|The science behind the lax shot and how you can capitalize on it |
Friday, August 17, 2012 12:09:33 PM
Caption: ESPN Sport Science recently analyzed Paul Rabil's epic lacrosse shots.
Just before Memorial Day this year, MLL superstar Paul Rabil was featured on ESPN's Sport Science to analyze his record-breaking 111 mile-per-hour shot and what made it possible. Rabil is a legend, but every lax player can take the science from this feature and use it to perfect their own shots.
Physics is the primary enabler of a lacrosse shot's blazing speed, the Sport Science feature explains, while showing a slow-mo stellar fling from Rabil. Due to both the length of the stick and the player's arms, the ball can reach a distance of over 60 inches from the center of rotation, the player's core. As the video says, "the farther away an object is from its axis of rotation, the faster its linear speed," which gives the good guys 100-plus on their swings, faster than most MLB pitchers, where the record is 105 mph.
Where Rabil really shines is with what the feature calls "superior biomechanics." In other words, yes, Rabil is a superhuman, but in theory he's just maximizing the amount of force he can transfer to the ball by slamming his forward foot into the ground before completing his swing. In physics-speak, he's taking the linear momentum he generated and converting it to the rotational variety and is just really good at getting the most force into the ball with his motion.
If you've got a lax stick, a ball and a yard, you can practice Rabil's technique by focusing on holding the stick at the bottom and lower third, extending your arms up next to your head, and getting as much rotation as possible into your swing from the shot line. Check out the video on YouTube.