“My teammate Pat Heim gave me a nice little give and go. I’m glad I made the most of the scoring opportunity and put the ball in the back of the net,” Buchanan said of his game-winning shot. The team was relieved to secure a playoff spot after missing two previous opportunities to clinch with losses against Long Island and Hamilton in July.
After securing not only a spot in the playoffs, but the number one seed in the league, Buchanan notes the importance of their upcoming and final regular season match-up.
“As a team, we need to go into this weekend just like every other, with the mindset to play as a complete unit at our highest potential,” he said despite Rochester’s recent elimination from the playoff run. “To get a win against the Rattlers this weekend is extremely important because entering Championship Weekend with momentum is crucial. We need everyone’s confidence up and to be playing their best lacrosse.”
Buchanan and the rest of the Cannons have their eyes on the prize as they shoot for their first Steinfeld Trophy since the league’s inception. In the meantime, Buchanan shares some invaluable shooting tips of his own and tells laxers to become “corner-finders” to take their games to the next level.
Kevin Buchanan's Shooting Tips
- Body position- A shooter’s hips should be closed and perpendicular to the goal. The shooter should be positioned to the goal just like a baseball pitcher is positioned to home plate.
- Feet - A shooter’s feet should be shoulder width apart in a comfortable athletic stance. If you were to lay down a stick perpendicular to the goal, the shaft would represent 0 degrees on a protractor; your back foot should be at approx 70 degrees and your front foot at approx 30 degrees. This is the perfect happy medium. If your feet are too open you won't get enough power from your rotation and if they’re too closed, you fight your own body to get the ball around.
- Stepping- The shooter should always step to the target driving off the back foot. Some players like to point the toe of the front foot at their target.
- The Core Twist- The majority of the shooter’s power comes from the core. If you twist a spring and let go, what happens..... it snaps back to its natural state. As a shooter, you want to emulate the twisted spring. When shooting, wind up your core and snap it back quickly. This will add MPH to your shot and aid in getting your stick and hand around.
- Arms- The shooter’s arms should be up and back, away from his body. Don't over exaggerate this, the shooter should find a comfortable position.
- Hands on the twig- The shooter wants his bottom hand at the base of shaft with his other hand about 8 inches above it. As shooters we want to use the entire stick to maximize the leverage creating a faster, more accurate shot.
- Head - A shooter’s head should always be looking at his target. Never take your eyes off your target!
- Hands in motion- The motion of a shooter’s hands are push, pull. A shooter should pull the bottom hand to his hip while pushing the top hand. Remember to keep your wrists loose as they should break when the ball snaps out.
- Follow through- When the shooter follows through, the head of his stick should shoot adjacent to the outside of his front foot. The back shoulder should be driven toward the target of the shooter. This will improve accuracy and velocity.
- Mixing everything- All of the previous tips must be combined together to make one fluid shooting movement. Practice the above tips on your nearest goal. Good luck!
Tickets for the 2011 Sports Authority Major League Lacrosse Championship Weekend presented by Warrior are available by calling MLL at 617-787-6638 or by clicking here . Lower level sideline weekend packages are just $30.
The semi-finals will take place on Saturday, August 27 at 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. while the MLL Championship Game will be played on Sunday, August 28 at 3 p.m. All three games will be played at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.