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Lacrosse Tips

  • 5 Benefits of Lacrosse for Kids

    If you are lucky enough to have a child that expresses interest in playing lacrosse, you can look forward to a lot of things. There are a number of benefits to playing the sport that can make a world of difference for the average youngster. From improved mental acuity, increased fitness, socialization and team building, lacrosse is the perfect sport for kids to play – and it is fun to watch for parents as well.

    Mental Acuity

    Lax World Mental Acuity

    It takes discipline to play lacrosse, a trait your child is sure to strengthen should he or she play with consistency. Like any sport, lacrosse may look to outsiders like a simple ball game with a lot of running up and down a field, but the tactics for successful play and the skill development needed to play will take time and persistence to develop.

    Not only will your child develop mental discipline, he or she will also reap the benefits provided by regular exercise. Regular exercise has been shown to improve mental performance time and again, and lacrosse is no exception. This can benefit both mood and performance in school.

    Increased Fitness

    Lacrosse is a sport that requires a serious level of fitness. Even kids games involve continuous running and sprinting, as well as throwing and catching – all of which keep the heart rate up and the lungs working. This cardiovascular exercise will keep your child fit and strong for the remainder of the time he or she plays the sport; and this is just during the game.

    When not playing, your child will be training. Lacrosse training demands skill development, cardiovascular exercise and strength training. Competition requires performing at your peak, and your child’s lacrosse coach will do the best he or she can to keep players fit and strong.

    It must be noted that lacrosse is an age appropriate sport. If your child is relatively young, the games and the training will be far more focused on fun than on top-tier performance – as they should be. But even at beginning levels, lacrosse will teach your child the fundamentals of physical fitness and the joy of healthy play.

    Socialization

    Team sports are an excellent way to teach social interaction and how to work with others. Each team is only as strong as its weakest link, making every member an important component of overall team performance. Lacrosse will teach your child to set goals and accomplish those goals with the help of others, a vital real-world skill.

    Overcoming obstacles within a team is also a good way to develop lifelong friendships. Your child will probably develop strong bonds with his or her teammates. This can make the harder years of schooling a little bit easier.

    Productive Habits

    Devoting time to lacrosse can also teach your child the power of productive habits. The work that goes into the game, including regular practice, teamwork and giving it your all, will teach your child the value of adopting habits that are beneficial. Not every child is lucky enough to experience lessons like these early in life – lessons that can make all the difference as an adult.

    Regular practice, healthy eating, getting enough rest, overcoming mistakes and failure – all of these habits can be learned through lacrosse, and are the same habits that separate top performers in the real world.

    Coordination

    One area where lacrosse players benefit is in the training of fine-tuned coordination. Catching a little ball in a cupped net, especially in the middle of a game, is much more difficult than it looks. Combine running, jumping and blocking, and you have a recipe for coordination that will benefit your child for a lifetime.

  • How to Stay in Lacrosse Shape during the Offseason

    Every athlete needs a break to relieve tired muscles, tend to injuries and indulge in some rest and relaxation. Just because it’s the off-season doesn’t mean you should abandon lacrosse altogether. To be in your top form for next season, you need to stay fit during the off-season.

    Lacrosse is a high-impact sport that works virtually every muscle in the body. Players need strength and endurance to run up and down the field, to swing a lacrosse stick and to throw and cradle the ball. Frequent workouts help you stay in better lacrosse shape, while improving your cardiovascular fitness, complete-body strength and muscular endurance. Continue reading

  • Lacrosse Stick FAQ Pt II

    lacrosse stick

    The stick - It's the most important piece of equipment when it comes to lacrosse. However, just like the hockey stick, baseball bat, tennis racquet, and golf club, the lacrosse stick has greatly evolved as technology has improved since the inception of the game. Many of the basics of the lacrosse stick, from the shaft material to the difference between men's and women's sticks, were covered in Part I of our FAQs. This FAQ installment will focus more on the technology behind the lacrosse stick, as well as what type of stick you need based on your skill set.

    What material are lacrosse shafts typically made of?

    Materials typically vary by what position you play. For instance, attacker and midfielder sticks are most commonly made of titanium, aluminum alloy, and composite materials. Defender shafts and goalie shafts are made of scandium, titanium, and aluminum alloy. So what style of shaft is best for you, being that there's some crossover between positions? It depends. Titanium shafts are the strongest, so it's the ideal material for a defender attempting to check the opposition off the ball. However, aluminum alloy is considered the lightest material, which would suit an attacker or a goaltender. Above all, the type of shaft you choose should come down to personal preference.

    What type of pocket should I get with my stick - deep or shallow?

    Again, the answer to this question depends on what position you play. Deeper pockets allow for better ball control and make it more difficult for defenders to check you off the ball, so ball control players who either do a lot of short passing or dodging typically select deeper pocket sticks. Shallow pockets allow for a fast release and are usually selected by more fast-break type players.

    I'm a new lacrosse player - what type of stick should I buy?

    For anyone that's new to the game, the first priority should be learning how to catch and throw properly. The sticks that allow beginners to do this best are those that have wide heads and throat areas. Soft mesh is also much more forgiving than hard mesh, thereby making it easier to catch the ball. However, lacrosse players shouldn't always play with wide heads - narrower head designs allow players to get more power on their shots, which is certainly an advantage after you've mastered the fundamentals.

    How much do lacrosse sticks cost?

    That depends on a lot of factors, but generally speaking, lacrosse sticks cost anywhere between $35 and $150. If you're a beginner player, we'd recommend springing for a less expensive stick because you're likely just going to be using it to hone the basic skills. As you get better and become a more serious player, you'll need the appropriate stick to perform up to your level - that's when you shouldn't be afraid to pony up bigger money for a better stick. Some of our favorite beginner sticks are the STX Av8 Complete Stick and the Maverik Bad Boy Complete Stick.

    Can lacrosse sticks be brought as carry-on luggage on airplanes?

    Yes, TSA says lacrosse sticks are OK to bring on a plane as a carry-on, so players that travel for games and tournaments shouldn't worry about checking it with the airline before security. Those who are paying upwards of $100 for a lacrosse stick may prefer carrying the equipment on, as it reduces the risk of lost or stolen items.

  • Lacrosse Cleat Buying Guide

    It’s crucial to wear the proper lacrosse gear and apparel for safety, comfort, and a skillful edge. Cleats are arguably one of the most important pieces of equipment in lacrosse. In this buying guide for lacrosse shoes, you’ll find important information for buying cleats that combine advanced flexibility, durability, and comfort with lightweight ingenuity. Continue reading

  • How to String a Lacrosse Head

    String a Lacrosse Head

    Lacrosse players in every stage of the game need to properly maintain their lacrosse gear so they can give the greatest performance out on the field. At times, you may need to replace the mesh on your lacrosse head. There are numerous ways to string it, as people develop their unique style and preference on how tight they want the mesh. You can start out following these basic steps, and then hone your stringing skills over time. Continue reading

  • Lacrosse Summer Training Schedule

    wall ball

    Training for lacrosse during the summer months is crucial to your success throughout the lacrosse season. It is important to understand the basics of creating a summer training schedule, including knowing when to incorporate rest days. Continue reading

  • Finding Your Perfect Lacrosse Shaft

    lacrosse shaft

    Choosing the right lacrosse shaft to go with the head of the lacrosse stick is largely a matter of personal preference. However, there are certain factors to be considered, including the position you play, your lacrosse association’s regulations, how the lacrosse stick feels in your hands, and your skill level. Continue reading

  • Staying Hydrated During Hot Practices

    lacrosse player drinking

    As the seasons change and summer approaches with full force, practices are getting hotter and dehydration cases are increasing. The body can lose up to 8 cups of water in the first hour of lacrosse practice, especially on a hot field in the middle of the summer. Staying hydrated is important for both performance and safety, and gives your body the ability to recover from dehydration after you stop practice. Continue reading

  • Ground Ball Work: Stick Protection and Drills

    scooping the lacrosse ball

    In many ways, ground ball work is what separates the dedicated lacrosse players from those that merely get by with athleticism. A player with good ground ball skills is a player that many coaches and teammates want on their team. Unfortunately, too many players often focus on passing, catching and scoring, but overlook the skill of scooping ground balls. For those players looking to step their game up to another level by improving their ground ball fundamentals and lacrosse stick protection, here are some quick drills to practice.

    Scooping

    Ground balls that are not moving can be rare in the fast paced play of a lacrosse game, which is why it is even more critical for a player to be skilled at scooping them up. Depending on the play, a ground ball at a dead stop can be one of the hardest to scoop up. Balls that are in motion are generally easier to field; however, all ground balls can be easily scooped if you demonstrate proper technique.

    When practicing your ground ball work, scooping is one of, if not the most, essential fundamental skill a lacrosse player can develop. To help you develop your scooping skills, here is a step-by-step drill for you to try. For this drill you will need at least two sticks and lacrosse balls.

    • Charge the ball from 100 feet away
    • Plant one foot on one side of the ball shielding it from the defender
    • Keep your lower body down and stick tucked close to your body
    • Scoop through the ball, bringing it up toward your face as your momentum explodes forward

    As you can see from the progression of this drill, it aims at accomplishing an effective scoop that also improves your ground ball and stick protection skills. As far as ground ball lacrosse drills are concerned, this is one of the most effective drills you can do to make you a more versatile and crafty player.

    If you want to try a modification of this drill, grab a partner and have them roll the ball to you while you charge at it demonstrating the same foot planting and stick scooping motion. Then, if you want even more of a challenge, have a third person charge at you from the side trying to get the ball as you scoop. This will develop your scooping and stick protection skills and test them under simulated gameplay conditions.

    Scoop And Cradle

    Cradling is a necessary skill for both ball and stick protection when a defender is in your face. To practice cradle drills:

    • Use the skills displayed in the previous drill to scoop a non-moving ball at your feet.
    • Next, with another player attempting to get the ball, scoop it up toward your face, subsequently creating space between you and the defender.
    • Then, with ample space created between you and the defender cradle the ball with your stick, rotating the stick with your top hand and guiding with the bottom.

    As mentioned, the above drills are optimal for improving your ground ball and stick protection skills. They specifically work to better your scooping ability at varying degrees of competition. While performing the scooping drills, you can make them as easy, or as difficult, as you like. What’s more, it is recommended that you start out with the simple scooping motion before adding the variables of moving balls and defenders to increase the drill difficulty, especially if you are a beginner.

  • Buyers Guide: Girls Lacrosse Gear

    Girls Lacrosse Protective Gear

    Girls lacrosse is an exciting and enjoyable sport, but you need the proper gear to protect yourself while you play. The lacrosse gear you will need varies based on the position you play. Below is some helpful information you can use to ensure that you buy all of the girls lacrosse gear you need to stay active and safe while out on the field.

    Protective Gear

    Women's lacrosse doesn't include as much contact as men's lacrosse, so less protective gear is required to keep players safe. In most leagues, mouth guards and eye goggles are the only items of protective gear required for play. However, most players also invest in gloves to protect their hands.

    Check out Lax World’s protective gear for women today!

    Mouthguard

    Mouth guards for women are strapless and mold to the shape of each player's mouth. A variety of sizes and styles are available based on your preferences. After purchasing a mouth guard you can mold it to your mouth by boiling it in water until it becomes soft and then biting down on it to create the right shape. A properly fitted mouth guard is crucial for protecting your teeth and mouth correctly.

    Goggles

    Many different styles of goggles are available to protect your eyes during play. When choosing your goggles, make sure that the pair you select meets legal specifications, provides ample visibility and fits comfortably. Most players agree that goggles with silicone padding like the DeBeer Lucent SI Goggles are most comfortable and fit more securely.

    Gloves

    Though gloves are not required for most women's leagues, they provide protection and comfort for the hands. They are also helpful for gripping the stick when the weather is wet or cold. When choosing gloves, look for a pair that is padded on the back of the thumb and hand for better protection. Make sure that the gloves you purchase aren't too thick or heavy, as this will reduce flexibility. Finally, make sure that the wrist closure is secure and functions properly.

    Cleats

    Cleats are not usually required by league rules, but they can be very helpful on the field. Traction is important in lacrosse, and girls lacrosse cleats can provide the stability needed for running on virtually any surface. Choose cleats that fit comfortably and grip the ground well without sticking.

    Extra Gear for Goalies

    If you are playing girls lacrosse as a goalie, you will need some additional protective gear, including body pads and goalie gloves.

    Helmets

    Helmets are the most important piece of protective gear for a female goalie. You want to make sure the helmet fits your head snugly, yet does not press against your skull. Manufacturers offer recommendations for helmet size so make sure to look at those before deciding. A helmet that is too big will readjust as you play, making you more susceptible to injury, whereas a helmet that is too tight can cause headaches.

    Body Pads

    Body pads are designed to protect your body from the impact of any shots that may hit you. Choose strong foam pads that fit you well without restricting your movement too much. It's also wise to choose pads with a ventilated fabric to wick moisture away from your skin and keep you more comfortable.

    Goalie Gloves

    Goalie gloves closely resemble field gloves, but they provide even more protection for the thumb. Goalie Gloves are also more effective for absorbing impact. Though they may be more expensive, it's typically wise to choose a higher end glove. More expensive gloves typically offer more comfort, flexibility and protection. They are also more durable. However, if you cannot afford a higher end glove, basic gloves will provide the protection you need to play the game.

    You can purchase all of the necessary girls lacrosse gear from the girls lacrosse section of LaxWorld.com.

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