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Lacrosse Tips

  • Preparing for a MLL Championship: Q&A with Tommy Kelly

    With the MLL 2016 Championship game right around the corner, we wanted to take the opportunity to ask our very own Huntington, NY store manager Tommy Kelly some questions about being on the Denver Outlaws MLL team. Kelly is currently in his rookie season with Denver, after previously playing at Virginia. Shortly after he started playing for Denver, Kelly became the manager of the Lax World Huntington location. We are certainly thankful for Kelly’s knowledge and love of the game, as well as his dedication to growing and promoting lacrosse. Kelly not only plays but also coaches at FogoLax, where they specialize in face-off instruction. As far as this weekend’s game is concerned, we got the inside scoop on Kelly as well as some insight into the MLL. Here’s some of what he had to say:

    Q: How are you and your teammates preparing for your championship game against Ohio?

    A: Hydrating, sticking to the game plan, taking care of our bodies, preparing mentally, and trying to stay focused. We’re treating this game the same way we treat every game.

    Q: In what ways has the game of lacrosse changed since you started playing?

    A: Starting at the age of 4, I’ve been through tons of rule changes; shot clock changes and annual face-off changes. And the game has continually gotten more competitive. Playing with some of the best players on earth is a huge experience as well. I’m lucky to have played with guys I used to look up to as a kid.

    Q: What advice do you have for young players?

    A: The term “hard work pays off” is 100% true. If you find your niche and find what you’re good at and work towards it, you’re going to achieve it.

    Q: How is being on a competitive team similar to being a manager?

    A: It’s all very communication based, you have to be able to talk to people in a proper manner and work as a unit.

    Q: What pregame routines do you have?

    A: Faceoff reps before every game! I always take an electrolyte tablet before a game too, it’s kind of mental, if I don’t have it I freak out a little.

    Q: What is your most rewarding lacrosse experience?

    A: As of right now, winning two championships. One in high school with Rocky Point (NY), playing with awesome players (some of them play MLL now too) and the second in college, playing for a national championship when we won in 2011.

    Q: What is some of your favorite gear? What stick and pads do you play with?

    A: I use all STX equipment at the moment, I play with an STX Duel stick, and STX gloves & elbow pads. Cleats are either Warrior or New Balance.

    Q: What is your favorite off season activity?

    A: Snowboarding or skiing. They’re both enjoyable and relaxing!

  • Finding a Good Helmet in Men's Lacrosse

    Helmets are one of the most expensive pieces of lacrosse equipment…and arguably the most essential. We definitely understand: they aren’t cheap. But your lacrosse helmet protects the most vulnerable part of your body, so how could it not be a good investment? Do you know what makes a good lacrosse helmet? Do you know the different parts of this equipment? If not, don’t worry. We’re going to be explaining exactly those things so you can find the right helmet for your particular needs.

    Lacrosse Helmet with the Correct Fit

    Is your helmet game-ready?

    All lacrosse helmets have to meet certain standards for game-ready play. The NOCSAE (National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment) requires that all helmets are made in a way that prevents them from being damaged too easily. All lacrosse helmets are stress tested in certain environments that mimic that of a lacrosse field. When you get your helmet in the mail or pick it up in a store, you can be sure that you’re getting a safe product.

    The Anatomy of a Lacrosse Helmet

    A lacrosse helmet is made out of different parts that make up an entire whole. These are:

    • The Shell – All lacrosse helmets are made out of a super-strong shell. Shells come in all sorts of colors and materials. These are made of plastic (mostly) and are non-adjustable. A good example of a helmet that’s not made of out plastic is the Cascade R Helmet in a Carbon Finish. If your helmet has a crack in it, you’ll need to replace the entire helmet. Don’t take the chance of playing with cracked safety gear.
    • Face Mask – Your face mask is made out of non-bendable metal bars and must form a consistent smooth curvature. Think of it this way… if you cut the helmet in half down the center vertically or horizontally, it should be the same on both sides. In addition to elite protection, face masks can come in all sorts of colors, not just the traditional silver or black. One great example of this is the Cascade CPX-R with a Gold Titanium face mask.
    • Padding – Without padding, the helmet would just rattle around on your head! No one wants that…at all. Padding is made of super-dense foam that absorbs sweat and moisture during play.
    • Chin Pad/Strap – The Chin Pad protects your chin from impacts and also helps to keep your helmet on your head.

    How does your helmet fit? 

    Your helmet should fit securely on your head. It should be tight and secure…but not too tight. For a great fit, you’ll need a measure of your head.

    1. Get a tape measure and measure the circumference around your head in a level line, roughly 1” above your eyebrows. If someone is able to do it for you, all the better.
    2. Hold the spot on the measuring tape where it stops and record what the measurement is. Check the helmet sizing chart to find out your size.

    Manufacturers: Who makes the best lacrosse helmet?

    Ah…the old age question: “who makes the best helmet?” Cascade makes some pretty good helmets. STX also produces some pretty fine headgear. Like most things when it comes to lacrosse, it depends on two things: need and preference.

    If you’re looking for a good youth helmet, you may want to go with the STX Stallion 100. If you’re looking for a helmet that you can easily customize, you’ll want to go with one of the Cascade R or CPX-R helmets. Speaking of customization…

    Customization

    What’s a lacrosse helmet without a little flair? You can easily trick out a lacrosse equipment to your liking. Choose what color face mask, shell, and visor you want. Cascade will do the rest. This is perfect for teams that want a uniform helmet color.

    Check out some of our custom helmets today!

    Choosing a lacrosse helmet can be a breeze. If you walk in to one of our Lax World locations, you’ll definitely be pointed in the right direction. If you’re not near a Lax World location, call us at 1-800-752-9529 and we’ll definitely be able to help you out and pick the right helmet for you.

  • Infographic: 10 Things I Learned Playing Girls Lacrosse

    Women's lacrosse introduces young players to a lot more than just how to shoot a ball, there are plenty of life lessons players will learn on their journey through participation in this fast paced sport.

    With that in mind we asked Renee, the newest addition to our Lax World Team, to take a moment and reflect on the top 10 things she learned from playing girls lacrosse. For the full post, including Renee's Breakout of each item mentioned below, see our blog: "10 Things I Learned Playing Girls Lacrosse".

     

    10 Things I Learned Playing Girls Lacrosse

     


     

    Share it! Add this graphic to your website:

     

  • Preparing For College Lacrosse: Summer Recruiting Tips For Athletes & Their Parents

    The sweat, suntan lotion and sweet smell of victory as your child’s club team wins the tournament while 20 or 30 top college coaches watch and then line up after with athletic scholarships ready to hand out. Your star student and super athlete should have no problem securing a top D1 scholarship, right? Well, not exactly. So if you your child is not the star of a top team, or an A student, does that mean there is nothing available? No. There is more than one path to college sports, summer recruiting doesn't have to be stressful.

    FullSizeRenderThe reality is if you want to play college lacrosse, there are many options at many different levels. It’s about finding the right fit for your child. Recruiting and finding a college fit can be so overwhelming on many levels. It’s not easy to decide your future at the age of 16 or younger. Some players know right off the bat(or stick), “Yes, I want to play college lacrosse”. Others that aren’t as sure might find the process even more overwhelming. If you wish to continue your lacrosse career after high school and club, somewhere there is a program that will fit your needs. 

     

     

    As you’re going through the process, here are some things to keep in mind:

    • DI vs DII vs DIII - Visit schools at all levels, consider which schools you like the best, and find out if they have lacrosse programs. Identify of list of 10 or so schools to pursue.
    • Play in summer club leagues - One of the best ways to get recruited is to play on a club team in the summer tournaments. Some club teams will even pick up extra players for the season. Many college coaches attend these tournaments and you may have the chance to speak to a coach from one of the schools on your list or meet a coach from a school that wasn’t even on your radar.
    • Talk to your coaches - Coaching is a community in itself and your coaches can help you network to schools that interest you. Many coaches also have valuable advice that will make the process easier.
    • FullSizeRender2When to contact coaches - NCAA rules state that college coaches may not officially contact you prior to November 15th of your junior year, but contact often begins before then with the potential recruit calling the coach. You may request the coach’s cell number and touch base. Be sure to know what you are going to say... 
    • What you should say to them- Coaches don’t have a lot of time. Tell them a short sentence or two about you, your position, your school, grades, quick lacrosse background and most of all, tell them about your desire to play for them.
    • Make a highlight video - There are services to help you but you can do it yourself too. Check out some great free software editing tools. Coaches need to see you play and they can tell quickly if your skills are a good fit for their team.
    • Schedule visits - Visit schools when they are in session. Go anywhere you can. Even if you think it isn’t a school you are interested in, it will give you something to compare to your favorite schools.
    • Decide your best fit based on the school not just the program - Keep in mind things can change and you may end up not playing. No one expects anything to go wrong, but there’s always a risk of getting hurt, or changing your mind, so be sure you pick a school you will like even if you don’t play lacrosse.
    • What are the pros and cons of playing a college sport - Playing a sport in college means going to bed early so you can get up for practice when your roommates can go out and have fun, it means having good time management skills so you can get your homework finished, it means planning your whole day around practice and lifting and all the extra events. At the end of the day, it also means having a group of friends who have your back, and you part of something special that teaches countless lessons and prepares you for the future. Many college students don’t have the opportunity to experience athletics, and it is a quality that employers often seek. College athletes are hard-working and dedicated, two qualities that can set you apart from other candidates in the eye of potential employers.
    • Talking numbers - When you finally do get an offer, you can only make a verbal commit until November 15th or your senior year. The offer or offers you get can be negotiated between the school and the coach if your financial situation doesn’t quite match the offer. You can change your mind at any point, but whether it is during the verbal or formal commit period you should call the coach to discuss. If you have already signed and then change your mind the process is a bit more complex but your first step should always be to contact the coach your are currently committed to. Be professional, polite and gracious.

    Remember, there is no perfect path. Find your path and enjoy your journey through college lacrosse.

  • 20 Min. Wall Ball Routine to Improve Your Stick Skills

    Players with good stick skills earn playing time, help win games and make dependable teammates. Wall ball is a simple way to practice stick work just about anywhere with access to a brick wall or a bounceback. New and returning players can all benefit from practicing stick skills and there is no right or wrong way to do it. For anyone looking to get into a habit or switch up a current habit, here is sample wall ball routine:

    Start off by standing 8-10 feet from a wall or bounceback. Try and aim for a small square on your target close to stick level. Spend about two minutes on each different strategy, longer on the ones that need extra work.

    • Right hand- Regular throws, not sidearm, just your go to pass. Try to only cradle once between throws.
    • Left hand- Same thing just left handed.
    • Throw right catch left- Start like you’re throwing with your right hand but switch the stick to your left when the ball is in the air so you’re catching it on the opposite side.
    • Throw left catch right- Same thing you just did but start by throwing on the left side, then switch and catch right.
    • Weak side throw right- Hold the stick as if you were throwing right handed but throw from the left shoulder instead.
    • Weak side throw left- Hold the stick as if you were throwing left and throw off your right shoulder instead.
    • Right hand quick- Stand closer to the wall now, 3-4 feet. Throw and catch right handed but don’t cradle after the catch and focus on quick reps.
    • Left hand quick- Same thing as the previous, just use your left hand on your left side.
    • Right hand tomahawk or private school- I’ve heard it called different things, either way, throw right handed releasing the pass from the top of your head. Keep the stick right in front of your forehead not off to either side of your body.
    • Left hand tomahawk- Hold the stick in your left hand and release the pass from the top of your head, in the middle of your body.

    Play wall ball as often as you’d like and go through these exercises for specific help. Practice really does make perfect!

  • Top 10 Things I Learned Playing Girls Lacrosse

    We at Lax World are excited to introduce, Renee, the newest member of our team. With an extensive background in Women's Lacrosse, Renee will be covering many Women's Lax items here on the Lax World blog.


    I am really excited to be taking my love of lacrosse into my work here with Lax World. My first task was to compose a list of the Top 10 Things I Learned Playing Girls Lacrosse, and it was hard for me to even narrow it down to 10 items. Working with a variety of coaches and teammates of all different skill levels helped me learn something new from each experience. I currently play Division II lacrosse at Millersville University and all of my experiences, current and past, have shaped how I view the game and life in general. The items below are what I believe are the biggest keys to success in girls lacrosse. Continue reading

  • Lacrosse Stringing Supplies Buying Guide

    If you ask a lacrosse player about their stick, they’ll be proud to tell you all about the specs. Most importantly of all, they’ll be gushing over type of stringing that was used to make the pocket on the head. The stringing in a lacrosse head is a work of art in and of itself. Continue reading

  • Equipment Fitting Guide (to help both the boys’ and girls’ youth player)

     

    EQUIPMENT FITTING GUIDE 

    US Lacrosse recently published an Equipment Fitting Guide to help provide first-time buyers, parents and players with suggested guidelines in purchasing equipment. Designed to help both the boys’ and girls’ youth player, the guide explains how lacrosse equipment should feel when properly worn.

    Continue reading

  • Fun Lacrosse Drills for Kids

    Kids love playing lacrosse as much as adults do. Lacrosse is big among kids because it is fast-paced and exciting. Drills are important for kids, as it will help them become better lacrosse players, but the drills don't need to be boring. In fact, you can make drills fun that will teach kids a number of skills they'll need to be good laxers. Here are some drills that feel more like games than workouts. Continue reading

  • Lacrosse Drill Series: Lacrosse Attack Drills

    lacrosse-attack-drills

    Practice makes perfect. Yes, it's a sports cliché, but it's also the truth - in order to be the best at your craft, you need to put in the necessary work on the practice field. But practicing well isn't just about working on the things that you're already good at, it's working on your weaknesses and turning them into strengths. In this lacrosse drill series post, we'll take a look at drills that attackers should be going through to perfect their scoring and play-making prowess on the lacrosse field. Drills might be redundant - and sometimes boring - but don't underestimate their value in improving your game. Continue reading

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