Lacrosse is an intensely dynamic sport. Players are rushing around the field, trying to catch and pass a ball.
Doing it with one’s hands is hard enough, but lacrosse takes it one step further by using sticks with a little net on the end.
This task is impossible to accomplish without an incredible skill called hand eye coordination. Let’s take a look.
Hand Eye Coordination and Lacrosse
Hand eye coordination is a blending of the visual system and motor systems. The brain must respond to visual information and signal the body where to go.
People use this skill every day. It may be in response to a stationary object, such as seeing a coffee cup on the table and reaching out to pick it up. Or the object may be moving, such as when catching a ball.
In sports, the brain and motor system’s response to visual information often has to take place in split seconds. Think about it, a lacrosse ball isn’t traveling very slowly. Players have to react quickly in order to catch it in their net.
If either motor skills or visual skills are lacking, the lax player will have a difficult time.
Vision Skills for Lacrosse
When they are practicing, many people focus on the physical skills necessary to play lacrosse. However, vision skills are equally as important. Without the right visual input, players can’t physically react correctly.
There are several visual skills that are crucial for lacrosse players:
- Anticipation timing: important for passing the ball or deflecting a check
- Depth perception: critical for all players, but goalies in particular to judge distance correctly
- Visual reaction time: a correct move made too late will still result in failure
- Peripheral vision: the ability to see players coming at them from all sides
Another thing to keep in mind is that lacrosse is an extremely active game. That means that not only do vision skills need to be dynamic (objects and players are constantly in motion) but also, the game is physically tiring.
Fatigue can have a negative effect on a player’s concentration and reaction time. Eye fatigue can also have a detrimental effect.
To that end, players can improve their game by improving their physical conditioning as well as strengthening their eyes and hand eye coordination.
How Lacrosse Players Can Improve Their Hand Eye Coordination
Lax players can improve their hand eye coordination in several ways. Juggling and tossing a ball against the wall are basic drills that players can do. Jumping rope can also help decrease reaction time by strengthening the calf muscles.
However, these methods can get a little boring and there are only a few ways to change them up as the player improves.
To make things a little more challenging, players can train with a three-legged HECOstix device. Not only is the game addicting and fun but also there is a myriad of ways to change up the game to make it more difficult.
Check out HECOstix today and start improving your lacrosse game!