Scooping

Scooping a ground ball in lacrosse is one of the most important skills in this sport. There are numerous opportunities in a lacrosse game that require a player to scoop a ground ball. The lacrosse scoop is a technique used to gain possession of the ball when it is on the ground.

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The scoop happens as a player moves toward the ball. In order to scoop the ball, the player should drop the head of the stick to the ground and the stick handle should almost, but not quite, be parallel with and only a few inches off the ground. The concept is similar to how you would scoop poop (pardon the expression) with a shovel off the concrete. With a quick scoop and then angle upward to keep the ball forced into the deep part of the pocket and from rolling back out. Once in the pocket the player will transition to a cradle, pass, or shot, and continue on.

Breaking it down:

Step 1

Approach the ball. Bend your knees and lower the middle of your bottom toward the ball. Lowering your center of gravity will help you get a better angle on the ball when you attempt to pick it up.

Step 2

Extend your lacrosse stick directly in front of you. The stick should be almost parallel with the ground at this point. Many players have problems with this skill because they do not place their stick in a parallel position.

Step 3

Aim the stick so that the stick will hit the ground directly behind the ball. This will allow you to scoop through the ball when it comes time.

Step 4

Pick up the ball with a shoveling motion. This motion should place the ball in the pocket of your stick. Once the ball is in there, bring the ball up towards your eyes. You have successfully scooped a ground ball.

Step 5

Practice this skill everyday. It can be a very uncomfortable motion, but a necessity for a serious lacrosse player. The more practice you have with the skill, the better you will be in game situations.

Some great tips to get you going:

Loose Ball on the Ground

When there is a loose ball on the ground, go after it fast and hard, you must have the ball!

Get it Off the Ground

After picking up a loose ball, turn and face the crease immediately. If nobody is open, move in fast until you are picked up.

Possessing the Ball

When in possession of ball, make the defense man play your stick - watch his stick - the position of it will determine the direction of your feed and the type of dodge you might try.

Give and Go

After receiving a pass, as the ball moves around the outside, look first at the man who threw you the ball to see what he is doing, then at the crease.

Zigs and Zags

Zig your cuts, fake left - go right, fake right - go left. Don't always run at the same speed, change of pace is a very effective method of getting open.

Take Quality Shots

Shoot plenty, but only if you feel you have a good shot. Shoot to get hot, shoot to stay hot.

Feed Passes

All feed passes must be thrown crsiply and accurately. If it's a bad pass, do your best and make a great catch to help your buddy out.

Time Your Cuts

Time your cuts, don't cut if the man with the ball is not watching or not in position to pass.

Keep Proper Spacing

Never stand so close together that one defense can cover two offense.

Move to Meet the Pass

Always move to meet every pass, and circle away from your defenseman.

After the Clear

After the ball has been cleared, if you have a wide open opportunity to dodge, do it. If you are sure a man is open, pass to him, otherwise settle the ball down and let your attack get set up. Remember, after a clear the midfielders will need time to catch their breath. Middies rest on offense, not defense, Control The Ball!

Dodging

Never try to dodge when men are in position to back up.

After the Pass

If you receive a pass after cutting and haven't got a good shot, hold onto the ball.

Back Up shots

Always have one, preferably two, men behind the goal to back up shots.

Circle Away From Pressure

Always move to meet every pass, and circle away from your defenseman.

Ride Hard

When you lose the ball, ride it. The close attack must ride and ride hard until the ball is past midfield.

Don’t Force it

Never try to force in, with the ball or by a pass, if the defense is drawn in. Pull them out first.

Away From the Defense

In moving the ball around the circle, make all passes sharp, short, and to the outside, away from the defense man.

Don’t Rush at Him

Don't rush at a man when riding - particularly behind the goal. Force him to pass - force him in the direction where there is help. Talk all the time and run hard. The success of an attack depends on their riding ability and their desire to have the ball.

Be an Outlet

If an attack man is being ridden hard and can't dodge or get away - the nearest man on each side goes to help him.