0

A Quick And Easy Guide To Lacrosse Fundamentals

It’s all about fundamentals.

Throw, catch, ground balls, shooting on goal, running, and dodging.

You can say that these skills are fundamentals for lacrosse.

Cathy Reese. legendary coach at the University of Maryland (my alma mater) says that “if you can’t catch, you can’t play lacrosse.”

It’s true.

But for any athlete in any sport, greatness is achieved by always working on the fundamental skills.

With that understanding, most of these videos were created by USA Lacrosse and they are so helpful in understanding the fundamentals, I wanted to be able so share them all is one place.

They are short, to the point, and provide the basic teachings of key skills needed to excel in lacrosse.

THROWING

Let’s start with most basic skill, throwing.

Check out this video to learn or review the basics of throwing.

CATCHING

The second most critical skill is catching.

Players MUST learn how to throw and catch to play this game.

Let’s review how to catch.

CRADLING

Next we have cradling.

If you can cradle, throw, and catch – you will do have the basic skills to do well in lacrosse.

Without these 3 basics, it’s very difficult.

So, why cradle?

Cradling keeps the ball in your stick pocket and maintains ball possession.

If you don’t cradle the ball, the ball will fall out and the other team can gain possession.

Cradling is an absolute fundamental.

Here’s a super quick review of cradling technique.

RECOVERING GROUND BALLS

Can’t tell you how many games I’ve seen that were lost due to losing the battle for ground balls.

As a lacrosse athlete, you will have to recover ground balls to be an effective player.

Ground balls are typically lost due to poor technique, laziness, and lack of grit and hustle.

Let’s look at the basics of winning ground balls.

DODGING

Dodging is done to evade a defender.

Dodging, “shakes”, or simply moving to fake a defender are key to scoring and winning on offense.

Dodging is an art and a skill – and it needs to be practiced consistently to translate to game-time performance.

Here are the basics of key dodges (face dodge, roll dodge).

SHOOTING

I’m coming from a background of biomechanics here.

Proper biomechanics is literally the foundation for optimizing human performance.

As a former sports physical therapist, my brain works by understanding how to maximize human movement through optimal biomechanics – whether in lacrosse or any sport.

Shooting on goal requires technical proficiency to be successful, but it’s also more than just that.

Here’s a nice review of what’s required for great shooting technique.

(There are 2 major differences between throwing and shooting. Watch the video to find out these differences.)

PLAYING DEFENSE

Defense is so important and way beyond the scope of this video.

But this is a nice, quick overview on 3 basic elements of defense.

Remember that these simple concepts can improve fundamental defensive skills and understanding.

MOVING BEYOND THE BASICS

CUTTING

Cutting is done for 3 primary reasons.

1-To create separation from a defender.

2-To receive a pass.

3-To create space for ball handlers.

Watch the video to learn some basic cutting drills and skills.

SETTING A PICK

A pick is common in sports like basketball or lacrosse and is done to help a teammate create separation and get open.

For picks to be legal, they must be in the field of vision on the defender where the pick is set.

Think of a pick as simple “creating interference” so that a teammate can make a play.

Check out the video to see how picks work.


There you have it, a concise review of some of the basic concepts in the sport of lacrosse.

Revisit these great videos often to ensure understanding and applications.

Of course, the only way to get better is to practice the techniques.

Once again, great athletes become truly great by mastering fundamental skills.


Share this post as a resource for learning with other passionate lacrosse athletes, coaches, or parents.

Coach Scott

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *