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Wall Ball

 

Wall Ball is one of the best drills for practicing catching, throwing, and shooting a lacrosse ball. All you need is a wall, your stick, and a ball.

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Lacrosse Instruction

the Benefits

Improve

  • Accuracy
  • Stick Skills
  • Passing
  • Shooting
  • Catching
  • Dodging
  • Conditioning
  • Hand Eye Coordination

Strengthens

  • Wrists
  • Forearms
  • Body Trunk
  • Core
  • Shoulders
  • Legs

the Wall

Concrete or brick walls are preferred, as softer walls can be damaged. Lacrosse balls are very hard and heavy especially when fired with force. Unless your house has a concrete block or solid brick wall, don't blast the ball at the side of your house. Mom will not be happy with you. We joke about Stickbrain's™ firing balls at the house, or the car, or even the little sister. PLEASE DON'T. A solid steal reinforced concrete wall however is perfect for wall ball. Most industrial buildings are now constructed with tilt up concrete walls. School yards are another good place to find a wall. Handball courts, the gym often are concrete. These are all perfect for wall ball. Just make sure you have permission from the owner of the wall first.

If your prospective wall has a window, you are going to break it! Find a wall with no window.

You are looking to play wall ball on a wall that is as long as possible, and as high as possible. Wall ball is best on a wall at least 10 - 12 feet high if you can find one. Any shorter than that, and it is almost impossible to effectively throw and catch the ball in the air. That does not mean that you cannot use a shorter wall, but it will limit you to ground wall ball practice, or one hop catching which is still very valuable. Better to play wall ball against something than not to work the wall at all.

If you cant find a good hard concrete wall, then you can also use a tennis ball on a good solid wall, but better to use a real lacrosse ball whenever possible to duplicate real weight and feel.

WARNING

  • NO MATTER WHAT WALL YOU USE MAKE SURE THAT THE WALL IS STRONG ENOUGH TO SUPPORT THE WEIGHT, AND VELOCITY OF THE BALL YOU USE.
  • START OFF THROWING VERY EASY AND MAKE SURE THE WALL IS SOUND BEFORE YOU START BLASTING THE BALL IN THERE.
  • DON'T SEND ME NOTES TELLING ME THAT WE TOLD YOU TO DAMAGE A WALL, BECAUSE WE DIDN'T
  • IF YOU DAMAGE A WALL, IT IS YOUR FAULT. BE SMART and BE CAREFULL!

Sorry, I had to do that. It never fails that someone tries to blame us when they fire the ball through their garage door. A lacrosse ball can damage a soft wall, so be careful what you throw against. Also the ball can mark a painted concrete wall especially if the paint is oxidized or faded. So again be careful. Also, stucco is not concrete. Do not throw your ball against a plaster or stucco sided wall. It can certainly damage the wall.

Getting Started

When playing wall ball, make sure every time you throw that you are aiming at something.  This is a very important key to wall ball.  Every shot needs to be at a specific target.  Put some tape on the wall in a couple spots and shoot for the tape. It is important that you are focusing and aiming at a spot when you throw. When you miss your taped mark, your brain will register the miss, and on its own make small adjustments to the actions of your muscles and hands. This is called muscle memory. With constant repetition it is inevitable that you will learn from the mistakes you make. The visual mark that you are focusing on is a very key part of improving your muscle memory.  Without that image of missing your mark, you won't get more accurate, and accuracy is the goal.

Also for the best results and when possible practice with your gear on. At least your gloves. Most players and coaches do their wall ball drills with no gear on, or just gloves. In my opinion, this is a mistake. If you are going to play in your shoulder pads, helmet, arm pads, rib pads, and gloves, then you should practice with them on too. This gives you the best simulated experience both from a visual and weight perspective. Accurate repetition is the key to muscle memory and improved results. As your muscle memory improves, so will your accuracy. If you work hard and develop good muscle memory on the wall, and then change what your muscles remember by adding heavy gear and reduced vision, your accuracy will be effected negatively. I also firmly believe that hand eye coordination is an important aspect of wall ball. With your helmet off you have perfect vision. This is not how you play a game. With your helmet on you learn to find the ball with the reduced vision inside a helmet, through the bars. Training hand eye coordination in exactly the same conditions is another benefit to be gained by practicing with your gear on. If you are a girl, I recommend wearing your goggles for exactly the same reasons. Make all of your hard work as effective as possible.

Make the period fun. Play music. Challenge yourself.

Most importantly - DO IT OFTEN! 3-5 times a week minimum. The more you do it the better your results will be.

the Program

  • All drills should be 50 reps for each hand. (50 reps right hand - 50 reps left hand)
  • With a little practice, the whole program should take no more than 30 minutes.
  • Focus on quick repetition
  • Try to be perfect and quick
  • Count misses - See how many out of 50 you can catch. Shoot for 100%
  • Time yourself - Constantly challenge yourself to do it quicker.
  1. Throw, Catch, and Cradle.
    • Stand 10-15 feet (3-5 meters) from the wall.
    • Start with your feet in the throwing position, at a 90 degree angle to the wall.
    • Focus on your upper body mechanics and throwing motion.
    • Start with your stick handle by your ear.
    • Your hips and shoulders will create a twisting motion as you throw.
    • Focus hard on a specific point on the wall.
    • Throw hard snapping your wrists with a full follow-through.
    • Catch the ball on the same side.
    • Bring the ball up by your ear, and do a quick cradle.
    • Then reach back and fire again.
    • Do 50 quick reps.
    • Switch to your other hand, and repeat.
  2. Quick Stick Drill (Attackmen wall ball drill)
    • Move up to five feet (2 meters) from the wall
    • choke up on your stick handle a little if you need to.
    • Start with your feet parallel to the wall.
    • Bend your knees with each throw to generate force.
    • Focus on the throw and catch.
    • Start with your stick handle by your ear.
    • Focus hard on a specific point on the wall.
    • Throw hard snapping your wrists with a full follow-through.
    • Catch the ball on the same side.
    • Bring the ball up by your ear, no cradle.
    • Then quickly reach back and fire again.
    • Do 50 quick reps.
    • Switch to your other hand, and repeat.
  3. Cross Face Catch
    • Move back 10-15 feet (3-5 meters) from the wall.
    • Start with your feet in the throwing position, at a 90 degree angle to the wall.
    • Focus on your upper body mechanics and throwing motion.
    • Start with your stick handle by your ear.
    • Your hips and shoulders will create a twisting motion as you throw.
    • Focus hard on a specific point on the wall.
    • Throw hard snapping your wrists with a full follow-through.
    • Reach across and catch the ball on the opposite side of your head.
    • Bring the ball back across your face up by your ear, and do a quick cradle.
    • Then reach back and fire again.
    • Do 50 quick reps.
    • Switch to your other hand, and repeat.
  4. Step, Throw, and Catch
    • Start 10-15 yards (10 meters) from the wall.
    • Take a couple of steps toward the wall
    • Throw while stepping with your opposite foot from your throwing hand.
      • (Throwing right - Step with your left foot)
    • Focus on your upper body mechanics and throwing motion.
    • Start the throw with your stick handle back by your ear.
    • Your hips and shoulders will create a twisting motion as you throw.
    • Focus hard on a specific point on the wall.
    • Throw hard snapping your wrists with a full follow-through.
    • Catch the ball on the move .
    • Vary your throws
      • Catch the ball stick side
      • Catch the ball cross face
      • Catch on the bounce
    • Bring the ball up by your ear, and cradle.
    • Move yourself back to your starting position while cradling, and fire again.
    • Do 50 reps.
    • Switch to your other hand, and repeat.
  5. Switch Hands
    • Stand 10-15 feet (3-5 meters) from the wall.
    • Start with your feet in the throwing position, at a 90 degree angle to the wall.
    • Focus on your upper body mechanics and throwing motion.
    • Focus hard on a specific point on the wall.
    • Throw hard snapping your wrists with a full follow-through.
    • Catch the ball on the same side.
    • Bring the ball up by your ear, and do a quick cradle.
    • Bring the ball across your face switching hands.
    • Then reach back and fire from the other side.
    • Catch with same side you throw from
    • Do 50 quick reps.
  6. On the Run
    • Move to 7 yards (6 meters) from the wall
    • Start on one end of the wall
    • While running focus on a spot and fire the ball at the spot.
    • Focus on your upper body mechanics and throwing motion.
    • Start with your stick handle by your ear.
    • Your hips and shoulders will create a twisting motion as you throw
    • Throw hard snapping your wrists with a full follow-through
    • Make sure to vary the return angle
      • Catch some in front of you
      • Some from the back hand
    • Always bring the ball back to the same side
    • Continue to run
    • Repeat as many times as the length of your wall will allow
    • Turn around and start from the other end of the wall
    • Repeat throwing with the other hand.
    • Do 50 reps each hand.
  7. Roll Dodge (attackmen - middy wall ball drill)
    • Stand 10-15 feet (3-5 meters) from the wall.
    • Start with your feet in the throwing position, at a 90 degree angle to the wall.
    • Focus on your upper body mechanics and throwing motion.
    • Focus hard on a specific point on the wall.
    • Throw hard snapping your wrists with a full follow-through.
    • Catch the ball on the same side.
    • Bring the ball up by your ear, and do a quick cradle.
    • Slide your bottom hand up the shaft
    • Release the stick with upper hand
    • Roll your body away from the wall
    • As you roll (spin) lead with the elbow that is not holding the stick
    • The off hand will hold the stick near the head and one hand cradle protecting the ball
    • When you have spun 180 degrees set your feet
    • Re-grip the shaft with both hands
    • Now you will be throwing from the other side other hand
    • Then reach back and fire from the other side.
    • Catch with same side you throw from
    • Alternating sides and continuously switching hands after each catch
    • Do 50 quick reps.
  8. Split Dodge
    • Stand 10-15 feet (3-5 meters) from the wall.
    • Start with your feet in the throwing position, at a 90 degree angle to the wall.
    • Focus on your upper body mechanics and throwing motion.
    • Focus hard on a specific point on the wall.
    • Throw hard snapping your wrists with a full follow-through.
    • Catch the ball on the same side.
    • Bring the ball up by your ear (ready position).
    • Do a split Dodge by reversing your feet
      • Hop And twist 180 degrees landing with your feet and body now facing the opposite direction.
      • Switch hands while you are hopping so that when you land you are now ready to throw from the other side.
    • Then reach back and fire from the other side.
    • Catch with same side you throw from
    • Alternating sides and continuously switching hands after each catch
    • Do 50 quick reps.

Add Other Dodges and Freestyle Tricks

  • Be creative and add moves and dodges that you are working on.
  • Behind the back shots and catches should be a regular part of wall ball
  • One handed throws and catches are perfect for wall ball
  • Between the legs shots
  • Create your own tricks.
  • Have fun!
  • Do at least 5 minutes of varied (play time) wall ball every session
  • It is very important in developing both your skill level as well as keeping the work fun.

If you do one thing to improve your game Wall Ball is it. Keep it fun. Focus on a spot. Challenge yourself, and Just Do It!


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