By Dom Darcangelo, A-Game Sports Lacrosse Program Director

Think of a lever, we’re taught that a pivot point will help direct our shoot/pass at an early age, but as our shot selection becomes more advanced, so does our ability to create different leverage points to achieve the most extreme power and accuracy.

Let’s Start with the Basics

  1. Hands Should be Situated on the Stick About Shoulder Width Apart.
  2. Align the Top Hand with the Forehead.
  3. Place the Bottom Hand in Line with Your Chin.
  4. Snap the Bottom Hand to the Opposite Arm Elbow.
  5. Follow-Through with an Overhand Shot.

We create a snap by pulling our bottom hand to our opposite elbow. The shaft of the stick will drive downward and back while the top hand helps guide the head of the stick with the ball to the intended pocket of the goal.

Step It Up

  1. Get your Grip Down.
  2. Get Your Hands Out and Away from Your Body
  3. Get the Head of the Stick Behind Your Helmet
  4. Pull Back and Snap Our Wrists

Shot speed sees an immediate increase with the ability to cut through the air with the lacrosse stick at a more dominating speed. The whip of the wrists allows increased pressure to build within the pocket. The wrists will now dictate when the ball is released for preferred placement.

Getting Advanced

  1. Drop the Grip Down to Maximize Wrist Crank Potential
  2. Get the Head of the Stick Hidden Behind Your Helmet
  3. Get your Hands Back
  4. Get a Strong Step
  5. Twist Your Hips
  6. Drive the Head of the Stick Across Your Body to Your Opposite Foot

Start calling your placement and hold yourself accountable. Get better every day and continue to work hard.

By Dom Darcangelo

There are a thousand different ways to get a perfect grip on the lacrosse stick. You can go with the classic lower-half wrap with the butt-end, or step up your game with a little crossing and a big tape knob on the end.

Much of what goes into taping your stick is your overall comfort with where your hands are when you’re passing and shooting. The pocket of the stick, the taping of the shaft, the head and shaft themselves– it all comes down to what feels the most comfortable.

I personally go with a big knob of tape on the butt-end about a half-inch up from the end of the shaft. This allows for the stick to feel a little shorter in my hands without exposing any potential area to be checked when wearing my gloves.

  1. I start with some pieces to cover the end of the shaft.
  2. From there, I put down a base and then build up the knob to about 3 centimeters in height and about 2 centimeters of an inch in width. This allows for the maximum grip between my fingers and in my palm when cranking back for a shot.
  3. From here, I like to start a twist up the shaft and end with three loops. These points work perfectly for a reference when catching, as well as for my bottom hand when I faceoff.
  4. I finish up with 2 loops right below the throat of the head. This gives me something to hold on to when losing the bottom hand and blowing past defenders behind the net.

The finished product works well for my game. I’d highly recommend trying out a couple different styles to find your preference.

By Dom Darcangelo

Being a great lacrosse player stems from mastering the face-off. This boils down to three key points: hand position, body position, and being aware of your surroundings. A-Game Sports lacrosse coach Dom Darcangelo weighs in on these points and provides practice suggestions for each.

Hand Position: One of the most important factors in getting set is keeping your hands light. A face-off pro keeps their hands light while pulling their center of gravity forward, ready to pounce as soon as the whistle is blown. While keeping it light, you also want to be powerful by driving your back hand forward as you roll your top hand through the plastic of the stick. Pushing your back hand forward will manipulate the plastic of the head to pinch and squeeze over the ball.

Practice: Over-and-Backs

Get in your stance over the ball and drive the head of your stick on the front and back side of the ball without touching the rubber. 15 seconds on, 15 seconds off. Repeat for 5 sets.

Body Position: Body positioning starts from the time you enter the face-off X. Setup is a matter of preference. I personally found that the one-knee-down position worked best for my game. I have also seen more upright stances and condensed positioning. Choose whatever stance makes you the lightest and fastest. Make sure your center of gravity is slightly forward and anticipating the whistle.

Practice: Drive your body and hands over the ball. Get down in your stance and drive you back hand over the ball. 10 Reps. Rest for 30 seconds. Repeat for 5 sets.

Awareness of Your Surroundings: Recently, picking your head up and looking around for an open target to roll the ball out towards has been marked as illegal. Face-off specialists are now working within their limits to more accurately locate their teammates while scraping on the ground. A strong key to success is determining prior positioning of your wingmen. Communicate about where you would like to place the ball when you make the win, prior to getting out on the field. Go in with a plan that can give your squad the best advantage.

Tip: Determine how long a wingman will take to enter the center of the field. Try to manipulate play until your support arrives, and attempt to get the ball to a similar location on every draw.

Above all else, always remember to work hard!

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