Stick, Head, and Pocket Recommendations:
Stick lengthand Head:
Most stick the kids buy and use are the legal length for a high school / college player (40 inch minimum length). These sticks for kids at this age are typically too long. A suggestion is to cut down the shaft to shorten the stick which would make it a better option for the younger children to handle the stick and enable them to pick up the skills a little easier. The older and taller the kids get, a longer stick (shaft) may be more appropriate for them.
Also, Lacrosse Heads (Plastic part of the head with teh mesh) come in a variety of shapes. Choosing a head to buy can be a complicated process with so many different options, styles, and now even position. Youth lacrosse sticks and beginner level lacrosse sticks can be purchased as complete sticks and make a great entry level option without costing a significant amount. More advanced sticks can be purchased by individual components (head, shaft, and mesh) and can cost significantly more money.
Heads come in different specifications. There is NCAA specification, High School spec, and both NCAA + High School (Universal). Youth heads usually meet or exceed the minimum requirements for a universal head because they are wider. More advanced heads are usually narrower.
So what does that mean for our youth players:
1) A wider head may make it easier to catch
2) A narrower head may give more cradling control, but more difficult to catch (usuaully more advanced players use narrower heads)
Stick, Head, and Pocket Recommendations are:
- Measure the stick from the ground (end of the shaft touching the ground). The head of the stick should come somewhere between the belly button and arm pit. More toward the belly button for first time players just learning and closer to the arm bit for slightly more experienced players.
- If you have an expensive stick and would prefer not to cut it, you can buy a cheaper shaft from Metro sports, Dicks, etc.. and cut that one down. I can recommend some shafts if you would like.
- Pockets in the stick should be a little deep with a smooth release. A pocket that is too deep may be harder to throw with. A pocket that is too shallow may be harder to catch and cradle with. If you look at the pocket of the stick with a ball in it, about ½ to ¾ of the ball should be below the sidewall (plastic on the side of the head of the stick).
- The ball should be able to come out of the pocket smoothly. That means that is should roll out of the pocket without getting caught or hung up in the laces.
- We also like to stress hands low when throwing or shooting and hands up high when catching. Putting some tape on the stick for where there hand should be is a good reminder and a physical queue.
- Use a head that is Universal (meeting those minimum specifications). This should make a great all around choice and if strung correctly (pocket), should give the perfect amount of catching, throwing, and control that the youth players can use.
If you have any questions about your son's stick or pocket, please ask one of our program directors or coaches. We can make recommendations or remediation’s to help with your son’s stick since that is a key part of their success in this sport. Some easy modification can be made just be loosening up or tightening a few strings to make the pocket better.
There are also “stick doctors” in the Webster area that are affiliated with the Webster Lacrosse Club. We would be happy to get you a list of names that can help you with your son’s lacrosse stick. They are also listed on the Webster Lacrosse Club’s web site.
The Pocket Above is ok, but a bit shallow.
BETTER! Most of the ball is below the bottom of the head's side wall
Pockets are temperamental:
- too deep and stick may throw down (whip), especially when wet
- too shallow and harder to catch, cradle and hold the ball
- important for players to get a pocket that enables them to hold the ball well
while enabling them to pass/shoot with consistency