Do you want a better lacrosse shot?

I have worked with multiple lacrosse players during the last few years. A few of them have been very good high school players and currently a couple are doing very well at the collegiate level. One of the often mystifying pieces of sports performance training comes down to developing a variety of skills and abilities when combined make up a complete athlete or in this case a complete lacrosse player.

Of the many qualities which these athletes possess it is always interesting to start working on balance related skills. Before you blow me off and think that I’m about to give you some bosu ball juggling drills or have you doing some ridiculous balance test and trying to make you think you’ll be an all-American because you do it. I’m instead going to tell you that there is some research out there that supports balance and vision greatly affects the level of shot accuracy. This study (Marsh et al, Journal of Strength and Conditioning, June 2010 pp. 1507-1514) done in my home state of Maine looks at the relationship between balance, vision, and accuracy. According to the study “The results reveal that greater levels of shot accuracy may be related to greater levels of visual search and balance ability in women college lacrosse athletes.” While this research is only suggesting that it affects the shot, anecdotal evidence can’t help but support this information.

A couple take away points and thoughts: 1) obviously working on balance helps the shot, but the drills working on balance must be somewhat similiar to what takes place in the game of laccrosse. Don’t think that jumping onto a stability ball like this:
I mean, yeah that was hard, but so is running through an intersection with your eyes closed and headphones on. 2) Make sure you follow progressions with regards to balance. Don’t simply think you can implement any old drill and expect progress. Use common sense and build up to support the ultimate long-term goal: a better more accurate shot.

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