When kids are looking to improve as lacrosse players, the consistent refrain most people offer up is “hit the wall, and use both hands“. Usually the kid figures this means to practice catching and throwing both righty and lefty, but I’m here to tell you that there is something else out there that you should be practicing… and it’s a very different approach to using both hands.
Instead of focusing on the number of repetitions righty or lefty, this post is going to focus more specifically on technique, and how you should be using your top hand and bottom hand differently.
A lot of young players growing up are taught to push the middle of the stick with their top hand and to pull the bottom of the shaft with their bottom hand. It creates a consistent, overhand motion that works really well for much of the field game. It is a great set of fundamentals to have, and provides a solid foundation for future work and improvement.
However, the push-pull combo pass (or shot) is not the only kind of technique out there, and at higher levels of the game, being able to throw and shoot with adjusted mechanics can prove vital.
Take box lacrosse for example. When a player comes down the floor on a breakaway, they face a goalie that takes up almost all of the cage. Trying to blast one by the keeper is fun, but often ineffective. So the box guys tend to put their sticks up on their shoulders a little more, and use their TOP hand as a pivot point, and to aim. The bottom hand does more of the power generation, and there is much less pushing with the top hand:
Some of those shots are top handy heavy, while others are almost purely bottom hand generated. Watch the video again to see if you can pick out the differences.
The point here is that this kind of shot or pass, while pretty, isn’t always going to work:
Sometimes you have to operate in tight, and that’s when that bottom hand technique is going to pay off…
Wouldn’t we all love to play like that? Hit the wall, work “both” hands, and maybe you can. All it takes is an additional 10 minutes a day where you focus on putting that top hand right by your shoulder, using it to aim, and then making that bottom hand do the rest of the work. If you FEAR change, it could be a hard adjustment… so just get out there and do it!