Max Seibald is easily one of the best shooters in lacrosse right now. Watching him shoot on the run is a sheer thing of beauty. I’ve been coaching with Max at his Maximum Lacrosse Camps in New York City this week, and the campers aren’t the only ones learning new things! Max has dropped knowledge left and right, now it’s time to pass some of his invaluable lessons on to YOU.
1) Shoot Overhand
Max is an honest coach, so he readily admits there are times when a sidearm or underhand shot can be appropriate. However, when shooting on the run, Max says overhand is ideal. It gives a player the best chance of getting their shot on cage, and allows the shooter to be much more deceptive. When shooting overhand, the head of the stick can be hidden behind the body, and a number of very similar release points can put the ball in many different locations.
A beginning to intermediate level lacrosse player might be able to put more juice on a sidearm shot, but an overhand shot is still much harder for a goalie to save. When observing our more experienced players at camp, it appears that they are at least twice as likely to hit the cage with their shots and probably three or four times more likely to score if they shoot overhand. I’ve even noticed this trend when I play “old man ball”. When I shoot overhand, I score. When I shoot sidearm, I go 1 for 9 and Rudy Martinez yells “popcorn” at me… a lot.
2) Shoot Accurate
It doesn’t matter how hard you shoot the ball if it goes into the goalie’s stick, or misses the cage. Power is great and all, but as we discussed in key number one, it is NOT the key to success. Sacrificing your power for better form will inevitably lead you to becoming a more effective shooter.
Max rifles the ball at the cage when he shoots on the run, but remember, he is a professional lacrosse player and Tewaraaton Award Winner. Practice made perfect, and this is what he recommends.
Listen, I want to shoot through a goalie’s mesh and light it on fire as badly as you do, but it is not going to happen. We’re mortal. If I can’t do that, I’d at least like to notch some more G’s. Shooting accurate is really my only option here, and thankfully, it’s a great option to have. Taking 10-25% off of your on-the-run-shot, depending on distance from the cage, might be the best thing you ever did. Focus your energy on proper form, and putting the ball where you want it. THEN you can work on putting it there with power.
As Max has attested to at camp, progression of skill comes first, power second. Otherwise, you build up the power, and can’t use it effectively. Then you have to start all over with the skill, and try to re-apply the power. Breaking bad habits can be tough, so forming them correctly from the beginning is extremely important.
3) GO FAST!
Max is very well known for his speed on the field. When he was at Cornell, there wasn’t a quicker person on campus, and that included members of the track team. This key is a bit more flexible than the other two… Although it’d be great if everyone out there ran a 4.3 40, that’s just not realistic. So whether it’s GO FAST, or GO HARD, or attack the cage, the idea is the same: put the defense and the goalie on their heels. Be the aggressor. Dictate pace and impose your own will.
Going fast, hard and attacking the cage allows you to create separation, get your hands free, shoot overhand, and shoot accurate.
Shooting On The Run Recap
The first two keys are all about the act of shooting and how you can increase your chances of scoring. In order to do that, you need to create an opportunity. Key #3 addresses that requirement head on. Go fast, attack that cage hard and create your opportunity. Take your best shot using good form and focusing on accuracy. You’ll be well on your way to shooting on the run like Max!