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Tips & Tricks - How to: Passing / Catching

Passing and catching are the two most important basic techniques to learn for an intercrosse player.
Below we will describe how to perform different variants of the pass and the catch.

Passing

The most used grip when passing is the medium grip meaning that the lower hand is placed at the end of the stick and the higher hand in the middle of the cross. This grip is most efficient for medium range passes since it results in a fairly powerful pass with good precision.

For shorter ranges though you need "feeling" rather than power.
Therefore, the shorter the pass the higher the grip.

On the other side, for longer passes you often need even more power than the medium grip can give.
In these cases you should lower the grip. The problem with the low grip however is the lack of precision.
It is extremely difficult to get precision in the pass when using a low grip.
You should therefore avoid long passes as much as possible.

The pass is initiated by moving the lower hand forwards and upwards thereby leaning the head of the cross backwards. Before releasing the pass the foot opposite to the side where the cross is held is put forward.
Next the pass is released using a pendulum movement forwards. The lower hand is moved backwards and downwards at the same time as the upper hand is moved forwards and upwards.
The movement is similar to throwing with a fishing rod (for those of you who fish).

Here are some common mistakes made by beginners and some tips on how to correct them:

Problem: When releasing the pass, both hands are moved forward.
This way the ball just "pops" out of the cross.
How to correct: Practise the pendulum movement without a ball or with a ball throwing against a wall.
After a while the movement comes naturally.
   
Problem: The player is standing still with his/her feet parallel.
This way the body is in the way when the release movement is made thus hindering the pass making it powerless and without precision.
How to correct:

Encourage the player to move around while passing. Initially moving forwards when releasing the pass and backwards before receiving the return pass.
This way the positioning of the feet comes naturally.

   
Problem: When releasing the pass it is directed downwards, hitting the floor.
How to correct: The problem is usually that the player uses too much power or that he/she is aiming directly at the receiver's cross.
Aim a little higher and use less power!
   
Problem: When releasing the pass it is too high or too long.
How to correct: The player uses to much power.
Use less power!

Catching

To catch the ball, hold the opening of the cross directly towards the passer, preferably leaning the cross a little bit forward to indicate where you want the ball. When the ball is in the air, keep your eyes on it until it reaches the cross. Move the cross backwards to intercept the ball leaving it in the "pocket" without bouncing or wobbling.

During the interception it is important to "loosen" the wrists. This way the ball's energy is more easily absorbed making the catch stable and giving you immediate control.

Here are some common mistakes made by beginners and some tips on how to correct them:

Problem: When intercepting the ball the cross is moved forward towards the incoming ball.
How to correct: Start the catch by leaning the cross a little bit forward rather than holding it vertically. This way the only way you can move the cross is backwards thus intercepting the ball in the correct way.
   
Problem: The cross is moved backwards in order to intercept the ball but it bounces out of the cross.
How to correct:

Usually this is indicates that the player "locks" the wrists by holding the cross to tightly. "Loosen" the wrists by not holding the cross so tight.