He debuted in Round 6, 2003, against the Carlton Football Club and continued to play six of 22 possible games in 2003. In 2004 he suffered a fractured wrist in a pre-season game and missed the first seven games. In 2006, Ladson played all 22 games with an average of 18 disposals per game and finished ninth in the Best and Fairest. In 2007, Ladson continued his form, missing only two games in the home and away season and playing two finals games.
Ladson played in every game of the 2008 season, culminating in being a part of Hawthorn's premiership winning side. He had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee after that season, delaying his return until Round 13. He only played three games before he injured his right knee, which also required surgery and resulted in Ladson missing the remainder of the season.
For the 2012 season he was with the Essendon Football Club as a development coach. In 2013, Ladson was playing coach for Golden Square club in the Bendigo Football League.