What Is The Average Speed Of Lacrosse Shots? (By Age & Competitive Tiers)


In the game of lacrosse, understanding shot speed is important. In fact, improving shot speed is important. The faster the ball is travelling, the less chance there is of it being intercepted. This means more chance of getting off those offensive plays. What many people seem to be unable to grasp, however, is average shot speeds at the level of the game that you are playing. That is what I want to take a look at on this page.

Before I go any further, it is important to note that the only recordings of average shot speed in lacrosse are taken under controlled conditions. These are not in-game shot speeds. It would be impossible to record those. There are so many angles that a shot can take place at, and so much speed in the game, that you would never be able to record the speed of the shot.

It is unlikely that a player will reach these shot speeds while playing an actual game of lacrosse. There would never be an opportunity to wind up the shot to get it at the maximum speed. There will be far too much defensive pressure. That being said, working on your shot speed under controlled conditions is still important. While you won’t be hitting those speeds on the lacrosse field, every bit of practice you put in will help.

What is the Average Lacrosse Shot Speed By Age?

Surprisingly, there is very little information out there regarding average shot speed by age. It seems that the bulk of the research has really focused on looking at the playing level instead. I do suppose this makes sense. When it comes to shot speed, there is less variance in lacrosse than in a sport like baseball, where a hitter could easily be 10mph below their peers because they are a couple of years younger. Because of this, I am instead going to break down the average shot speed by age group.

It is important to remember that younger players will often have a slower shot speed. This is because they will have far less power behind their swing. Their muscles haven’t quite developed yet. As a player ages, their shot speed will start to get noticeably quicker. Their peak will be somewhere between 20 and 30, which is when you will start to see a decrease in shot speed again. This is due to wear and tear on the muscles.

As a note, the average age that a player starts to play lacrosse will be 8.5-years old. This is where I have started this chart. Younger players than this will likely have shot speeds 10-20mph lower than the minimum that I put here.

The age range for some of these can be a bit broad. This is due to the lack of information on average shot speed by age. It is also due to the low amount of variance in shot speeds. You can expect an older player in the stated age range to be closer to the upper level of the average, and the younger closer to the lower end.

AgeAverage Shot Speed Range
8-1360-70 mph
14-1870-85 mph
18-2180-95 mph
Starting at 19-years-old90-105 mph

What is the Average Lacrosse Shot Speed at Different Competitive Tiers?

Perhaps the best indicator as to whether you are sitting at the right shot speed level for your age, is looking at the average shot speed per competitive level of the sport. If you sit on somewhere within these averages, then you are doing average for your age.

If you are below these average speeds, then it may be wise to start working on the speed of your shot (I will have more information on that in a short while).

If you are above them, then this is brilliant. It means that your shot speed is going to be far superior to most of the other players that you come across. I hope that you are going to be able to translate that shot speed to your game. It is all well and good being able to do it in a controlled environment, but being out there and taking shots on the field is where it really counts.

CompetitionAverage Shot Speed Range
Youth Lacrosse60-75 mph
High School Lacrosse70-85 mph
College Lacrosse80-95 mph
Professional Lacrosse90-105 mph

What is the Fastest Lacrosse Shot Speeds Ever?

For a long while, the fastest ever lacrosse shot ever recorded was a whopping 119.9mph. This was recorded by Patrick Luehrsen. However, his recorded was recently beat. This isn’t too bad, though. He managed to hold his record for a good 4 years, having originally picked it up in 2015.

In 2019, Nick Diegel managed to hit 123.1mph, which is a huge improvement over Patrick Luehrsen. Of course, NIck Diegel didn’t really want to rest on his laurels. In 2020, he managed to add a substantial amount to his shot speed. He now has 127.4mph. I doubt that this is a record that is going to be beaten any time soon.

As I said at the start; it is nigh on impossible to measure shot speed during an official game of lacrosse. However, attempts have been made. To give you an idea as to the difference between shot speed under controlled conditions and in a game environment, the fastest shot speed during gameplay caps out at 116mph. This record is held by Zack Dorn who, surprisingly, never made it to the professional level of the sport. His shot speed was recorded when he was playing at a college level. I have no information as to why Zack Dorn never made it pro. However, it is likely that the shot speed was the key element of his game, whereas a player needs to be quite well-rounded to succeed in the big leagues.

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How Do You Increase Your Average Lacrosse Shot Speed?

So, now you know a little bit about average shot speeds, it is my job to give you some advice on getting as close to those shot speeds as possible. This means that I have a few tips to share with you.

Practice

If there is one tip that you take away from here, I want it to be this one. You cannot improve your shot speed in lacrosse without practice. The more you practice, the better you will get. This is because you will be refining your technique and improving the muscles that are needed for shooting.

Improving your shot speed is going to take hundreds and hundreds of shots. However, you will start to see an improvement. If you can, measure your shot speed with a speed gun on the first day. Measure it a few weeks later after a lot of practice. I wouldn’t be surprised if you added a good 5-10mph onto your shot speed.

Loosen the Grip on Your Lacrosse Stick

The tighter you hold the stick, the less power you will be able to put into the shot. I know that it likely goes against everything that you want to do with that stick but I encourage you to work on it. Holding too tight will lock those wrists up, and you need them for those high-velocity shots. You should be holding the stick just tight enough to be able to control it.

Arms Need to be Away from the Body

If you have read my previous articles, then you will know that I have discussed something known as ‘alligator arms’. This is a term in lacrosse used when the arms are held too close to the body. You don’t want this. If you want a high shot velocity, then those arms need to be outstretched. This means that you can use the full power of your muscles.

Know when to release the ball

This is actually going to be the trickiest part to nail. This is because most people will be releasing their shots at the 12 o’clock or 6 o’clock position. You don’t want this. There will be no power in the shot. You need to be releasing at the 1 o’clock position. It is going to be tricky to do at first, and if you do not understand what I mean by this, then check out some pro shot vidoes. They will all release in this position.

Build up your muscles

Not your arm muscles. You need to be strenghtening your core. Work on sit-ups, push-ups that sort of thing. Boost those muscles and you will see a huge boost in shot speed. 

Conclusion

So, there you have it. A guide to improving the average speed of your lacrosse shot. I promise you, if you follow the information I gave here, your shots will benefit. However, do remember your shot speed isn’t everything. After all, if you cannot hit the target, it doesn’t matter how fast your shot is, right? So, you should also be focusing on rounding out your lacrosse game. 

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