Why Do Lacrosse Players Spin Their Sticks?

By Alex Mercer

April 10, 2022

If you just began watching lacrosse, you may quickly notice that lacrosse players spin or twirl their sticks to and fro. Likewise, if you aren’t very familiar with the sport, it’s puzzling to determine precisely why lacrosse players spin their sticks. 

Here is the short answer. Lacrosse players spin their sticks to prevent the ball from falling out of the net. This spinning motion is known as cradling. If you run with a lacrosse ball on your stick and don’t cradle it, the ball will slip out rapidly. When you cradle, a centrifugal force holds the ball within the stick and permits you to run and manipulate the lacrosse ball without falling out.  

Cradling is an essential skill in lacrosse, and each lacrosse player ought to know how to cradle. However, depending on your preference, you may cradle the lacrosse ball with one or two palms and convey the stick forward or backward. If you want to learn more about this subject, consider reading to the end.  

What Is The Purpose Of Spinning A Lacrosse Stick?

As stated above, another word for spinning a lacrosse stick is cradling. Cradling is a method to guard the ball against falling out of the net. As a lacrosse player, you need seven principal skills to play lacrosse: scooping, throwing, catching, speed, checking, dodging, and, most importantly, cradling.

Cradling is vital for an excellent lacrosse offense. Cradling ensures that the ball doesn’t fall out of your net while you’re moving. It is a fundamental lacrosse skill because your defense relies on it, even though it seldom depends on your position. 

If you need to get smart about how cradling works in lacrosse or how you can enhance your cradling abilities, read on.  

How To Cradle a Lacrosse Ball

Man in Blue and White Jersey Playing Lacrosse · Free Stock Photo

To begin two-hand cradling, keep your dominant hand at the head of the stick and your lowest hand at the waist top. While the lower hand stabilizes the stick in one spot, the pinnacle hand does most of the work to grip the ball.

Holding the stick at the waist peak, with the open aspect of the stick facing the sky, raise your arm with the pinnacle hand as much as your neck height. As your fingers upward thrust, your elbow and wrist ought to bend so that the pinnacle of the stick is around the head/helmet peak.

At the peak cradle, the stick head should be facing downward so that the upward pressure of the stick can act on the pocket to maintain the ball from falling out. After that, carry the stick back down, such that it’s within the same position you started in with. 

Here are some other things to consider:

  • Cradling with two arms doesn’t provide most ball safety. It permits more excellent manipulation. 
  • The goal of every lacrosse player is to carry the ball, dodge players, and then transition into a bypass or shot. And this is achieved by cradling the lacrosse ball properly. 
  • The basic cradling approach is to keep your stick, pinnacle-hand arms to the sky, and bottom hand arms to the floor.  
  • Generally, most manipulation comes from the pinnacle hand, while the bottom-hand guides and gives balance. 
  • Also, wrists and fingers must be operating collectively to keep the ball inside the stick because the stick moves backward and forward or up and down. While this is taking place, your elbows and wrists should bend throughout the forward movement and unbend for the duration of the downward movement.

11 Tips To Spin Your Lacrosse Stick Like A Pro

Here are some recommendations to help you start if you don’t know how to cradle yet or don’t know where to start.

Check The Depth Of The Pocket

Adjusting the depth of your pocket is one of the first things you should learn. The depth varies depending on the game you’re playing. The idea is to create your pocket deep enough for a ball to sit comfortably in it but not so deep that you risk receiving a penalty.

Do not attempt to break the rules, even if you believe you can get away with it, because that is the only way to learn. Also, it can be humiliating to be discovered cheating on your cradles.

How do you check and adjust the depth? Untie the knots related to the head to fix the pocket’s depth. Pull the threads apart more to make the pocket shallower until it’s the proper depth. Once you’re comfortable with the depth, tie it back.

Proper Lacrosse Stick Grip

Place your non-dominant hand overhand at the bottom of the lacrosse shaft. With your non-dominant hand, lightly grab the lacrosse shaft and keep it in the same position in space. Then curl the lacrosse stick toward you and away from you with your dominant hand. Repeat this process over and over to master it better. 

Learn To Control With Your Dominant Hand

Control is one of the most crucial skills to grasp in cradling. You risk losing the ball if you don’t have it. So, you want to control with your dominant hand instead of the non-dominant hand. 

For best results, your dominant hand should be no more than six inches below the head. However, it won’t stay there indefinitely because its location varies as you catch and throw. But, for cradling, it stays a few inches below the head.

The lower section of the stick will be supported by the non-dominant hand. Place it directly over the stick’s edge.

Keep The Proper Angles In Mind

Every action in lacrosse is viewed from a different viewpoint. When cradling, your stick should be held in front of your body rather than your side. The end of the stick should not extend below your hips and should be parallel to your chest. Always attempt to keep the stick’s butt in front of your lower abdomen.

Also, when running with the stick, keep the stick’s angle at 45-60 degrees to the ground at all times. When it comes to the stick’s head, make sure it’s between your nose and ear.

Maintain a Relaxed Wrist Position

Twisting the stick in your hands is an essential element of cradling. If your wrists are too stiff, you won’t be able to execute it. Therefore, it’s necessary to practice twisting your wrists with the stick to master cradling.  

Also, when your wrist points towards your stomach, it’s not like a complete twist. Instead, you’re curving the rod towards your body. Allow your dominant hand to lead the twist and your elbow to follow suit.

Remember that you don’t need to twist too much because a broad and crazy twist will only cause the ball to fall. And when you move your arms and wrists, you should also move your body.

Recognize The Importance Of Stick Distance

Another thing you need to work on to become a pro in cradling is the stick distance. The stick should be directly in front of you but not so near that it hits you. Notwithstanding, there should be enough space to maneuver with the stick while keeping a safe distance from your body. You don’t want the stick too far away from you since it’ll be difficult to manage.  

Practice Running While Holding a Stick

Lacrosse necessitates running, so you’ll need to become used to running with a stick. But that’s not all; you’ll also have to get used to spinning with a stick in your hand that has a ball in its pocket. It might appear simple at first, but it isn’t.

There’s a good risk the ball will fall off with all the moves you’ll be doing. You should practice jogging while carrying a ball in your pocket. It’s fine if you’re afraid about the ball falling off; you’re merely practicing.

However, while running, pay attention to how your wrists and arms move in relation to other players. It also helps to practice cradling the ball efficiently by running at different speeds and directions.

Explore Different Arm Movements

You might not always have to grip the stick with two hands. You must let go of your non-dominant hand for it to “block” an opponent attempting to retrieve the ball. You must have a tight grasp on your stick to keep it at the proper angle when this happens.

Typically, cradling with one hand is more difficult than cradling with both hands. Practice doing so while running to become used to only using one hand to control the stick and the ball. However, before passing the ball, you must return your non-dominant hand to the stick.

Pay Attention To How Your Hands And Wrists Move

Once you’re already playing, it’s easy to get carried away with your arms and wrists. That’s why it’s essential to practice on your own first to ensure that your muscles understand how to twist your wrists properly. You don’t want to make penalty moves without realizing it.

Another strategy is to practice with a more experienced lacrosse player. As a result, you may act as though you’re fighting an opponent as they watch your wrist and hand movements as you run. It’s also more enjoyable to practice with someone else rather than alone.

Go For More Training

This appears to be a no-brainer, yet it’s one that many people neglect because some individuals believe that just playing lacrosse is enough to be a good cradler. However, this is not true!

Training will keep your entire body in good shape, making it easier to move around. If you do not train, your response and reflexes will not be as swift if you do not train. Plus, your legs aren’t going to be that quick. And, as you may know, cradling entails more than merely moving your arms.

Related Questions

Is a Lighter Lacrosse Stick Better?

Lighter shafts keep you more agile and faster down the sector, while more potent shafts keep as much as regular abuse and deal out serious exams. The balance among these functions is referred to as a stick’s electricity-to-weight ratio. Typically, the greater steeply-priced a shaft is, the lighter and more potent its cloth.

Why Does The Lacrosse Ball Fall Out Of The Stick?

If you run with a lacrosse ball on your stick without cradling it, it will quickly fall out of the stick. While you cradle, centrifugal pressure holds the ball in the stick and lets you run while keeping the lacrosse ball’s control.

About the author

Hey There! My Name is Alex and I run Get Hyped Sports. I created this platform to help people find their love for sports and gaming.

Our work has been featured on platforms like Mashable.com, SVG.com, and XXL.com.

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