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  • ReLaxing Luke

Don't Shoot Sidearm!

Don't be this guy... (Sorry if you are and reading this!)

We’ve all been there. You have a wide-open shot, drop your stick, wind up, and rip it sidearm. You miss the net. Your coach yells, “Luke, I swear to God, never shoot sidearm again.” It happens. You young players may think sidearm is the best shot. Does it look cool? Yes! But, does it give you a better chance of scoring? No! So, ask yourself this, would you rather score one cool sidearm goal, or a hat trick with overhand shots? Can the sidearm shot be beneficial at times? Absolutely. If you shoot sidearm around your man, using him as a screen, it’s a great shot. Sometimes you have no other choice; however, overhand should be your bread and butter shot.

Sidearm shots are inconsistent. Sometimes players drill the back of the net. Sometimes they miss wide right on easy lay-ups. By shooting overhand, your shot is more consistent. Consistency is what makes good players great. I notice a huge difference when I shoot both ways. Aiming and hitting corners is much easier when I shoot overhand.

I alluded to it above, but you’ll be more accurate with overhand shots. It also makes it tougher on opposing goalies. The goalie has to keep his stick high, which makes lower shots harder to save. By shooting sidearm, you drop your stick, which in turn makes the goalie drop his. His stick is then mid-level in net. He is 50% of the way for a high or low shot. Unless you can change direction shooting sidearm, you are not accurate enough to use it.

It’s easier for defensemen to stop a sidearm shooter because they hang sticks. Shooting sidearm is a great way to get disarmed. I hate trail checks, but a lot of guys will pull off successful trail checks on a sidearm shooter guilty of hanging his stick.

Below I’ve placed a video showing how to successfully trail check an offensive player. The content is informative but I mainly linked it to show what happens when you hang your stick. Let me reiterate one last time. By shooting sidearm, you hang your stick and are open to having this occur!

Shooting sidearm is bad enough, but for the love of God, do not pass sidearm! These passes always turn into ugly lobs that get picked off. One guy on my team used to throw these sidearm passes that skipped up mid-air and always got picked off. Our coach hated it! Just pass overhand. If you watch any good college lacrosse team, they rarely pass sidearm. They don’t use it at their level, so you shouldn’t use it at yours.

As stated earlier, the sidearm shot has its uses. There are times to utilize it; however, too many young players use it as their primary shot. It should be a secondary shot. If you can’t shoot overhand, you shouldn’t be shooting sidearm. High school kids that only shoot sidearm die out in the college ranks. Defensemen and goalies eat them up. That is if they even get on the field (many don’t). I want you to get on the field, which is why I published this article. You owe it to yourself to use the best moves in lacrosse. Do yourself a favor and don’t primarily shoot sidearm.


Agree with my article? Do you only shoot sidearm? Is sidearm better than overhand? Whatever your thoughts, let me know by connecting with me on Twitter or Instagram. You can also subscribe to my website to directly comment onto this article. By subscribing, you will be notified whenever I publish a new article. I greatly appreciate any form of support! Thank you for reading and let’s keep growing this beautiful game.

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