Lacrosse is a game that requires lightning-fast reflexes, accuracy and endurance, but before you can light up the scoreboard for your team, you must get used to correctly handling your stick. Although following general grip guidelines will put you in a position to succeed on the field, you'll quickly develop your own grip based on what feels most comfortable for you. In time, your stick should become an extension of your body and you won't have to think about your grip as you play.
Determine which hand will be your top hand when gripping the lacrosse stick. Although you'll use one hand as your default top hand, skilled players must be able to quickly change the position of their hands on the stick based on their shooting angles and the available passing lanes to their teammates. If you're right-handed, hold the stick with your right hand as your top hand. Because you hold your lacrosse stick with the head elevated, your top hand is the hand closer to the head, while your bottom hand grips the end of the shaft.
Put your hands into your lacrosse gloves before you practice gripping your stick. Gloves are an essential piece of the sport's protective gear, and you should never play or practice without wearing your gloves.
Lay the shaft of the stick against the base of the gloved fingers on the hand you've chosen as your top hand, and then gently close your fingers around the shaft. The space between your top hand and the bottom of the head of the stick is a matter of personal preference, but leaving between 6 and 12 inches of space is a suitable starting point.
Grip the shaft of the stick lightly with the fingers of your top hand and avoid adjusting your hand to make the shaft sit directly across your palm. Keeping the stick at the base of your fingers allows you to quickly manipulate the stick to make and receive passes and shoot the ball.
- Your thumb plays a key role in gripping the stick's shaft with your bottom hand, but it isn't as important on your top hand. Although every player has a unique style, allow your top hand's thumb to gently rest against the shaft, but avoid pinching the shaft between your thumb and fingers.
- If you're new to the sport, spend ample time getting accustomed to properly gripping the stick before you begin trying to receive passes.
- Always wear proper facial protection, even during practice.
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.