WEEK 3 - HITTING THE WALL
IT STARTS WITH THE STICK
As athletes in any sport, a lot of our focus and time goes into team preparation for game day: from conditioning, to practicing, to game planning. But as lacrosse players we have to do more, because while all of that is important, success in lacrosse, STARTS WITH THE STICK.
One of the ways we can prepare and improve, which is unique to lacrosse, is the practice of WALL BALL, or REBOUNDING, or as I like to call it, 'HITTING THE WALL'. Whatever you call it, it's something we should be able to squeeze into a busy day, before school, in between classes, after practice etc.. And it's the kind of fun training that as lacrosse players, we should never be able to get enough of.
Practicing the basics of both your left and your right hands is the most important skill to work on when hitting the wall. The more comfortable you can get with your 'weak hand' the closer you get to becoming a dual threat out on the field. The ultimate goal is to become equally comfortable doing all of your stick work with both hands. And the ultimate compliment a lacrosse player can get about your stick work, is if someone can't tell if you are a dominant righty or dominant lefty. A great example of that is my TEAM USA and WPLL FIGHT teammate Kayla Treanor (@kaylatreanor), who won't tell us which she is and most of us still don't know.
Along with the basics, it's important to expand on you skill set when practicing on the wall. Try throwing yourself 'bad' passes off of the wall to practice those inevitable high, low or off target catches you're guaranteed to see during a game! Not every pass is going to be perfect so it is important to practice making the play no matter what. Wall ball is a great way to get tons of good reps catching bad balls.
Hitting the wall is also great for going outside your comfort zone with your stick skills. Try different dodges, fakes, combinations of dodges & fakes, trick passes... The wall is the best place to develop creativity and comfort with your stick skills. Get fancy with it!
I am a big believer in hitting the wall at least two times a week outside of regularly scheduled practices and games. So put on your headphones, put on your favorite playlist and go to work. Those extra reps from time spent hitting the wall will pay off on game day when you don't have to think twice about catching that tough pass, or making that behind-the-back pass.
Click the button below to check out some of my wall ball routines, that combine the basics and some of the tricks that will help you to improve your stick skills, increase your comfort with your stick and add some flavor to your game.
Keep dreaming big & working hard!