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How To Add 10 mph to Your Lacrosse Shot, Part 2: The Solution

Saturday, 31st January 2015

Categories Boy's/Men's, College, High School  
 

By Sean Kelly, founder of Sean Kelly’s Performance Center
For Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/31/15

NOTE: The is the second of a two-part series on improving the speed of your shot by 10 MPH. Click here for the first story.

Here’s What You Need to Know:

For a lacrosse player to maximize their shooting ability, they must have an optimal range of motion, a strong core and the ability to generate force. By using a medicine ball, we have been able to add velocity to a player’s lacrosse shot by developing core strength and increased mobility that a player would never be able to develop by simply shooting a lacrosse ball.

Average increase in MPH over 3 months:Sean-Kelly

Strong Hand: 5.50MPH
Weak Hand: 6.43MPH
Average increase in MPH over 6 months:
Strong Hand: 11MPH
Weak Hand: 9MPH

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Almost all of the athletes that come into my gym want to shoot faster. Many of them tell me that they practice all the time, but their shot isn’t getting any faster. They know that in order to play at the highest level, they will have to consistently shoot at a very high velocity.

As I discussed in Part 1 of this blog series, I feel that the reason that many high school players struggle with velocity, accuracy, and consistency in their shot is that they have not taken the time to master the mechanics of shooting. There are 2 main reasons behind this: 1.Lack of Knowledge/Breakdown in Mechanics. With the growth of the sport at an all-time high, there are not enough qualified coaches to teach the fundamentals of the game. As we discussed in Part 1, there are 4 phases of a lacrosse shot: Approach, Crank Back (Wind-up), Stick Acceleration and Follow-Through. You must first have the knowledge of what good form is in order to work on perfecting the mechanics.
2.Lack of General Strength. Many athletes today and lacrosse players in particular lack relative strength meaning how strong they are in relationship to their body weight. If you can not perform 1 proper push-up or 1 proper pull-up then chances are you are not going to be able to perform a lacrosse shot on the run without your form breaking down. For a lacrosse player to maximize their shooting ability, they must have an optimal range of motion, a strong core and the ability to generate and transfer force.

How to Fix Your Mechanics

As I pointed out above, the lack of general strength for many athletes is a very important reason why players struggle with their shot and it is often overlooked. How many times do you hear a coach screaming at a player, “Get Your Hands Back,” “Don’t Lean Forward” only to watch them make the same mistake time and time again. I’ve been guilty of this myself. The problem is not that the athlete is not listening to you, the problem is that they are not strong enough, nor mobile enough to do what you ask of them.

At SKPC, we have found a way to drill these mechanics in a controlled environment while also developing core strength, grip strength and increased mobility in the athlete, all without the use of a lacrosse stick. The best part of that sentence is “all without the use of a lacrosse stick.” All of us from the Northeast know how difficult it is to find enough space to practice lacrosse during the winter when the ground is frozen over and covered with a foot of snow.

By using a medicine ball in place of the lacrosse stick, we have been able to teach and reinforce all 4 phases of a lacrosse shot. The results we have seen include increased velocity of 5-14mph, improved range of motion, improved stick skills (especially in the player’s non-dominant hand), and improved core strength. A player can take 300 shots per day for years and may never see the increase in mobility and core strength that they will get from using a weighted medicine ball.

Also, as I mentioned in Part 1 of this blog series, a high percentage of players struggle with the concept of creating power by generating force into the ground with their lead foot. The extra weight of the medicine ball is just what the player needs to be able to grasp this concept.

The 4 main staples in our medicine ball program are the following exercises:
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1) M.B. Hold (10 or 12 lb. medicine ball)
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2) M.B. Hold and Fire (4 lb. medicine ball)
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3a) M.B. Lacrosse Throw (4 lb. medicine ball)
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3b) M.B. Shot Put Throw (4 lb. medicine ball)
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4a) M.B. Soft Toss Crow Hop Throw (4 lb. medicine ball)
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4b) M.B. Soft Toss Shot Put Throw (4 lb. medicine ball)
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We have over a dozen more variations that we use depending on the athlete’s position, age, and relative level of strength.

An increase in shot velocity is easy to measure. As I noted below, our program has been very successful in doing just that. However, I have also seen huge improvements in a player’s overall stick skills, especially in their non-dominant hand. This is obviously much harder to quantify, but it is very obvious to the naked eye and to the athletes themselves.

In some ways, I feel that this increase in overall stick skills is the most important result of our program, especially with beginners. I encourage all players, not just those that want to shoot faster, to introduce these medicine ball exercises into their training routine. These exercises will provide athletes with much faster results than just practicing wall ball by providing you with the much needed increase in core strength, grip strength, and mobility necessary to play this game at a high level.

SKPC Med Ball Program Results:

Average increase in MPH over 3 months:
Strong Hand: 5.50MPH
Weak Hand: 6.43MPH
Average increase in MPH over 6 months:
Strong Hand: 11MPH
Weak Hand: 9MPH

Best Results: Over a 6 month time period

Strong Hand:

91 to 105=14MPH
90 to 98=8MPH
79 to 90=11MPH

Weak Hand:
74 to 85=11MPH
89 to 94=5MPH

Best Results: Over a 3 month time period
Strong Hand:
77 to 87=10MPH
81 to 89= 8MPH

Weak Hand:
62 to 72=10MPH
72 to 80= 8MPH

Thank you for the feedback from my earlier blogs. Please continue to share your thoughts with me at sean@kellyperformance.com. I look forward to hearing from you.


Click here to learn about Sean Kelly’s Performance Center


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