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Henry Youth Lacrosse

Lacrosse Wall Ball

How Can I Get Better At Lacrosse? Two Words: Wall Ball

Want to get better at lacrosse? How would you like to be one of the best players on the team next year? ANYONE can become a good lacrosse player if they want to, it’s one of many things that makes lacrosse such a great sport! What’s the secret? It’s not a secret! We tell our players every...single...practice! Hit the wall! In lacrosse, the difference between good and bad players is how much time they spend “on the wall” doing wall ball. What is wall ball? It’s simply throwing a lacrosse ball (which is made of solid rubber and bounces off hard surfaces) against a wall (preferably without nearby windows or anything else you can damage) and catching it. Okay, it’s slightly more complicate than that – but it’s playing catch off a wall or rebounder. 

If you’ve never done wall ball before – or even if you have, and you’re looking for some fresh ideas or motivation – we’ve pulled together a bunch of our favorite YouTube videos about lacrosse wall ball. Further down on this page, we’ve also provided some sample wall ball routines or wall ball workouts for lacrosse. We do recommend that you have a routine – and these resources below should provide you with more than enough information to get started.

If you want even more ideas to get the most out of your time on the wall, you can read this additional “Wall Ball Tips” page for even more information. 

Wall Ball Workout Routine Videos

Check out the videos below for examples of wall ball routines or inspiration (see Matt Gibson’s video) to motivate you to take your stick skills to the next level! If you do a wall ball routine and want to share a photo or video with us, just tag one of our social media accounts (they are all @henryyouthlax). Have fun!

Here's a good example of a wall ball routine from Jake at LaxWeekly. Skills reviewed in this video include: Face to Shovel Pass, Overhand Passing, Crossover Passes, Underhand Passes, One-Handed Passes, Catch and Roll, Behind the Back Passes (or BTBs), and Quick Sticks. The video is packed with a lot of great tips for any wall ball workout. It's definitely an intermediate workout, but give it a try!

Joey Sankey is one of the best attackmen to play the game - and he's become a high-level coach as well. This video walks you through his wall ball routine and should give you some ideas for creating your own routine.

Looking for a girls lacrosse-specific wall ball routine? Coach Kelly's got you covered in his "Ultimate Girls Lacrosse Wall Ball" video. Check it out!

Former MLL and NLL Professional Lacrosse Player, Kevin Crowley, walks you through his wall ball routine in this video. This is another example of a wall ball routine you can pull from when creating your own wall ball routine.

Do defenseman do wall ball too? Yes, yes they do. Here's an example of a wall ball ball routine for defenders from Coach Rich (with music!) that you can follow along to or get ideas from for your own routine. Every position in lacrosse needs to be able to pass and catch consistently...even defenseman.

Here's another example of a girl's wall ball routine from Maddy Morrissey as another example for our girl's lacrosse players to learn from.

Tom Shreiber is arguably the best midfielder in the world. And even he does wall ball regularly. Maybe that's part of the reason he's helped lead both the PLL Archers and Team USA to Championships in recent years? If it worked for him, maybe it could work for you. Tom walks you through his wall ball routine and shares some other nuggets of wall ball wisdom in this video.

When it comes to wall ball, there likely isn't another person living on our planet today that is as good at wall ball as Matt Gibson is. Don't take our word for it though, watch Matt's magical wall ball freestylin' in this video from StringKing. If you don't want to hit the wall after watching this video, you might want to go back to baseball. Seriously, his stick skills are out of this world.

The late, great "Coach Z" is probably the only person who could have given Matt Gibson a run for his money when it comes to wall ball. It's not a coincidence that the best NCAA DI players to come out of Georgia in recent years were coached by Coach Z. Wall ball is where it's at and if you want additional inspiration, look no further than this video where Coach Z walks you through an incredible routine (making it look incredibly easy) and never dropping a pass once. He was simply amazing. R.I.P. Coach Z.

Patrick Chapla at POWLAX is the best lacrosse content creator on the Web. Period. I love this guided wall ball workout he's put together on his channel. If you're lacking creativity or don't feel like creating your own routine, that's fine, just follow along with an iPhone, iPad or laptop while Patrick walks you though this incredible 20-minute wall ball routine. Enjoy!

Mitchell Pehlke does a great job creating entertaining lacrosse content as well. The former Ohio State player shares his wall ball routine with fans in this video - which is also a good example of how DI players practice outside of practice. Pehlke says you need to spend 30 minutes a day on the wall. How many examples do you need before you get it? Wall ball is how you improve at the game. Period.

If we're sharing wall ball routines from some of the best men's lacrosse players to ever play the game, we should include the best women's lacrosse player ever too, right? Taylor Cummings is arguably the best women's lacrosse player to have ever played the game - and also the top women's lacrosse content creator on YouTube. She's also a top-level coach now and knows her stuff. So much so, that we're including two different videos from Taylor showcasing various wall ball routines she's used to become the best player in the world.

Here's the second video from Taylor Cummings - this is a good one to watch, because she's doing the wall ball routine in her back yard. You can do wall ball anywhere. There's no excuse to not be working on your stick skills outside of practice. Take it from Taylor.

Remember we said every position should do wall ball? That goes for goalies too. And if we're talking about goalies, Tim Troutner has to be in the conversation. As one of the best goalies in the PLL, Troutner knows a thing or two about playing the game at the highest level. And yes, even Troutner...a goalie...has a wall ball routine. If you're a goalie, here's a good one for you to watch. Enjoy!

 

Ready To Go Wall Ball Routines

We gathered the following wall ball routines from around the Web. You can either use these wall ball routines and workouts to get ideas for creating your program or you can save one to your phone or print it and just do that program. We do recommend doing the same program for four weeks at a time. After four weeks, put a new program together (or grab a different example from the samples below) to continue working on different skills – but more important, to add variety to your routine and keep your wall ball workouts fun and challenging (and improve the likeliness that you’ll do your workouts each week). There’s no right or wrong wall ball routine. While each of the routines below may vary from some of the advice we shared above, what really matters is that you’re hitting the wall regularly and getting your reps in. Any wall ball workout or routine will do – as long as you do the work. Here are the sample wall ball workouts and routines:

Blue Star Lacrosse Wall Ball Routine

This is an intermediate wall ball routine, ideal for a middle school player who has been playing lacrosse for a couple of years and is ready to take their stick skills to the next level. We’re not saying youth players can’t handle this routine – review the routine and decide for yourself if you think you’re ready to take this one on.

ChalkTalk Sports’ Wall Ball Routine

This is a great wall ball routine for beginner and developing players to start with. This routine will get you used to the most common skills or types of passes you should be doing as part of your wall ball routine. As mentioned above, once you’ve done this routine for four weeks (or sooner if it becomes too easy, boring, or repetitive for you), switch to a different routine. Variety is a good thing when it comes to your wall ball workouts. 

 

Lax Pros’ Wall Ball Routine

We like this wall ball routine from Lax Pros because they’ve created a “minimum effort” wall ball routine AND broken out the routines by grade. This is another great option for beginner players to start with, especially as they are just starting out with wall ball. It’s “just enough” to get started developing habits for regular wall ball. While we’ve provided a lot of wall ball videos for you to watch above, Lax Pros also has a video demonstrating the skills in the routine below. You can watch the video on their website here. As a side note, we also think Lax Pros approach to wall ball is worth mentioning. They’ve made wall ball part of a “wall ball team” concept they use for their program. They even have cool t-shirts for players who are part of the wall ball team. This is a great example of using competition and team participation to make wall ball more fun to do on a regular basis. We may look to use a similar approach with our program this season!

Mission Hill High School’s Wall Ball Exercises

This is another basic wall ball routine for beginner or intermediate players, though it is a program used by the Mission Hill High School team in San Diego. If you’re interested, Mission Hills has also shared a workout for improving your conditioning, core strength, and overall strength on their website as well. While working on your stick skills is the MOST important area to focus on if you want to be a better lacrosse player, it’s also worth working on your conditioning, speed, and strength alongside your wall ball routines to help your overall development as a lacrosse athlete. While players typically get more serious about working on these additional skills as they get closer to high school, there’s no rule against youth players working on these additional skills to help them accelerate their skill development at whatever level they are at today. You can review this additional information on Mission Hill’s website here. 

Rip It Lacrosse’s Wall Ball Workout

This is another good example of an intermediate wall ball workout for players that have been working on their stick skills for a while and want to challenge themselves to take their workouts to the next level. It’s also a cool example of a different format for a wall ball workout. This routine emphasizes the importance of getting your basic passes “perfect” – this is great advice, as you want to do wall ball with proper mechanics and a purpose. The proper mechanics is making sure you are in a good athletic stance, have your hands up and away from your body (see the videos for examples of this), are aiming properly (pointing your front foot, aiming with the butt of your stick, and following through to the target and finishing your pass by “elbowing the person behind you.” Not really, but that’s what it looks like when you complete the proper throwing motion. The “with a purpose” part includes things like aiming and hitting a spot on the wall consistently to work on your accuracy or throwing the ball off the wall with enough speed and accuracy to get the ball to come back to your stick each time. If you practice proper mechanics (with a purpose), you’ll build “muscle memory” and be able to make crisp, accurate passes and catch the ball (almost) every time it’s thrown your way. The Rip It routine also introduces a variety of “advanced” skills that are good for intermediate players to start working on and great for advanced players to try and master. Offside catches, quick stick passing/catching, regularly switching hands, and advanced skills like passing and catching behind your back are all excellent skills to work on for players with intermediate to advanced skills. 

 

Salisbury University’s Wall Ball Test

Salisbury’s Men’s Lacrosse program is one of the most successful teams at the NCAA Division III level, having won 13 titles in the program’s history (tied with Hobart for the most wins in DIII lacrosse). If you stick with wall ball long enough, you will eventually get to the point where you are able to complete most of the skills shown in the videos or listed on the workouts and routines above (though it may still be a while before you are passing and catching behind the back – but stick with it, and it will come). If/when you get to the point where you’ve mastered some of the routines or workouts shared above and you want to evaluate where your skills are currently at, you can challenge yourself to the Salisbury University Wall Ball Test. The test below was developed by legendary college coach Jim Berkman (the winningest coach in NCAA Men’s Lacrosse history). The test includes 10 difference skills – and a total of 210 reps – which must be completed in 5 minutes and 15 seconds to pass. Give yourself one point for each catch. For example, for the first skill of “25 Right Hand One Cradle & Out,” you can only throw the ball 25 times for the first skill. If you catch all 25 passes, you get 25 points and move onto the next skill. Set a stopwatch on your phone or watch to count up (so you know the total time it takes you, since it’s unlikely you will complete the test in 5:15 the first time out). Score yourself based on the total number of catches you make during the test. To calculate your score on the test, divide your total number of catches by 210. For example, here are some sample score ranges based on the number of catches you complete (remember, you can only throw the ball the number of times listed for each skill on the test). Here are the sample scores:

Number of Catches

‚Äč210 – 100% – Perfect Score!

200 – 95% – Excellent

190 – 90% – Great

180 – 85% – Good

170 – 80% – Satisfactory

160 – 76% – Needs Improvement

150 – 71% – Unsatisfactory

140 – 66% – Poor

Below 140 – Keep Working!

Wait, There’s A Catch!

While it’s perfectly acceptable to score yourself based on the number of catches you make, remember the Salisbury University Wall Ball Test is a TIMED test. If you completed all 210 passes in 5:15 or less, even if you didn’t catch all 210 passes, the scores above stand. However, if you want to continue to challenge yourself, deduct a point for every 10 seconds over 5:15 minutes. If it takes you 6:15 minutes to finish the test, you would have a 6 point reduction in your score. For example, if you caught all 210 passes – instead of 100%, you would only score yourself at 96% – which is still amazing. On the other hand, if you only caught 190 passes (which is great), but it took you an extra two minutes to complete the test (a 12-point reduction), instead of scoring 90% in the “Great” range, you’d fall to 78% – which is between “Needs Improvement” and “Satisfactory.” The magic behind this test is it challenges you to both master different types of passing and catching skills, but also to be able to perform these skills quickly – at “game speed.”

If it’s not obvious after reviewing this information, this test is best-suited for an intermediate to advanced high school player. That said, there are plenty of youth and middle school players out there who can complete this test under the time limit and catch 90% or more of the passes. If you want to find one of those players, there’s a good chance you’ll find them on a wall somewhere. You can be one of those players – you just have to put the work in. If you do attempt the test, reach out and let us know how you scored – and good luck!

 

In Conclusion

If you participate in any Henry Youth Lacrosse program, you know that your coaches are constantly reminding you to hit the wall. We want you to try hard and do your best in everything you do, starting with lacrosse. If you’re just starting out, whether as a player or a parent of a player, this will not be the last time you hear about the importance of wall ball. In lacrosse, wall ball is the “secret” to how players “get good” at lacrosse. We’ve created this comprehensive guide to wall ball because we want our players to reach their full potential in the sport.

So what are you waiting for? Go hit the wall! And remember, if you want more of our tips for getting the most out of your wall ball routine, check out our additional “Wall Ball Tips” page here

If you have questions, need help, or want to hit the wall with one of our coaches to help you get started or learn a skill you’re having a hard time mastering, please feel free to contact Coach Jeremy at 404.641.9023 or jeremy@henryyouthlax.org. Now go hit the wall!

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About Henry Youth Lacrosse

Henry Youth Lacrosse is dedicated to growing boys and girls lacrosse participation in Henry County, Georgia. Our mission is to help children in our communities discover, learn, and enjoy the sport of lacrosse while honoring and preserving the traditions of the game. HYL helps introduce the game to children in K-8th Grade, and regardless of age, grade, means, ability, or experience, helps those children develop their skills and reach their full potential on and off the field.