In this video coaching article I break down the 3 most common shooting mistakes players tend to make when aiming their shots. If you can correct these common errors you're going to score a lot more goals.
After coaching thousands of youth, HS, club and college lacrosse games/practices I've seen the same mistakes over and over that prevent players from scoring as many goals as they should. However most coaches and players work on their shooting form but rarely talk about where they should be aiming when they shoot and where they should be shooting from.
The first shooting mistake players tend to make is looking at the goalie when they shoot instead of looking to where they want to shoot the ball. Almost every time you look at the goalie when you shoot you're probably going to the hit the goalie. Goalies don't look at players eyes when they shoot, they look at the stick head and read the body language of the shooter. You can look where you want to shoot with your eyes without giving it away with your body language. This is harder said than done, you must train to look beyond the goalie and into the net when you shoot because your natural instinct will be to stare at the moving object in front of the goal(goalie). The best way to practice that is by having a real goalie or our 11th man inflatable goalie in cage when you practice your shooting. If you shoot without anything in cage all the time you're not going to be ready for the games when a goalie is in.
The second most common error players make when shooting is shooting at the goalies feet. "my coach told me to shoot the ball low!" Low shots are great shots but players misunderstand that all the time for just throw the ball in the ground at the goalie which is one of the easiest saves for goalies. When a player shoots the ball at the goalies feet all the goalie has to do is put their stick in the ground and the ball is either going to go straight in the stick, bounce in the stick, or hit them. Make sure when you shoot low to still aim somewhere past/on the outsides of the goalies feet or out in front of the crease so the ball bounces back up high.
The last mistake that higher level players tend to make the most is aiming for corners only. It doesn't matter if you're the most accurate shooter in the world if you only aim for corners you're not going to score very many goals. It's just too hard to hit that small of a spot in games when everyone is going full speed and you have people guarding you. If you watch pro or college lacrosse games you'll notice that the majority of shots are not going into the corners but they just don't hit the goalie or go right into the goalies stick. Try to aim for areas instead like anywhere to the offside stick of the goalie or the entire top left quadrant of the goal for example instead of top left corner. If you're able to do that you'll start to notice you don't have to pick corners to score goals. Once you master those skills start to work on throwing goalies off with body language which we'll discuss in a later video.
The last thing we didn't discuss about shots being missed or saved is that it's not always because of aiming problems but sometimes because they're bad shots to begin with that are either too far out or have terrible angle. Make sure you're shooting from the "equator" which is the middle of the field inside 12 yards to increase the % of shots going in. As always when you practice or coach make sure everyone is training with full speed game-like reps which is the only way to improve skills.
If you have any questions about training, our equipment, or coaching feel free to reach out to Info@ElevateSportsEquipment.com and we'll get back to you right away.
Here's a link to our 11th man if you don't already have one, it's one of the most useful and fun training aids around that I use myself and for all my teams/private training sessions. We have a 30 day money back guarantee so there's no risk if you don't like it we'll provide a full a refund. https://www.elevatesportsequipment.com/lacrosse
Please refer your friends to our site so they can start learning how to train to become the athlete that they want to be.
- Tyler Simmons
President/Founder Elevate Sports
Stanford University Asst Lacrosse Coach
University of Denver Lacrosse 14'