Lacrosse Shooting Techniques – Instructions

Lacrosse Shooting Techniques

This page provides instructions & tips on a wide variety of lacrosse shooting techniques. It covers basic shooting techniques (i.e. overhand shots and sidearm shots) as well as advanced lacrosse shooting techniques (i.e. behind the back shotselevator shots & jump shots). You should also visit our section on lacrosse shooting drills.

Beginner Lacrosse Best Lacrosse Books

Lacrosse Shooting Techniques – Click on each technique for instructions and/or videos

  • Alley Dodge Shooting – A basic shooting technique used usually by a middie when attacking from topside.
  • Backhand Shooting – The backhand shot (or shovel shot) is an advanced lacrosse shooting technique that has been popularized by Lyle Thompson.
  • Behind the Back Shooting – This page looks at how to score with a lacrosse behind the back shot (or BTB shot). Behind the back shots are an advanced lacrosse shooting technique.
  • Bounce Shot – This is not the simple “bounce” shot used by beginners. The lacrosse bounce shot is an advanced technique where a player fires an overhand shot so it bounces in front of the crease line and lands (scores) consistently in the top corner of the net. An even more advanced version is a sidearm shot that uses “top spin” in order to achieve a higher bounce and land in the top corner of the net.
  • Cross Handed Shooting – Shooting Canadian style! This technique allows you to score even when you have caught a bad pass across your body.
  • Deception Shots – Deception shots in lacrosse include players looking high but shooting low in order to deceive a goalie with their eyes (versus stick movement), looking low but shooting high, etc.
  • Elevator Shot or Riser Shot – This advanced lacrosse shooting technique involves shooting underhand or with a low side arm and the ball “rising” from this low position to score in the top of the net. The trajectory of the ball is low to high.
  • Fakes – This page looks at how to utilizes lacrosse fakes in order to score.
  • Hitch Shot – The hitch shot adds deception to your lacrosse shooting repertoire.
  • In-Close Shooting – How to shoot in-close when you are near the goal and there are many defenders around you.
  • Jump Shots – A lacrosse jump shot involves leaping into the air and shooting at the same time.
  • Long Pole Shooting – This page looks at shooting techniques for lacrosse defenders & LSMs.
  • Off-Hand Shooting – To be a dominant lacrosse player, you need to be able to shoot and pass with your right and left hands.
  • One Hand Shooting – This advanced shooting technique has been popularized by the Thompson brothers. This lacrosse shooting technique involves shooting with one hand on the stick (versus the usual two hands).
  • Overhand Shooting – The lacrosse overhand shot is the most basic… and usually the most accurate lacrosse shooting technique used in lacrosse. It is the first shooting technique taught to lacrosse beginners.
  • Quick Stick Shooting – This is a rapid shot used near the goal where there is minimal cradling before the shot.
  • Riser Shot or Elevator Shot – This advanced lacrosse shooting technique involves shooting underhand or with a low side arm and the ball “rising” from this low position to score in the top of the net. The trajectory of the ball is low to high.
  • Scoring from X – This page looks at how to shot & score from X (a position behind the cage).
  • Shooting for Power – This page focusing on improving your lacrosse shot power & speed.
  • Shooting on the Run – This technique involves shooting while moving (i.e. on a sweep or alley dodge). In contrast, a time and room shot is usually done from a stationary position.
  • Shovel Shot – This lacrosse shooting technique is also known as a backhand shot.
  • Sidearm Shooting – This page focuses on how to shoot sidearm in lacrosse.
  • Sweep Shot – The sweep shot is a very common technique used by middies. This lacrosse shooting technique involves shooting while moving from side-to-side across the field versus shooting while moving towards the goal (“north-to south”).
  • Three Quarters Shot – The stick in this lacrosse shot is positioned halfway between an overhand shot and a sidearm shot. Think of a clock… with the overhand shot positioned at 12, the sidearm at 3 and a three quarters shot at 1:30. Players hope to combine the accuracy of an overhand shot with the power of a sidearm shot.
  • Time & Room Shooting – Time & room shots are often very accurate as the player is getting “time” for a clear outside shot on the goal. 
  • Twister Shots
  • Underhand Shooting – Underhand shooting is an advanced lacrosse shooting technique.
  • Wrap Around Shooting – Wrap around shooting involves shooting “around” a defender who acts as a screen.

Lacrosse Shooting – Beginner Basics

  • For accuracy, lacrosse beginners should focus on shooting overhand (versus sidearm or underhand).
  • Most beginners should aim low when shooting on the goal. It takes beginner goalies more time to move their stick down from the ready position (up near their head) and thus they are less likely to block a good low shot (i.e. aimed at the bottom right or left of the goal). Also a low shot can ricochet off the ground and into the goal (often at a strange angle which makes it even tougher for a beginner goalie). In contrast, a high shot will sail over the goal and thus there is no chance for a ricochet goal.
  • To catch a lacrosse ball, kids need to place their top hand near the head of the lacrosse stick. In contrast, beginners need to bring their hand down nearer the bottom of the stick in order to generate power when shooting. However, you will see many kids bringing their top hand only marginally down the stick so they have a very weak shot (as they are not generating any leverage).
  • Practice shooting from your right AND left sides. A defender will learn to easily screen you from the goal if he knows that you can shoot only one way (i.e. from your right side). However, if you can also easily score from your left, the defender will have a hard time deciding how to stop your shot and it will be easier for you to score.

Lacrosse Shooting for Power

  • Lacrosse shooting power is generated by proper shooting techniques as well as arm/shoulder strength, body torque (core strength) and leg power. Visit our strength training page for ways to improve your overall strength.
  • When working on your strength, don’t forget your wrist and forearm strength in order to generate a stronger “snap” to your lacrosse shot.
  • An interesting lacrosse drill to improve your lacrosse shooting power is to sit on the ground and try to shoot on the goal. This will force a player to work on his “torque” and core strength in order to improve his shot.
  • Check the pocket in your lacrosse head. A deep low pocket is great for cradling and protecting the ball but slows your release and thus slows your shooting power.

Lacrosse Shooting on the Run

  • Shooting on the run is a hard skill for beginners to learn as too many drills have beginning players shooting from a stationary position (as their catching and shooting skills are usually poor). However, if beginners practice this skill early in their lacrosse “career”, they will become dangerous players because they will be able to create their own openings to score.
  • Work on drills where beginners have to dodge past a defender (i.e. split or face dodge) and then shoot on the run at the goal.
  • Also conduct drills where beginners need to catch a pass on the run and then shoot (still on the run).

Lacrosse Shooting Mechanics

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