Training

Shooting Overhand Under Pressure Is A Must

overhand shot lacrosse
Shooting overhand. Finally.

Yeah, I’m old.  So what?  If you want to score goals consistently, you should definitely work on your overhand shot.  Okay, now I even sound old.  But in regards to the overhand thing, there is simply no question about that.  Last time I talked about overhand shooting, I cited Virginia’s ability to shoot overhand with time and room, and on the run.  Learn from the best right!?!?!?!

But now you can learn from the mediocre. This time it’s more personal, and the argument is just as strong.

On Sunday I got out with the TeamItUp.com/LaxAllStars.com NYC ULax team where we lost a tight 11-10 game.  It was back and forth, and a lot of fun as usual.  During one run of action, I swept left (it’s the only way I know), got a good look on cage and took an overhand shot.  As I took the shot, I got hit, but the shot still managed to find the cage and go in.

I am convinced that had I taken this shot sidearm, it would have missed the cage.  The impact came just as I was releasing the ball, and without a doubt, it changed the trajectory of the shot at the last moment.  Because of the downward force of the hit, what was supposed to be hip high became a bounce shot.  Getting hit while shooting sidearm would have thrown off my trajectory as well, but whereas here the ball came out LOWER, with a sidearm shot it would have come out further right, and missed the cage by 5 feet or more.

overhand shot lacrosse

Shooting overhand. Finally.

It surprised me as much as it did the goalie, and I’m sure this is a good part of the reason it went in.  The fact that the goalie was a converted field player playing in net for the first time shouldn’t matter.  It wasn’t a great shot velocity wise, and this guy made some saves in the game.  But this one took him by surprise.  All I had to do was get it on net.

And the funny thing is, I noticed this a lot this weekend when I was watching college games on TV and online.  The Stevenson – Lynchburg game stood out in this regard especially.  Lynchburg won 6-3, and they did a great job of being physical with shooters when they were on D.  The Stevenson players took some wild sidearm and underhand shots, but few were on balance, and the result was a measely three goals.

In fact, this was also true when BOTH of these teams were clearing the ball.  When sidearm passes were made under pressure, they often sailed wide.  But when the poles and middies threw overhand, they were more often able to move the ball into tight spaces.

I’m not making this stuff up.  Shoot overhand and good things will happen.  Yes, there are places to shoot sidearm and underhand.  I have no doubt about that.  And yes, I probably took 6 sidearm shots on Sunday.  But NONE of them went in.  I also took three overhand shots.  And two of them went it.  It’s science!  Now if I could only follow my own advice I might have a chance at being a halfway decent lacrosse player.

Shout out to Greg Gurenlian who can be heard yelling, “take it to the hole and dominate!” during the goal.  This guy is not only a BEAST at the face off square but he’s also a superb teammate.  Jokes and smiles, having a good time, and making sure everyone gets a good run. True Game Grower right there!

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About the author

Connor Wilson

Connor is the Publisher of LacrosseAllStars.com. He lives in Brooklyn with his better half, continues to play and coach both box and field lacrosse in NYC as much as possible, and covers the great game that is lacrosse full-time. He spends his spare time stringing sticks and watching Futurama.

11 Comments

  • Just goes to show that the old dog CAN learn a new trick!! Kudos for giving the overhand a shot (pun intended). That’s another benefit I didn’t even bother to mention on the last post, but another great point…with video evidence to back it up!

  • I agree wholly agree with this posting. Too often we see high-school and youth kids trying sidearm and underhand shots with little to no success. You can do shoot anywhere with an overhand shot to score. Underhand and side-arm? All velocity. Although, another article could be done on keepers “guessing” on shots and the inability for a goaltender to just stay high, especially 5 yards and under. 

  • Overhand vs side arm got me thinking.  So in the Oregon Cal Poly game summary I posted this weekend I found:
    Overhand Oregon 7 CP 9
    Side arm Oregon 3 CP 1
    Underhand Oregon 1 CP 4
    Not sure what that means, but it seems like side arm shots are useful to reach around the defender and use the defender as a screen so the goalie doesn’t see it coming.

    • I’m curious to hear what the totals for each type of shot were as well.  What were the shooting percentages for each one?

      Then we could get into a deeper level of WHERE the shots were taken from… but I won’t ask that much!!!

      •  That is a great question that will go unanswered.  I am working on Oregon vs Simon Fraser now and can’t stand looking at the previous game as a whole for a while.  Still maybe a DVR of a D1 game would be worth analyzing.  In the stats above I counted 3/4 as side arm. 

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