegraph a shot, but adjusting where the ball goes using different release points with the hands and arms. For instance, if you want to shoot high, your stick will be up high and your head will be in the middle of your body. When shooting low, your head points down and your stick is up high to begin with. This sets up for the ball to go low.

With deception, it’s all about isolating the hands and arms so that you have the ability to make the ball go the opposite way that the body sets up.

Overhand Shots

The key with outside shots (shots about 15+ yards away from the goal) is that we want to make sure we can score consistently from this distance. One of the biggest issues that players have is that they get too far from the goal when they take outside shots. At 15 yards away, you have a hard time scoring because of how much power (or, rather, lack of power) you have from there, and deception doesn’t quite allow you to score with a high frequency.

Through practice, you need to develop a range for the outside shot. One method is to simply get with your goalie after practice and work on your outside shots. See how often you can score from that distance. Note: You should be able to make more than 50 percent of your shots from here.

Once you have developed that range, now you want to work on your deception and quickness. As you wind up for an outside shot, don’t take a long time winding up. It only gives the goalie time to set up for the shot and get ready.

Players have a habit when shooting from the outside of being quite predictable. Therefore, use various shots and deception to throw off the goalie. For instance, look low and then try to put the ball high. You can work on this by moving all around the goal with your placement so the goalie can’t predict you. If the goalie can predict you, he’s at a big advantage, so be sure to mix things up.

All in all, you should have a quick set-up, use deception, implement a quick release, and develop a good range for your outside shot. Your range should be where you can score over 50 percent of the time.


Sidearm Crank Shot

With the sidearm shot, it’s key to use side-to-side deception, but you can also use high-to-low as well. Be sure to still find your range, generate lots of power by using the body, and implement some deception. Step away and pull, bring the shoulders up and release the ball low. You can also bring the shoulders down and release the ball down.

When you know your range and have developed your outside shot, you should practice from different spots all around the field. As a player, you are hardly ever in the same spot for every shot. For instance, really practice on the wings/sides with those tougher angles, too.

Shooting in the “Money Zone”

The distance of 8 to 10 yards from the goal is where players have the most success shooting. In this range, you don’t need to wind up and get a lot of power. Rather, you should focus on your quickness and deception. This is where the top shooters in the world earn their reputation. An ideal drill to practice these shots is to run circles around the ball (get 15-20 balls on the field) at a particular spot and keep cranking shots. Use a little cradle action to freeze the goalie and then get rid of your shot.


Shooting on the Move

Shots on the move are the most typical shots you will take in a game. A sweeping shot is where you sweep across the top and have both time and room. Here, you must rely on planting the same side foot and coiling up the body (twist it). Deception also comes into play here, so look to hide the stick behind the body so that the goalie can’t see it. Dipping is also effective, which uses side-to-side deception. It’s important to focus on getting lots of power while shooting on the move. Additionally, if you’re not scoring consistently, you are out of your range. Therefore, you should be in good range to generate power on the sweep shot.

Finishing Tight to the Goal

Let’s finish by talking about how to finish tight to the goal. This is an outside shot while on the run and heading directly towards the goal. While on the run, your stick should come back, and quick hands will be key. Get the body twisted back and throw in some deception. Next, we should get the opposite foot in front to generate our power.


The following shooting techniques can be seen in Championship Productions’ DVD “Becoming a Champion Lacrosse Player with Gary Gait: Shooting Techniques and Drills.” Check out additional shooting drills in our extensive lacrosse database by clicking here.


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