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Increase Your Shot Power and Accuracy With These Drills

If you can't shoot with power and accuracy in lacrosse, then you're probably not going to score a ton of goals.  Improve one or both of these areas and you can see a geometric improvement to your scoring production. 

We've curated the below list of some of our favorite drills with a focus on improving shooting mechanics to help you generate more power and accuracy when shooting with time and room (outside shots) and while on the run. These drills are taken from some of the best players and coaches in the game. 

There are video links below each drill description to give you a better visual and how to execute. 

1. Point of Release Drill: 

Drill Description: Brought to you by one of the most prolific midfielders of all time, Paul Rabil, the point of release drill is a great one to start out your shooting routine because it helps you find tune and build muscle memory around how the ball comes out of your stick and how you can adjust your shot location utilizing more or less wrist snap on your follow through.  Start with a few balls at the island (5 yards up and 5 yards out from GLE (Goal Line Extended). With your stick facing the inside start by shooting the ball in either top or bottom far corners.  Try to hit the same corner multiple times in a row before switching the next.  Get a feel for how the more snap you put in your wrist the higher the release point and the more rigid your wrists are the lower the release point and shot location is on the cage.

Keep in mind that for this drill, you are very close to the goal, so there is no need to shoot as hard as you can. Remember this is a warm up drill to dial in your accuracy and get a feel for how the shot location changes by adjust how you push/pull with your top and bottom hand as well as change how you snap your wrists.  

Video Link Walking You Through the Drill:

https://youtu.be/EOL9J7-pEoc?t=493 

Key Takeaways and Coaching Points: 

  • Close to the net, fewer misses. 
  • Hit corners top and bottom. 
  • Work on hitting one corner consecutively before moving to the next.
  • Push forward with top hand & pulling down with bottom hand. 
  • Snap at the wrists. 
  • The more the head of the stick drops below your bottom hand → the higher the release → Wrists tighter → Lower shot location. Wrists more snap → higher shot location. 
  • Start with overhand, then incorporate sidearm & underhand release. 

    2. Statue Drill: 

    Drill Description: This drill, brought to you by Dan Chemotti, Head Coach of the Richmond Spiders, helps you work on your shooting mechanics for on the run shot when dodging from up top.  It starts with an exaggerated step simulating running full speed down hill towards the cage after a dodge and teaches you to trigger your hips on the follow through.  The purpose of this drill is to provide muscle memory to trigger the proper mechanics when shooting on the run. 

      Video Link Walking You Through The Drill: 

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EmYL11P56Y&list=PL_Xc-WNMAWpETLom3bKjfHxibnSu18Dil&index=2 

      Key Takeaways and Coaching Points: 

      • Pause like a statue for two seconds to build muscle memory on the follow through step.
      • Maximize hip and shoulder separation (hips face the end line or the target → Shoulders face the sideline or are perpendicular from the target).  for more torque, which translates to a faster shot.  

      3. 0 to 60 Drill: 

      Drill Description: Stephen Brundage, Assistant Coach of Hobart, walks you through this drill in the below video links. This drill is intended to help you warm up and build muscle memory for developing proper shooting mechanics in game-like situations. In the drill you start about 10 yards away from the goal with your feet and body parallel to the goal. This is the “0” stage.  You start with your stick in the opposite hand in which you will shoot with.  The next step is to switch hands and get your body into a time and room shooting position as quickly as possible, with your feet perpendicular to the goal in an athletic loaded position and your arms extended far away from your body.  This is the “60” position.  This helps simulate if you're working the ball around in your offensive set and you catch with your outside hand and need to quickly pivot and shoot with your inside hand as quickly as possible. 

      Video Links to the Drill:

      Background Explanation:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hC2r69edugk&list=PL_Xc-WNMAWpETLom3bKjfHxibnSu18Dil&index=7 

      Start of the Drill:

      https://youtu.be/hC2r69edugk?list=PL_Xc-WNMAWpETLom3bKjfHxibnSu18Dil&t=240 

      Key Takeaways & Coaching Points: 

      • Take time and let your body warm up before shooting full speed. 
      • Find the “sweet spot” in the “60” position → Arms extended fully, head of the stick slightly behind your back shoulder, head of stick slightly above the bottom hand. 
      • Rock and transfer your body weight on the follow through to maximize power.

      4. Torque Shooting Phase 1 (From the Knees): 

      Drill Description: This drill brought to you by Tyler Granelli, Assistant Coach for Jacksonville, is a great one to help you develop core strength and rotational power for shooting on the run or in time and room situations. Start the drill about 5 yards out in front of the goal, on your knees with your shoulders parallel to the goal. Pick up a ball, extend your arms high and away and rotate your torso engaging your core on the follow through. What’s great about this drill is that since you will be on your knees, it forces you to engage your core to generate any power on the shot since your legs and stability are taken out of the equation. 

      Video Link to Drill: 

      https://youtu.be/G6PZSKI7zhA?list=PL_Xc-WNMAWpETLom3bKjfHxibnSu18Dil&t=31 

      Key Takeaways & Coaching Points:

      • Get your arms high and away. 
      • Use your core and rotate your torso to the target. 
      • Aim for the far bottom corner. 

      Torque Shooting Phase 2 (Standing): 

      Drill Description: This drill builds upon Phase 1.  The set up and execution of the drill are the same except instead of shooting from your knees, you will be standing square to the goal instead.  Still about 5 yards out and focusing on engaging your core, getting good hip and shoulder rotation, and pausing in between each rep to ensure your hands are high and away from your body and you are working to hide the head of your stick from the goalie with body and hands for added deception. 

      Video Link to Drill: 

      https://youtu.be/G6PZSKI7zhA?list=PL_Xc-WNMAWpETLom3bKjfHxibnSu18Dil&t=82 

      Torque Shooting Drill Variations: 

      Instead of starting directly in from the goal, try shifting 5 yards to the right if you are shooting with your right hand and 5 yards to the left if shooting with your left hand .  This simulates a shot after dodging down the alley and forces you to generate even more torque on your follow through in an attempt to hit the bottom corner.

      5. Spin and Fire:

      Drill Description: This drill, brought to you by Ron Caputo, Assistant Coach for the Duke Men’s Lacrosse Program, starts to combine shooting power, with a little bit of accuracy.  The drill starts at about 7 yards up and 7 yards out from GLE (goal line extended).  You start out by having your back face the cage and your arms extended out in front of you.  When you go to shoot, this automatically forces a good hip and shoulder rotation needed for power on the shot.  On the follow through, point your lead foot (right foot if your shooting left, and left foot if you are shooting righty) towards the far pipe of the goal.  This is where accuracy comes into play.  The goal is hit an area of goal along the far pipe.  Don’t be so concerned with whether you hit high or low on the cage.  The key is getting used to how pointing your lead foot get dictate shot placement while generating a lot of torque.  

      Video Link to Drill:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kifobfUdg_Y

      Key Takeaways & Coaching Points: 

      • Turn, step, and fire. 
      • Point lead leg to the far pipe. 
      • Fall forward towards the far pipe. 
      • Shoot angry with full power engaging your core. 

      6. One-handed Sway the Fly

      Drill Description: This drill is a challenging one as you will be removing your bottom hand and will shoot one-handed using the same mechanics practiced in some of the above drills.  It’s important  to still keep your top hand high and away from your body and focus on getting a wide base and follow through as if you would while shooting two handed.  This drill helps engage more of your forearms when shooting as you will need to rely on these muscles to power the ball through when you shoot without having the stability of your bottom hand. 

      Video Link to Drill: 

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kKSLVAEUoQ 

      Key Takeaways & Coaching Points: 

      • Don’t try to power the ball using only your wrists.  Two much emphasis on wrist snap will lead to the ball flying out of your stick prematurely. 
      • Instead focus on keeping your wrist fixed and let more of your forearm carry the load until the very end of the follow through.

      In summary, if you are looking to improve your shooting mechanics and improve your shot velocity, then try out some or all of the above drills to your normal routine or the next time you are in your backyard on the practice field.  These are just a few of our favorite shooting mechanic drills, but there are several quality free resources out there.  We encourage you to continue to research and try out new drills as you come across them and see what works best for you.  

      We've hope you've enjoyed this post. Your feedback and questions are always welcome, positive or negative.  Feel free to provide yours in the comment section below. 

      Works Cited

      Brundage, Stephen. “0 to 60 Shooting - Stephen Brundage - Hobart.” Www.youtube.com, Coaching Through Cancellation, 27 Apr. 2020, www.youtube.com/watch?v=hC2r69edugk&list=PL_Xc-WNMAWpETLom3bKjfHxibnSu18Dil&index=7. Accessed 17 Sept. 2021.

      Caputo, Ron. “15 Drills for Building a Successful Shooting Program.” Www.youtube.com, Championship Productions, 14 Sept. 2014, www.youtube.com/watch?v=kifobfUdg_Y. Accessed 5 Aug. 2021.

      Chemotti, Dan. “Statue Drill - Dan Chemotti - Richmond.” Www.youtube.com, Coaching Through Cancellation, 25 Mar. 2020, www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EmYL11P56Y&list=PL_Xc-WNMAWpETLom3bKjfHxibnSu18Dil&index=2. Accessed 6 Aug. 2021.

      Granelli, Tyler. “Individual Shooting Progression - Tyler Granelli - Jacksonville.” Www.youtube.com, Coaching Through Cancellation, 6 May 2020, youtu.be/G6PZSKI7zhA?list=PL_Xc-WNMAWpETLom3bKjfHxibnSu18Dil&t=31. Accessed 17 Sept. 2021.

      Rabil, Paul. “My Top 3 Shooting Drills!” Www.youtube.com, 9 Mar. 2018, youtu.be/EOL9J7-pEoc?t=493.

      ---. “One-Handed Swat the Fly Drill | Project 9 Lacrosse.” Www.youtube.com, 7 Nov. 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kKSLVAEUoQ. Accessed 17 Sept. 2021.

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