This week’s Coaches Corner is written by FCL Founder Deemer Class, 2016 graduated of Duke University, current Women’s Offensive Coordinator at University of Southern California, and midfielder for the PLL Chaos.
Our Top 5 Shooting Myths
In 2016, fresh out of college, close friend and training partner Ryan Brown and I started running shooting clinics nationwide together. We’ve both learned so much under the mentorship of Torre Kasemeyer. Torre also coached for years at Calvert Hall with the late Dave Huntley. I only got 1 year under Hunts for the Atlanta Blaze. At Duke, I picked up so much from my offensive coach, Ron Caputo and I’m so thankful to have played for him. I know I’ve been so blessed to have learned from such a great coaching tree. Fast forward 4 years, after 150+ clinic sessions (maybe more), numerous discussions with high level coaches, and instructional videos & film watched, I’ve decided to post my Top 5 Shooting Myths or False Cues (in my opinion) in the sport of lacrosse.
Top 5 Shooting Myths
Why? I enjoy thoughtful discussion around technique and best practices. While I feel strongly about what I believe in, I know it can always can grow and learn as a coach. I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback!
Point your Toe to Your Target.
This is an interesting one. When I first started teaching, I used to think it didn’t matter if you pointed the toe or not. I didn’t use the toe as a cue, I used the leg. “Step to the Target” (and still do). After learning more, I realize how unnatural it is to open your toe too early. You expedite the process of your hip opening up, losing some of the rotational power generated in your lower body and core. Your foot actually pivots in the ground on contact as your body comes through.
Get your hands high and away
What is high and away? From what? I often find this encourages young shooters to get their hands too high above their shoulders and results in the top hand being on a higher plane than the bottom hand. You want to avoid starting your stick in the shooting motion.
Get your elbows to 90 degrees
How are we currently measuring this? At what point of our shot? Think rather about relaxing your arms, ensuring your elbows aren’t pinned to your ribcage/chest, and getting the bottom hand in proper position relative to your body (see our hand positioning video on FCL Online).
Backpedal after an OTR shot
Over emphasizing the backpedal reinforces fading away from the net as you shoot. This is one of the most common things we see in sessions around the country and was one of the biggest changes I made to how I think about on the run shooting after I graduated high school. We can’t emphasize running downhill to the net, and still expect a player to flip into a backpedal. For what? Anything that reinforces fading as you shoot is a pass for us. Every step you take on a fade decreases your angle. Combine that with an alley shot, and you have Joe Keegan’s worst nightmare.
Start your Crow hop before you Catch It
The passer makes the shooter. If we ask for it on our stick, we can’t move out of the line of the pass too early. This results in a lot of missed passes (and stern talking to’s from Coach! Thanks Coach D). This is especially critical depending on the direction of the pass. If you do this on a fade, you take yourself out of the passing window. If you do this on a Step Down, you are likely fine as long as you stay in the line of the ball!
If you want to learn our whys, and tips behind these concepts and more about shooting, dodging, offense and more, checkout our online training resource – all access for $180 for the year!