Rob Pannell stopped by Maximum Lacrosse Camps last week, and I got the chance to talk to him about his Summer plans, how he’s healed up from injury, and his excitement for one more year of college lacrosse. I also got the chance to take in a time and room shooting display, and it was quite impressive.
Even from 15 yards away, Pannell’s accuracy and consistency are ridiculous. The majority of his shots found their mark, and on the off chance that he did miss, Pannell missed small. Balls that didn’t lodge in the corners were rare, and balls that didn’t find the cage even more rare. Rob put some mustard on the shots as well… these were real!
Rob Pannell’s keys to great lacrosse shooting:
I got the chance to speak with Pannell a bit, and one thing he strongly emphasized was good form. If you watch the video again, you will notice that each time Rob shoots, he steps to the goal and points his foot at his target. He transfers his weight with his legs, and transfers that power to his upper body through his core in a fluid motion.
Pannell’s stick comes from behind his body and over the top. As his wind up ends and forward motion begins, Pannell points his butt end at the target, and then pulls the stick down and around his body. His overhand and 3/4 form is truly flawless, and Rob’s accuracy and consistency are dually impressive.
Every time Pannell spoke to the kids about how he got to be this good, he preached repetitions and practicing hard 100% of the time. By practicing at game speed and focusing on good form over and over, the motions become second nature. It will become easier and easier to do the exact same things during a big game. The decision to put in the work or not is no one’s other than yours.
Great players always seem to have a sixth sense out on the field. Maybe it’s a no look pass, a back door cut, a picked off pass, or a shot taken with their back to the cage, but it’s always evident that these guys are just a step ahead. They get there by being so good at the basic stuff (shooting, passing, defense, etc) that the next level stuff just comes to mind naturally.
Before you go out and start practicing that behind the back shot too much, master the basic elements of overhand time and room shooting, like Rob Pannell has, and the ability to do the rest will come that much more naturally.