Scooping

Scooping a ground ball in lacrosse is one of the most important skills in this sport. There are numerous opportunities in a lacrosse game that require a player to scoop a ground ball. The lacrosse scoop is a technique used to gain possession of the ball when it is on the ground.

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The scoop happens as a player moves toward the ball. In order to scoop the ball, the player should drop the head of the stick to the ground and the stick handle should almost, but not quite, be parallel with and only a few inches off the ground. The concept is similar to how you would scoop poop (pardon the expression) with a shovel off the concrete. With a quick scoop and then angle upward to keep the ball forced into the deep part of the pocket and from rolling back out. Once in the pocket the player will transition to a cradle, pass, or shot, and continue on.

Breaking it down:

Step 1

Approach the ball. Bend your knees and lower the middle of your bottom toward the ball. Lowering your center of gravity will help you get a better angle on the ball when you attempt to pick it up.

Step 2

Extend your lacrosse stick directly in front of you. The stick should be almost parallel with the ground at this point. Many players have problems with this skill because they do not place their stick in a parallel position.

Step 3

Aim the stick so that the stick will hit the ground directly behind the ball. This will allow you to scoop through the ball when it comes time.

Step 4

Pick up the ball with a shoveling motion. This motion should place the ball in the pocket of your stick. Once the ball is in there, bring the ball up towards your eyes. You have successfully scooped a ground ball.

Step 5

Practice this skill everyday. It can be a very uncomfortable motion, but a necessity for a serious lacrosse player. The more practice you have with the skill, the better you will be in game situations.

Some great tips to get you going:

Never Pass to a Covered Player

Never make a pass to a man who is covered just to get rid of the ball.

Keep Proper Spacing

Never stand so close together that one defense can cover two offense.

After the Pass

If you receive a pass after cutting and haven't got a good shot, hold onto the ball.

Zigs and Zags

Zig your cuts, fake left - go right, fake right - go left. Don't always run at the same speed, change of pace is a very effective method of getting open.

Be an Outlet

If an attack man is being ridden hard and can't dodge or get away - the nearest man on each side goes to help him.

Take Quality Shots

Shoot plenty, but only if you feel you have a good shot. Shoot to get hot, shoot to stay hot.

Make Good Passes

Take pains to make every pass a good pass.

Balance the Field

Always keep your field balanced in order that you stay in better position to back up, and give your teammates space to work in.

Crease Play

On every screen shot the crease man should check-up on the defense man's stick, and immediately face the goalie, so that he is ready to bat in a rebound.

After the Clear

After the ball has been cleared, if you have a wide open opportunity to dodge, do it. If you are sure a man is open, pass to him, otherwise settle the ball down and let your attack get set up. Remember, after a clear the midfielders will need time to catch their breath. Middies rest on offense, not defense, Control The Ball!

Possessing the Ball

When in possession of ball, make the defense man play your stick - watch his stick - the position of it will determine the direction of your feed and the type of dodge you might try.

Make Him Play You

Make your defenseman play you and you alone every second you are in the game. Keep moving all the time so that he must center his attention on you an not be in position to help out his fellow defensemen.

Time Your Cuts

Time your cuts, don't cut if the man with the ball is not watching or not in position to pass.

Don’t Force it

Never try to force in, with the ball or by a pass, if the defense is drawn in. Pull them out first.

Outside Shooting

On all long shots, a man must be on the crease.

Hard Work

Hard work is great, but hard and efficient work is even better.

Never Stand Still

When you have the ball, never stand still - keep moving all the time - if necessary run backwards and forwards - but keep moving. When you are ready to make a pass, take one step back quickly and move. If you are standing still, you're wrong.

Pick a Corner

Place all shots, usually for a far corner, and shoot hard. When within five yards of the goal, the shot should be for a top corner.

Circle Away From Pressure

Always move to meet every pass, and circle away from your defenseman.

Back Each Other Up

Always be in position to back up shots and feeds. When a cut is made, or a shot is taken, the whole attack must play a part, moving to be in a position to backup a pass or a shot. Control the ball!