Snaring lacrosse ball takes patience and practice

JOSH LEE DEMONSTRATES how to hold the crosse stick and catch the ball. The Grand Valley Lightning’s season begins Friday at Walker Field at Mesa State College.

Learning any new athletic skill takes time, patience and, most importantly, repetition.

One of the hardest aspects of lacrosse comes in learning how to catch a ball seven inches in circumference in the net of the crosse stick, which ranges from 6.5 to 10 inches.

The Lightning’s inaugural boys season begins at 4 p.m. on Friday against Aspen at Walker Field on the Mesa State College campus.

The girls team plays a tripleheader on Saturday at Canyon View Park, facing Durango at 9 a.m., Battle Mountain at noon and Eagle Valley at 3 p.m.

AJ Meil, a junior at Fruita Monument High School who is a member of the School District 51’s combined Grand Valley Lightning boys team, explains the fundamentals about catching the ball.

Q: Where are your hands on the stick when you catch it?
A: We’re taught to chock up on he stick, near the net. Hands should be about 12 inches apart.

Q: Where in the stick’s net do you try to catch it?
A: Right in the pocket (just above the end of the stick).

Q: Do your hands give when you catch it?
A: Beginners want to snap at it because you cradle the ball after you catch it, but you want some give in your hands.

Q: What do you envision when you’re trying to receive the ball?
A: It’s like catching an egg.

Q: What’s the most important aspect of catching the ball?
A: Focus.


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