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I’m a Beginner, HELP!

By Coach Andrea , 05/22/18, 3:30PM PDT

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Whether you’re a player picking up a stick for the first time, or a parent who doesn’t know the first place to start, we’ve created a handy dandy quick getting started guide to help you through the beginning steps of becoming a lacrosse player/parent or “laxer.” 

  • What equipment do I need?
    • Really the only protective equipment required are a mouth guardand goggles! Women’s lacrosse is considered a non-contact sport; the rules are designed to limit physical contact between players. 
      • Mouth guards - make sure they’re not white or clear!
      • For smaller girls’ mouths, a good mouthguard to check out is SISU Aero. You even get a discount if you’re a US Lacrosse Member!
    • Oh, you’ll obviously need a stick! 
      • What’s the difference between a girl’s stick and a boy's stick?
        • The biggest difference are the pockets; girls' are shallower than boys’. Therefore skill comes into play for the girls because it’s more difficult to catch and throw/shoot, as well as cradling the ball. 
        • The girls’ game is considered more finesse or skill; while the boys’ game has been said to be based more on brute strength and agility 
    • And something to run around in
      • athletic clothing (shorts, t-shirt, and reversible pinney if you have one)
      • sneakers and/or cleats
        • most coaches want you to have both types of shoes; especially if it’s rainy, you’ll want cleats so you don’t slip and fall
        • cleats don’t have to be lacrosse specific, you can use your soccer cleats as well - just make sure they’re not metal spikes!
  • Where can I get said equipment?
    • TEAM Lacrosse Academy has partnered with Brine to make it easy for you to order right from our TEAM Store! (Access code “TEAM”)
    • You can also check out your local sporting goods store, lacrosse store, or even Wal-Mart who sells mouth guards for a dollar! 

 

I’m geared up and ready to hit the field! (Not the court or the rink or the diamond… it’s best to keep up with the jargon as we go along.)

 

  • What team do I join?
  • How can I help my daughterwith the basics?
    • Play catch!
      • Mom and Dad don’t necessarily have to get a stick to play catch. You can start small with some hand/eye coordination starting with tossing one ball back and forth, and then toss two balls to each other alternating hands. Once you master that, toss the ball underhand to your daughter so she can work on catching and giving with the ball, like catching an egg!
    • Be encouraging!
      • Remember the first year is a huge learning curve! Encourage your daughter to stick with it, because I promise you’ll notice when she has that “aha” moment. She’ll be like a new player the second season!
      • And once you’ve taken the training wheels off, don’t be a helicopter parent! 
        • This is your daughter’s journey. If she has questions for the coach, empower her to ask the coach herself. 
  • As a beginner player, what should I be working on? 
    • Perfect your cradle!
      • it’s a wrist movement with an arm movement - not one or the other
      • keep your cradle between your shoulders - think right ear to left ear!
      • soft hands - let it move freely within your fingertips 
      • watch yourself in the mirror - this will help you make sure you’re doing it correctly! 
      • when you’re ready to move your cradle up and down/left and right, remember when you have defenders on you that you’ll want to think “shoulder, shoulder, ball” - meaning, keep your defender as far away from the ball, both shoulders between the ball and the defender! 
    • Hit the Wall!
      • Wall Ball is what it’s called, and the more reps you can do, the better off you’ll be! If you’d like a copy of our wall ball routine, please email us at info@teamlaxacademy.com. 
      • We recommend a racket ball wall, or somewhere that is void of windows! 
    • Master learning how to scoop ground balls! 
      • How to scoop a ground ball properly:
        • bend your knees so you’re as low to the ground as possible
        • place your foot next to the ball so when you bend down, your chin is over the ball
        • top hand (dominant hand) should be close to the head of the stick, while the back hand should be towards the bottom of the stick
        • stick should be as close to parallel to the ground as possible
        • scoop (don’t shovel) the ball into the head with a quick movement, bringing the ball up to your face as you go into your cradle 
    • For more information on the basics, or some "how to” basic videos, we recommend checking out the resources at www.uslacrosse.org, or find some YouTube videos that can illustrate the proper movements!

 

We hope these quick tips help you to enjoy your first experiences as a laxer. And welcome to one of the greatest groups I’ve ever been a part of - the Lacrosse Community!