How to Get Creative With Ground Balls in Lacrosse
Ground balls (GB), while it may seem miniscule to other parts of the game, is one of the most important parts of lacrosse. Ground balls are not an easy thing to master; especially because there is typically a lot of traffic involved trying to pick up the “GB.” They are a crucial part of lacrosse, because all too often they end up being the difference in a game. The more ground balls that you and your team pick up means that you have more possession, which in turn means a higher likelihood of scoring chances.
Creative Ways to Pick Up a Ground Ball
One of the ways you can pick up a ground ball is to literally box-out your opponent as if it were for a rebound in basketball. Get in between your opponent and the ball and use your body to move the opposing player off of the ball. This will push them out of the way while keeping your body towards to ball with your stick in hand. Get into a low athletic stance and direct your opponent away from the ball as you create space for yourself. This will ensure that you have enough space and time to scoop up the ball and give your team possession.
Rake the Ball
Not everyone will agree with this method of picking up a ground ball, especially your coaches, but it can be very effective, when employed correctly. It is an especially effective method to secure the ball when you’re in a big crowd or pile. With this technique, you need to get down real low and get your head of the stick on the ball. This way you can trap the ball with your stick for a few seconds if you feel it is necessary and wait for a window to rake the ball into your pocket. One of the important tips regarding this technique is to avoid or be prepared for body checks trying to knock you off your course. This method is most effective when you are not able to run and scoop through the groundball.
Trailing Your Opponent
You will not always be in the optimal position to get a ground ball. For example, there will be times when you are closely trailing an opponent from behind for a ground ball. This is where you need to get creative trying to get that ground ball. As he is trying to pick up the ground ball, you need to perfectly time a poke or lift check to his backhand on the stick. If done correctly, this will knock his stick off course and he will overrun the ball. This is where you step in, scoop the ball up for your team, and retain or maintain possession.
Put That Stuff Away
In our video above that you can find on our Instagram page, our very on TBL athlete Miles Thompson shows you a creative way to pick up a ground ball. This is more unconventional than our other ground ball tricks we mentioned and requires more skill. In this creative pick up, use the stick with one hand and you hit the ball with the inside of your stick to get the ball rolling and then scoop it up. To get even more creative with this pickup, you can put the stick, with the ball in the pocket, behind your back to your other hand to help protect your stick from defenders. The only way you will get comfortable and master this creative pickup is to practice. So, put down the video games, and get out on the field and try this Thompson Brothers Lacrosse tip of the day for yourself!