A lacrosse short stick is a fine instrument, which requires care and attention to reach peak performance. In order to maintain it, professional players constantly fiddle with everything from the shooting strings to the tape on the shaft. Learning these simple stick fixes is a terrific way to improve basic lacrosse motions, like catching, throwing, shooting and cradling.
Lacrosse Short Stick Maintenance Tricks
Whether a stick is waterlogged or extremely dry, weather conditions can quickly erode its performance. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to buy a new stick. Instead, try these quick fixes for your lacrosse short stick.
It’s common for lacrosse pockets to deepen or loosen after being exposed to wet conditions. As a result, the pocket may become illegally large, throw lower and have a slower release.
One smart strategy for a “bagged out” pocket is to ball up newspaper and stick it in the pocket to absorb the moisture. Another thing you can do is make sure your sidewall strings are strung as tightly as possible. This will lock the lacrosse mesh in place in the head. You can check their tightness by making sure you can’t fit your finger in between the string and the plastic of the head at any spot. But, if the strings that hold the mesh in place are frayed or torn, you may need a new pocket.
The shooting strings are another significant factor in the performance of your stick. The highest string should always be the tightest. Each subsequent string should be looser. In order to maintain peak performance, check the tightness of your shooting strings after every practice or game.
Your stick can also perform poorly if the head is misshapen. Situations, like face offs and hard checks, can apply pressure that causes lacrosse heads to become warped or bent.
One trick the pros use is to wedge a softball into the throat of a head after practice or a game. This will help maintain the head’s normal shape. Or, you could alleviate minor issues by gently bending the warped head back in the opposite direction.
A common misconception is that a shaft doesn’t need maintenance. However, it can easily become slippery or difficult to grip if it is not cared for correctly.
Most lacrosse players today tape their sticks to improve handling. A popular stick maintenance trick is to diagonally tape the shaft’s bottom six inches and its butt end. This helps with grip and feel when cradling, dodging, shooting and passing. On the upper half of the stick, tape the section where you would normally hold your top hand on a shot attempt.
During the course of a season, you will spend a lot of time with your lacrosse short stick. If you take care of it properly, your stick will help you play your best at all times.