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Pro Shooting Tips from MLL Top-Scorer Peter Baum
Actual #goals. Fifty-two to be exact.
Ohio Machine midfielder Peter Baum is a literal scoring machine. The former Tewaaraton winner set a slew of records in college and has been named to the MLL All-Star team four times. He recently wrapped a stellar season with the Ohio Machine, tying for most regular season points at 52 and capping it off with a championship title.
We caught up with the newly-minted MLL champion and asked him to share a few of his top scoring tips:
1. You were consistently a top-scorer in college, and now for the Machine and MLL - how do you find creative ways to get past the goalie?
I've learned so much since my first year in the MLL . Playing alongside guys like Kyle Harrison, Marcus Holman, John Grant Jr. and Tom Schreiber has exposed me to new methods of shooting and helped me develop my offensive strategy. At the end of the day, speed and ambidexterity are key.
2. Do you have different strategies for time-and-room vs. on-the-run shooting?
With time-and-room shooting, I try to get the ball out of my stick and on net as quickly as possible. Sometimes, I'll try to strategize whether to aim high or low, but usually muscle memory takes over. When you're shooting on the run, you have much more time to see the goalie and get a read on his position. In those cases, I try to shoot for net, or aim for the five-hole!
3. When you're about to take a shot, what runs through your mind?
I evaluate the goalie’s position and stance to find a point of vulnerability. Any time you can give the goalie a little hesitation before the ball comes out of your stick, it throws him off balance and gives you the advantage.
4. What should players keep in mind when dodging for a shot?
Run fast, commit to your dodge and dodge to score!
For young players especially, don't worry so much about where the ball goes – worry about whether it goes in! By that, I mean don't obsess over scoring the "prettiest" looking goal, or hitting the top corner all the time. At the end of the day, all goals count the same (unless it's a two-pointer!).
5. What player has had the greatest impact on you so far in developing as a midfielder?
Kyle Harrison has always been a huge inspiration to me as a player, and the fact that we are now teammates and friends is more than a dream come true. From a playing perspective, he revolutionized the way lacrosse players dodge and shoot, so for me, I always try to emulate his moves on the field.
He's also impacted my perspective on team leadership. He’s the best there is – the best teammate I've ever had. Kyle has a way of relating to every person in the locker room, from the stud player to the equipment manager, in a way that’s genuine and magnetic.
6. What's your advice for players who want to go to the next level in lacrosse?
Practice the dodges that you actually do in a game. Practice receiving a pass on the move, dodging, feeding, outside shots, inside finishes, etc., all in one session. There are no special drills or shortcuts – it's all about putting in the time so those movements become second nature.
7. Gotta ask - how does it feel to be an MLL champion?
The feeling is even better than I imagined. As a team, we put so much into this season and all of us are really proud of what we accomplished. When the buzzer sounds and you’ve got guys with tears in their eyes, that says it all. Still on a high…
To see how Peter Baum gets pumped for a game, check out his pre-game routine and playlist.