How To Improve Your Defense In Lacrosse

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As a lacrosse player, improving your defense skills is crucial to being a successful player on the field. Defense is an important aspect of the sport and requires a combination of physical and mental skills to excel. To help you become a better lacrosse defender, we’ve compiled a list of tips and techniques that you can use in your training. In this article, we will explore six sub-questions to help you understand how to improve your defense in lacrosse.


What is Defense in Lacrosse?

Defense in lacrosse involves preventing the opposing team from scoring by intercepting or disrupting their shots or passes. This is done by playing tight defense on the opposing players and using strategic passes and stick checks to block their progress. To be effective, a defender must have quick reflexes, excellent hand-eye coordination, and strong muscular endurance. This is because defense in lacrosse requires constant movement and fast reaction times.


How Can I Improve My Footwork?

Footwork is an essential component of playing defense in lacrosse. It allows you to stay in front of your opponent and make quick, agile movements to intercept passes or make tackles. Here are some tips to improve your footwork in lacrosse:

  1. Practice agility drills: Incorporate drills that improve your ability to move quickly and change direction. This can include cone drills, ladder drills, and box jumps.
  2. Work on your stance: A solid defensive stance will help you stay balanced and agile. Keep your knees bent, feet shoulder-width apart, and weight centered over the balls of your feet.
  3. Improve your lateral movement: In lacrosse, defenders need to be able to move quickly from side to side. Practice shuffling and sliding to improve your lateral movement.
  4. Use your stick: Your stick can be a valuable tool for improving your footwork. Use it to help you change direction quickly or to block your opponent’s path.
  5. Watch game film: Watch game footage of yourself and other experienced defenders. Pay attention to their footwork and try to incorporate their techniques into your own game.

Remember, footwork takes practice and repetition. Incorporate these tips into your training routine and you’ll see improvement in your defensive skills over time.


What are Stick-checks?

Stick checks are an essential aspect of defensive play in lacrosse. They involve using your stick to disrupt an opponent’s shot or pass, or to dislodge the ball from their stick. There are several types of stick checks, each with its own specific purpose and technique.

  1. Poke Check: The poke check is the most basic and commonly used stick check in lacrosse. It involves using the end of your stick to poke at the opponent’s stick or hands, with the aim of dislodging the ball or disrupting their shot. To perform a poke check, move the head of your stick towards the opponent’s stick, and then quickly pull it back.
  2. Lift Check: The lift check is another common stick check in lacrosse, which involves lifting the opponent’s stick to disrupt their pass or shot. To perform a lift check, position your stick under the opponent’s stick and lift it upward, away from the ground. This will cause the opponent to lose control of the ball or disrupt their shot.
  3. Slap Check: The slap check is a more aggressive form of stick check that involves slapping the opponent’s stick to dislodge the ball or disrupt their shot. To perform a slap check, move the head of your stick towards the opponent’s stick and then slap it forcefully with the side of your stick.
  4. Wrap Check: The wrap check is a stick check that involves wrapping your stick around the opponent’s body to dislodge the ball or prevent them from shooting or passing. To perform a wrap check, position your stick around the opponent’s waist and then twist it in a circular motion to dislodge the ball.

It is important to remember that stick checks m


How Do I Position Myself during Defense?

Positioning is essential in lacrosse because it determines how effectively you can defend against the opposition. When defending, you should always be in a “ready” position, with your knees slightly bent, and your stick held in front of you. You should also position yourself closely to the opposing player you are defending against so that you can stay in front of them and keep them from shooting or passing. Additionally, you should be aware of the position of other players on the field and adjust your positioning accordingly.


How Can I Improve My Communication Skills?

Communication is vital in lacrosse because it keeps players informed about what is happening on the field. As a defender, you need to communicate with your fellow defenders and your goalkeeper to coordinate your efforts effectively. You can improve your communication skills by practicing calling out plays, setting up defensive strategies, and issuing warnings to your teammates. You can also learn how to read body language and anticipate what the other players are going to do to adjust your defensive strategy accordingly.


How Can I Improve My Defensive Game Sense?

Game sense refers to your ability to anticipate the opponent’s moves and make quick decisions. The more you play lacrosse, the more you will develop your game sense. One way to improve your game sense is to watch footage of professional lacrosse games and analyze the tactics and strategies they use. You can also practice playing defense against your teammates in different scenarios to develop your reaction time and hone your defensive techniques.



In conclusion, defense in lacrosse is essential for a successful game. To improve your defensive skills, you should focus on your footwork, stick-checking, positioning, communication skills, and game sense. By working on these areas consistently, you can become a more effective and valuable player on the field. Remember, defense is a team effort, and it takes coordination and communication to be successful. Keep practicing and working with your teammates, and you’ll be a top-notch defender in no time!

Robert Taylor

Robert Taylor

"I live and breath Lacrosse"

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