Lacrosse Science! UF Study Seeks Male and Female Volunteers for Shooting Motion Study

Florida’s leading research institute doesn’t only study concussions, Einstein’s theories, and other boring stuff, like beer.  They also study lacrosse!

Dr. Heather Vincent of the UF Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation is the principal investigator for a series of studies based on the biomechanics of lacrosse.  The aspects of interest include the difference in motion as a player progresses from the high school level to college to the professional level and the difference in motion among different positions.  She is currently looking for more participants (more info on getting involved at the bottom of this article).IMG_5296

A portion of this study was published in Lacrosse Magazine a little while back.

You can be in the same study as Lyle and Miles Thompson! For the record, Vincent says Lyle has the better form for shooting.lyle thompson

What have the researchers seen so far? You’ve probably heard it before.  The most important body parts for your shot are your legs, hips, and core, not the arms and back.  Noticing a trend of back pain in lacrosse players is actually what provided the impetus for this line of research.  When we spoke, Vincent also emphasized the importance making sure the muscles get enough rest as well as the benefits of being a multi-sport athlete.

The first part of my biomechanical analysis.
My body composition analysis.

I participated in this study a couple months ago (admittedly, for extra credit in my anatomy class) and it was super beneficial.  I was given a DVD of me shooting in slow-motion, had a complete body analysis done, which included my body fat percentage and resting metabolic rate calculations, and I was given a head-to-toe breakdown of my biomechanics.  This biomechanics analysis was extremely thorough.

Part of my biomechanical analysis. As you can see, I shouldn’t be teaching anyone how to shoot.

For example, my max shoulder rotational velocity was 764°/sec (normal is 829-1010, the pros get over 1350) and my max ball speed was 71 mph (normal for high school boys is 65-90).  After I tested, I sat down with a physiologist, who explained what every value meant and how it compared to the best.  This really gave me a very specific understanding of how I could improve my shooting.

Now, I haven’t played for two years and when I did play last I was a mediocre close defender with maybe two career goals, one of which came on senior night, so this information was of little personal value. But, for all you high school and college players out there, imagine how an exact understanding of your shooting motion could improve your game.

The bottom line is this: if you participate in this study, you get a super cool video of you shooting in slow motion, body composition measurements, complete biomechanics report, and you get to say you were in the same research study as the Thompsons.  It seems like a no-brainer to me.

If you are interested in participating, take a look at the flyer in the picture below and contact Trevor Leavitt at or (352)273-7371.  They are looking for both genders, all positions, and all levels ages 14-30.


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