To engage the torso in the shooting motion we use seated shooting, which takes their legs out of the equation and forces them to use their body and arms. We do a seated shooting where the player sits with his legs out in front of him facing the goal. The player then tries to get as much velocity as possible using just his torso rotation for power.
This develops into the same setting but we now bring the player up to his knees, allowing for more torso rotation and more power.
Over Goal Shooting
The final step in the progression is our over goal shooting drill. In over goal shooting, we place a goal 10 yards behind another goal. Our shooters stand in front of the first goal and shoot over the top of it into the second goal. This creates the need for them to extend their arms. It also forces them to pull the ball with their bottom hand in the shooting motion, to keep the ball from flying over the fence and into a dorm on campus.
In doing this drill, it is important to have a player feed from one knee and with his hand to ensure the maximum reps in a short period of time. Also, be sure your shooter is far enough from the goal that he is shooting over to keep his follow-through free from hitting the crossbar.
We work on these shooting drills almost every day and feel that the ability of our team to shoot is the second-most important factor in winning or losing lacrosse games, behind team speed.
And still, if there is one thing I think we don't do enough of...it's shooting!
Chris Burdick is the head men's lacrosse coach at Providence College, which has won multiple conference championships and been to three NCAA tournaments under his leadership. Burdick is also director of the Friar Lacrosse Camps and the PLASMA summer program. To learn more, go to FriarLacrosseCamps.com.