In the rough n’ ready sport of lacrosse, setting up shop in the crease is no easy task, especially when playing at high levels. As you get older the offensive attack gets trickier, shots get harder and the overall position as goalie becomes increasingly more challenging. If you’re looking for some drills and training regimens to improve your hand-eye coordination, Sports Unlimited has you covered. After all, the more in tune your eyes, brain and muscle movements are with one another, the more agile, responsive and prepared you will be when your defense is caught staring at the pretty blondes in the bleachers.
Improve Reaction Time
Playing the goalie position requires you to continually react on the field. This is true for goalies in any sport, but especially for lacrosse. There are several ways to improve reaction time so that you can center in on the little white ball and defend any potential game-winning rifles that come your way.
- Juggling – Starting slow (with 1 or 2 balls) with this drill is key, but as you add more balls into the mix, you will notice a heightened sense of hand-eye coordination in your game on the field.
- Jump rope – Although this doesn’t directly engage your hands and eyes, jumping rope will build your calf muscles and increase quickness when approaching a defender or shot.
- Wall ball – One of the easiest and most simple drills, a quick game of wall ball can help you directly improve your hand-eye coordination. Use a tennis ball and switch up stances, overhand, underhand, sidearm, etc. Also try this while moving as it will help you become more comfortable during in-game situations.
Improve Recovery Time
Real game time moves quickly. Although you can never prepare for the unexpected, you can equip yourself with skills that help you recover when you’re caught off-guard from an oncoming offensive attack. In most cases you’re transitioning from off-balance positions throughout the game, always trying to react to the position of the ball. The following drill will help you prepare for those tough transitions, improve your balance and quicken those recovery times.
- Stand facing a wall. Have a teammate stand behind you to the left or the right and throw a tennis ball off the wall so it comes back toward you at a rapid pace. Your teammate has the ability to change the speed and angle of the throw depending on your skill-level. If you’re looking for a real challenge, position your body in a variety of places, for example; laying on the ground, facing different directions, crouched, etc.
There are plenty of ways to improve your skills on the field, but the aforementioned drills can help you hone in on increasing your hand-eye coordination so that you’re prepared for any type of offensive assassin that comes your way. Remember, it’s a long season, so staying well-conditioned and in shape is the most important aspect to fine-tuning your skill set.