How to Finish Inside, Strategize from the 8-Meter: Lessons with Alex Aust


This article appears in the July/August edition of US Lacrosse Magazine, a digital-only publication available exclusively to US Lacrosse members. Join or renew today for access to this 96-page edition, which includes immersive and interactive features as well as video tips from professional players. Thank you for your support!

Virtual training is all the rage these days. Whether through Zoom, YouTube or Instagram, the resources to connect players and coaches despite their physical separation have surged. US Lacrosse even established a digital emporium, Lax at Home, loaded with drills, at-home workouts, stick-skill exercises, e-learning and development opportunities to keep members active and connected during the pandemic. 

For more than a decade, US Lacrosse Magazine has provided the platform for some of the sport’s top players to share tricks of the trade. We went next level for this digital-only edition. Seven elite professional and U.S. national team players put on a clinic for our cameras at US Lacrosse’s Tierney Field in Sparks, Md. These next several pages are chock full of tips and drills for youth and high school players, including embedded videos. 

We are here to help you get ready to get back on the field. For more ways to train on your own, visit First up in our digital-edition how-to series is Alex Aust.

Maryland '13 / WPLL Pride / 2017 U.S. national team


1. Set Up Your Cut

Either step in one direction before you cut backdoor, or cut when you see your defender’s ponytail.

2. Show a Target

Hold your stick up and out in space.

3. Catch the Ball

Kind of crucial.

4. Change Levels

“If I catch the ball up high, I’ll redirect my shot and shoot it low,” Aust says. “I catch it on one pipe, I’m going to shoot for the opposite one.”

8-Meter Strategy

1. Have a Plan

Where are the other defenders? What's the best-case scenario to try to score or keep possession for your team?

2. Know Your Strengths

Strong outside shooters might take one step and rip it. Craftier finishers like Aust prefer to run in a couple of steps before placing their shot.

3. Start in a Low, Athletic Stance

Don't stand straight up or lean on your back foot. Choose a stance that will allow you to be quick off that line and beat your defender to the goal.

4. Consider Your Angle

Should you go straight to goal or toward the pipe? “If my stick is in my right hand, I might veer left to cut off my defender so my right hand is free to shoot,” Aust says.

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