Passing

The Lacrosse Pass is a fundamental lacrosse skill. Most successful teams have the ability to move the ball quickly, and effectively transition from defense to offense. Fast break and quick attacks can result when you have the ability to effectively pass the ball.

Watch the Passing video
Watch the Box video

By patiently passing the ball around the offense, you create shooting opportunities. It is important to be able to deliver a precise pass to the player you are passing the ball to, in order to set up that players next movement. A pass to the wrong side can twist and move the receiving player out of position and and allow your opponent to deliver a check or to intercept the pass from the receiving player.

Breaking it down:

  • The most important element to learning how to do an effective lacrosse pass, is to just to do it. Repetition, repetition, and repetition. Learning the correct technique is important, but there is no replacement for just doing it. Work the wall, and work with teammates to throw and catch the ball over and over. You will develop the ability to direct and change the velocity, angle and release, and you will do so without thinking about it. With a strong fundamental understanding of the throw, and the magic of your developing skills, you will develop the ability to throw and pass accurately. All it takes is practice, practice, practice.
    • You should be throwing the ball a minimum of 20-30 minutes a day at least three days a week, but in my opinion every day is not too often.
  • The lacrosse pass is very similar to launching a rock with a catapult. In effect that is exactly what it is. The lacrosse stick acts as a long lever that allows the player to add leverage to the force applied. This increases the velocity of the ball sitting in the pocket, allowing the player to throw the ball just like a catapult.
    • When throwing right-handed, the left hand should be secured around the base (bottom) of the stick and held firm. Speaking in terms of a catapult this is the fulcrum.
    • The Right hand is the force that moves the stick first back as you wind up, and then quickly snap your wrists forward as you slide your right hand down the crosse to guide the angle and direction of the shot.
    • As you motion from back-to-forward to pass, your fulcrum hand (left) will move in toward your body while your Right hand will extend forward in the direction of the target. You should finish with the stick pointing at the target.
  • The lacrosse pass should be sharp and crisp so that ball travels with a good amount of velocity. A soft throw will tend to float and allow a defender to move into disrupt or intercept the pass. Quick, strong passes are much preferred to soft lobs.
  • When passing the ball to another player you should look to throw the ball to the shoulder away from the defender. This allows the receiving player to shield the ball away from the defender.
  • When making a pass to a moving player, you should throw the ball in front of the player as they run when possible. You want to lead the receiving player by passing to where they are going to be, so that they can maintain their speed without having to stop and come back to the ball, thus allowing defenders time to close and recover. Obviously this is not a hard rule. If there is a threatening defender in front of the player that you are throwing to, you should make your pass to the side away from the defender, allowing the receiver to adjust to the ball and protect it from the defender.

It is very important to learn how to throw with both hands. Initially it will be tough to do with just your strong hand, but as soon as you start getting the hang of it with one hand, try the other side and work both hands equally. In the end you will want to work your weak hand more than your strong hand. The ability to catch and throw with both hands is very valuable. You will be limited as a player if you only throw with your strong hand.

Tip: Use your weak hand during the day to do common everday tasks, like: eating, brushing your teeth, and opening doors.

Wall Ball is a very valuable practice tool for players of all ability levels. One of the great aspects of the wall is you can do it alone. Get on the wall as often as possible. Throw and catch with someone, and finally, set up drills to teach specific aspects of the game.

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!