Lots of parents are new to lacrosse and therefore have a hard time understanding if their child is actually good at the sport. One way to measure their ability is by putting them through a timed wall ball routine, one of the very few quantifiable evaluations in the sport.
We really like it because the timed aspect and multiple times of throws forces an athlete to be mentally engaged throughout the duration of the routine. It is far easier to check out when throwing the ball 50 times right handed and then 50 times left handed. (If you want to take a deep dive into why we dislike long periods of wall ball, watch this video.)
This routine is a slightly modified version, updated for fall 2016, of a routine we saw in an ACC locker room a few years back. In addition to learning how to throw seven types of passing, the timed routine forces an athlete to not only throw the ball hard but catch everything. If you drop a pass and the ball rolls away, you won't be able to pass the test even if you complete all remaining reps. You can't replicate this environment with a casual 50 right and 50 left.
10 RH (Regular)
10 LH (Regular)
10 Catch & Switch (Catch left, throw right)
10 Catch & Switch (Catch right, throw left)
10 Twister RH
10 Twister LH
10 Quick stick RH
10 Quick stick LH
5 One handed RH
5 One handed LH
5 Shovel RH
5 Shovel LH
5 BTB strong hand
High School Times
Attackmen should complete at 2:20 or less.
Middies should complete at 2:30 or less.
Poles should complete at 2:45 or less.
U15 times: attack 2:50, middies 3:00, poles 3:15
U13 times: attack 3:15, middies 3:25, poles 3:30
U11/U9 times: short sticks 4:30, poles 5:00
A very focused goalie should be able to complete the test with a short stick as well. Use a middle or defender's time as your first benchmark.
What happens if my child can't complete the task on time?
He needs to work on his game because he isn't as good as you think.
He has a throwing problem, a catching problem or both. You can't complete a timed wall ball test unless you throw the ball hard. You cannot throw the ball hard unless your confident in yourself. You won't be confident in yourself unless you have put the time on your own.
One of the seven throws may be giving him greater difficulty than the others. Dedicate extra practice time to that particular throw.
Stick skills are the great equalizer in our sport. An average athlete with great stick skills is a more valuable asset than the best athlete with poor stick skills.