Hi I'm Liz Kittleman Jackson, I'm the head lacrosse coach at Columbia. I'm joined by Katie Crest Irvey, assistant lacrosse coach at Columbia, and Caitlin Jackson at Game Day Lacrosse. Today we're going to talk about some of the basics of cradling. So in order to be the most dynamic player you can be ,you want to make sure that you understand how to cradle so you can keep possession of he ball.
One thing that you want to remember: cradling is not just about using only your arms, and it's not just about using only your wrists, it's about really incorporating the two. Understanding how to cradle at different levels is gonna be really important in terms of having the most well-rounded game and being able to protect your stick at all times. When thinking about protecting your stick from your defender, you want to think about keeping it in front of you,. so one way to think about cradling is to keep it between your shoulders.
But you'll'll notice that Katie and Caitlin are not just using their arms or just using their wrists, but they're using a combination of both along with movement in their body to keep their stick protected between their shoulders. So you also want to be able to cradle at different levels. If you slide your top hand down a bit, this is going to allow you to bring your stick below your hip and change the level of your cradle.
You'll notice that Katie and Caitlin are still using their arms and their wrists along with body movement. One key to a good cradle is having soft hands. You don't want to put a really tight grip on your stick, that's gonna limit what you're able to do. You want to allow the shaft of your stick to roll and move freely within your fingertips. This is going to allow you a lot more control over the ball. A lot of sticks today have the ability to have a really great pocket. You don't really need to over-cradle. Sometimes that makes it really predictable where your stick is going to go, and the defender can get a check off. It also has the potential for you to lose the ball when your'e cradling too much, Just allowing the stick to move freely in your hands, changing the level, and understanding how to protect by keeping it between your shoulders -- those are some of the keys to being able to cradle properly.