Why can ground balls be the most important skill in kids lacrosse?

This post was written by Coach Tom on April 8, 2009
Posted Under: Catching,Ground Balls,Passing,Skills and Drills

The ball is on the ground much of the time in kids’ lacrosse.  The  team that gets the most ground balls will often win the ball  possession game.  While prevailing in possession is important, I  emphasize ground balls for another reason.  It’s the skill that is the  easiest to learn.

Very young players often haven’t developed the hand-eye coordination
necessary to catch reliably.  Others have considerable trouble with  passing.  Sometimes trouble with passing is simply a matter of insufficient
upper body strength.

I keep trying to improve players’ passing and  catching skills.  After coaching very young kids for many years, I’m  beginning to think, though, that some of them need to get a little  older before they will master passing and catching.   In other words,  some players’ excruciatingly slow rate of improvement is not a  matter of my coaching or the player’s insufficient practicing, but rather because they’re not ready developmentally.

Picking up ground balls is one skill that even the youngest players
can master.  I’m not saying that it’s easy – especially among stick
wielding opponents.  Nevertheless, ground balls require significantly
less hand-eye coordination and upper body strength than do passing
and catching.  So emphasizing ground balls means all players can at
least master that skill.

Reader Comments

If many very young players aren’t developmentally ready to master passing and catching, are early elementary teams too early? Should we hold off a few years on teaching lacrosse?

#1 
Written By Helper on April 23rd, 2009 @ 20:06

I think kids should start as soon as they are able to pick up a stick. There are numerous benefits to starting out young. In the near future I’ll write a more detailed response in a post.

#2 
Written By admin on April 25th, 2009 @ 21:05

Thank you for the question. Kids should start as early as possible. Some kids may take longer than others to catch on. Nevertheless, I think that the earlier a player starts the earlier he will become ready developmentally.

#3 
Written By Coach Tom on April 30th, 2009 @ 17:58

Hi, gr8 post thanks for posting. Information is useful!

#4 
Written By KattyBlackyard on June 14th, 2009 @ 19:41

Hi! I like your srticle and I would like very much to read some more information on this issue. Will you post some more?

#5 
Written By KonstantinMiller on July 6th, 2009 @ 15:22

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