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Wall Ball Workouts
"Your lacrosse stick should become part of your body!"

(The Basic Wall Ball Routine)

To become proficient in passing and shooting, the player must be able to propel the ball from the stick with the wrist "snap." Many beginning players pass and shoot with an arm motion, or "push" the ball, which causes the ball to leave the stick on a low trajectory resulting in a low pass or shot. An excellent way to develop the wrist snap is to utilize the wall. Go to a cinderblock or brick wall and stand approximately 3 to 5 yards away. Any wall will work (no windows), but a smooth concrete surface at least 10 feet tall is the best.

You can and will observe daily improvement if proper technique is maintained. Increase the reps as wrists become stronger. Aim for as many reps as possible with desired form, however. This is a lefty-righty work out. Attempt to do as many reps as possible. Remember, your goal is to strengthen the wrists, to become proficient in releasing the ball with the snap of the wrists, to gain hand speed, and to develop a quick release.

Do as much as much of this routine 4-5 times a week for 15-20 minutes (no more). Beginning players should start at 30 reps with each hand before moving to a different part of the drill. Your goal should be to get through the entire drill (50 reps with each hand) with each hand in under 20 minutes. If you only get through part of the drill, it is easy to set a goal for next time.

Proper 1 hand technique:

Wearing gloves, hold the stick in one hand at its balance point and then place the head of the stick in the "box" area next to the ear. Then with one hand, "snap" the wrist which will cause the ball to come out of the stick in a straight line and bounce off the wall straight back into the stick kept in the box area. This will be difficult at first. Do not take shortcuts. Keep the head of the stick in the box and not down off the shoulder.

Proper 2 hand technique:

Wearing gloves, hold the stick with your top hand approximately half way down the shaft of the stick. Your opposite hand should cover the end cap. Snap the top wrist while bringing the bottom hand towards your dominant arm pit. This will help to keep your stick in a vertical postion. Try to keep the head of the stick in the box at all times. Passing is like casting a fishing line. Be ready for the ball to return in a hurry. Change your foot stance as you change your hands, that is lead with your left foot if passing from the right, and so forth. Stick protection is important.

Proper Cross hand technique:

This is the similar to two hand technique. Hold the stick such that the dominant hand is across your body. The head of the stick should be kept in the "box" near the opposite ear. This will be awkward at first but only the advanced players will get to this stage.

DRILLS: (Beginners 30 reps with each hand)

1 hand: catch and 1cradle
2 hands: catch and 1 cradle
2 hands: quick stick
2 hands: split drill -catch righty, switch and throw lefty/ catch lefty switch and throw righty
2 hands: catch, face dodge, and throw
2 hands: catch, fake, and throw

You must be at 50 reps with each hand before passing this point.

2 hands: cross handed
2 hands: behind the back
2 hands: running along the wall throwing and catching.
Be creative: if you get to this stage, you have earned the right to!

Remember the above must be performed in the correct manner, that is: stick in the box, overhand motion, wrist snap. If your form is sloppy, such as letting the stick hang down off the shoulder, you will be slinging the ball and thus wasting your time. CORRECT FORM MUST BE ADHERED TO, OR YOUR EFFORTS WILL BE WASTED.

(The Five Stages of Wall Ball)

Phase 1-Quick Stick/Rapid Fire: Line up around 3-5 yards from the wall. First, 50 right hand throw and catches without cradling. After completing 50 right hand throw and catches, do the same with your left. Did you notice I didn’t mention starting with your strong hand. With “wall ball” anything you do right, you follow-up left. This stage is great because it allows you to work on quick sticks, hand eye coordination, and one timing. You will become better about getting rid of the ball in a timely fashion without even noticing it by practicing this stage.

Phase 2-12 Yard Passing: Line up 12 yards from the wall. Start with 30 right hand throws, which will come back to you on one bounce. When you retrieve the ball from the one bounce, cradle once, then follow-up with the next throw. When you have completed 30 right handed throws, follow-up with 30 left.

Phase 3-Throwing & Catching On The Run: This may be my favorite and most helpful stage. First I start line up 5-7 yards from the wall on the far left side of the wall. I begin this stage with the stick in my right hand and while I am running alongside the wall (towards the other end), I throw and catch the ball on the run. The important part is to throw the ball on the run and not always catching the ball stick side. I like to do this during every stage. Do you always get a pass stick side? No. Therefore, in your training you should throw the ball against the wall and catch it cross hand (or across your face). After I run one length of the wall, I run back to the other end throwing lefty (doing the same thing I did with my right). Keep repeating these steps. This stage should be done for about 5-7 minutes.

Phase 4-Shooting: Line-up around 12-15 yards from the wall. Get in proper shooting formation (hands loose, three quarter/overhand motion, snapping of the hips, and following threw) mark a few places on the wall with tape to aim at. Shoot at about 80% velocity, having the ball come back to you with one bounce. Depending on where you aim, the ball may take bounces that aren’t the same, so you have to work a little bit. Start with 25 right, and follow up with about 25 left.

Phase 5-Trickery: This stage is fun. This is a great time to practice behind the backs (make sure you are not following threw too much. Step in the direction you are aiming, and the behind the back motion is only about a foot, with the head of your stick ending up hitting the top part of your arm near your shoulder). Around the world, threw the legs, and any other creative stuff can be incorporated at this time. I would leave around 5 minutes for this stage. I am a firm believer that this stage is important. If you can pull this stage off (and only if you are mastering the other 4 stages should you try this stage), it is an indication that you have a strong comfort level with your stick and great hand eye coordination. It is also a stage that can help you in terms pulling something off in a game that is nice to watch and necessary. There are times in a game when a behind the back is the only option.

So there it is, five stages of ‘Wall Ball.” Get a radio with your favorite beats, a snow cap and duck boots if there is snow on the ground, and do what you have to do to get out at least five days a week for 20 minutes/per day. Don’t let the competition pass you by. No excuses!