Cradling is the technique used to keep the ball in the head of the crosse (lacrosse stick + head assembly). The stick is moved in an arching motion, creating a force that keeps the ball pressed and suspended against the stringing. Cradling is used while the player is still and in motion. While running, the cradle is in sync with the player’s stride to reduce the risk of running impact dislodging the ball. Fortunately, this synchronization is mostly natural, much like swinging arms while running.
Cradling is key for a player to maneuver the field and retain possession of the ball. It is the easiest skill to practice since no other people are required and can be done even without a ball, just practicing the motion.