How to: Play with Baby Hands


Hand positioning is key to success with your stick. Former U.S. U19 player Andie Aldave discusses when to position your hands differently.

Andie Aldave, the youngest player on the 2015 U.S. U19 team and now the nation’s No. 1 recruit as a freshman at Notre Dame, learned a big lesson playing for Team USA three summers ago.

Find and earn a role on the field.

“You’re given a role and you do everything in your power to do the best you can,” Aldave said. “That really prepared me [for college]. U19 built my confidence to not be afraid to show what I have.”

And not to feel pressured when discovering Inside Lacrosse had labeled her the top incoming freshman.

“When you come to college, you’re a freshman,” Aldave said. “You restart everything you’ve done in your past. It doesn’t matter anymore. It’s what you do there that matters most. I definitely think, yes, being No. 1 has given me confidence, but in reality, it’s really just a number. Being humbled by it and taking it as something people should respect me for, that gives me a reason to work even harder.”

As a midfielder, Aldave can produce from anywhere on the field. For this tip, she demonstrates the ability to play with “big hands” and “little hands” — big hands for powerful and speedy passes and shots from longer distances, but little hands for accuracy, control and protection in tight scenarios.

“When you have your hands in a place that creates the ability for you to be free in your shooting, it will definitely create more opportunities for yourself,” Aldave said.



1. Analyze the situation. Take advantage of what the defenders give you.

2. Go little (top photo). When a defender is playing close and you’re in a tight situation — such as dodging, picking up a ground ball off the draw or trying to shoot inside the 8-meter — use baby hands. Keep your hands close together in the middle of your stick.

3. Go big (bottom photo). When a defender is not close to you or making contact, and you’re shooting outside the 8-meter or making a long pass, use big hands. Extend your stick by placing your hands low on your pole to create more passing and shooting opportunities.

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