There are two major ways to improve the speed of your lacrosse shot.
- Improve your technique.
- Create more power.
What if I told you there was something extra you could do that would drive improvements to both technique and power therefore exponentially improving your shot? What if it was so easy you could do it anywhere, every day, either when you wake up, before practice, after practice, or before bed?
You’d be sold.
So what’s the secret? Stretching and mobility work.
Listen, I know stretching has been hammered to death by coaches and trainers. But this is not just another boring ass stretching article telling you to touch your toes so you don’t get hurt. None of that. I promise.
I will explain the exact stretches you need to do in order to add MPH to your shot, so hear me out.
But first, let’s look at shooting technique.
As MLL MVP and lacrosse legend Paul Rabil describes in the video below, a properly executed time and room shot should include a wide stance and rotation through the torso. Remember that. Wide Stance. Rotation through the torso.
Team USA and Duke Head Coach John Danowski used to always tell us during shooting drills to, “get your hands back.” It’s something you’ll hear every good lacrosse coach saying at practice, during film, or in timeouts during games. Check out former Duke Blue Devil and current Chesapeake Bayhawk midfielder Myles Jones and ND midfielder Sergio Perkovic mid-shot. These two guys know what it’s like to shoot fast.
So, according to Paul Rabil and Coach Danowski, with support from Myles and Sergio, in order to have a high quality, fundamentally sound time and room shot, we need to use a wide base, rotate through the torso, and get our hands back. Those are four lacrosse legends all saying the same thing. We better listen up.
Creating More Power
Now, let’s look at adding speed to our shot by improving our rate of force development. AKA developing more POWER.
When looking for exercises to increase power that will translate to our shot, we want exercises that allow us to use our entire body as one system, in the rotational plane, at high velocity. Two of my favorite exercises that fit this bill are rotational slams and rotational throws with the medicine ball.
So, how does stretching fit in to all this?
I’m glad you asked.
If you look closely at all of the photo’s and video’s above, whether we are talking technique or power production, they all demand a high level of flexibility at certain parts of the body. If we don’t have the ability to enter into certain ranges of motion, we can’t possibly get the most out of our technique or power. Even worse, our body will then enter an unsafe range of motion to compensate, leaving us at risk for injury.
You want to step into that same wide stance as Myles or Sergio? You had better have great range of motion at your inner thighs.
You want to rotate from your torso like Paul says? You’d better have mobility at your T-spine, unless you risk low back pain.
You want to get your hands back like Coach Danowski always preached? Well, you’re shoulders better be loose enough to reach back there, other wise you’ll be shooting like t-rex forever.
You want to get the most out of your power drills? We better do them correctly. And in order to do that, we need flexibility in the right places.
So let’s get loose, add MPH to our shot, and put the ball in the net more this season. A lot more.
Time And Room Shooting Stretch Series:
Exercise: Quadruped Adductor Stretch
Sets And Reps: 2 Sets, 4-6 Reps Per Side
Keys: Stretching leg stays straight. Rock back until you feel stretch.
Area Targeted: Inner thighs
Influence On Shot: Allows us to step into a wider stance
Exercise: Side Lying T-Spine Rotation
Sets And Reps: 2 Sets, 3-5 Reps Per Side
Keys: Knees bent at 90 degrees and connected to fist. Rotate with shoulders first. Thumb leads the way high and away.
Area Targeted: Torso
Influence On Shot: Allows us to rotate safely through the midsection
Exercise: Floor Slides
Sets And Reps: 2 Sets, 6-8 Reps
Keys: Core Tight. Elbows, wrists, and hands all as close to the floor as possible.
Area Targeted: Shoulders
Influence On Shot: Allows us to get our hands WAY back