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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".
Believe it or not, lacrosse balls aren’t made to last as long as we want them to.
Over the course of a season, a ball will get… let’s say… “greasy” over time.
And by greasy we mean lacrosse balls that are more slippery and harder. Greasers are harder to cradle, harder to control and come out of a pocket differently than a brand new ball. Players hate greasers because they make games and practices unpredictable. You never know how the ball will release from your stick with one of these.
There are home remedies to fix this problem but let's be honest… who really has the time or energy to go through the process? Keeping that in mind, East Coast Dyes developed their new Mint lacrosse ball to never become a greaser. Playing with these is like always using a brand new ball.
The Mint lacrosse ball is unlike most lacrosse balls because it’s made of non-rubber polymer which lasts longer than the rubber of traditional balls. East Coast Dyes maintains consistency during manufacturing by ensuring that each ball is of the highest quality and meets all standards. Best of all, each ball is made right here in the USA. Mint balls are approved for NFHS, NCAA and meetNOCSAE® SEI standards.
The lacrosse cleats and the lacrosse turf shoes that you choose to wear makes a gigantic difference in how you play on the field.
Your choice of lacrosse footwear can make all the difference between losing the game and winning the championship at the end of the season... So it’s pretty obvious that they’re pretty important.
Lacrosse is pretty tough on your feet and the wrong pair of shoes can spell disaster for you and your feet. This article will delve into the different kinds of lacrosse footwear and why you should make a conscious decision about what you decide to wear onto the field.
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.
The 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.
When 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.
Big thanks to East Coast Dyes for doing this guest post featuring the new Carbon Pro shaft! They really know their stuff and we're happy to be featuring their products, specifically the Carbon Pro.
The Carbon Pro is the most technologically advanced shaft in the East Coast Dyes line. Building on the success of the original Carbon, ECD set off to build something that would be fit for the most elite players on the field. In order to do that, new, key features had to be developed. Those features include Flex Control Layering (FCL) and the all-new Kick Point Technology.
With carbon fiber, the orientation of each material layer has a major impact on the overall strength and flex profile. Through extensive testing and research, FCL was developed. This new layering technique allows the Carbon Pro to be about 12% lighter than the original Carbon, while maintaining the same strength. With typical non-carbon fiber shafts, if you take away material, your strength will decrease, but with carbon fiber that is not always the case. FCL allows ECD to get the most out the carbon fiber material.
FCL also provides the ability to change flex levels throughout the shaft, which creates Kick Points. When placed properly, Kick Points provide additional benefits based on a player’s specific playing style. For example, the 30” Carbon Pro features a High Kick Point. This provides a quick release perfect for snappy finishes.
Here is a breakdown of the new Carbon Pro line:
The 30” Carbon Pro features a High Kick Point and is rated as a Flex8 on our 10-point flex scale. The High Kick Point provides a quick release, which makes this shaft perfect for the crafty player who is all about quick feeds and finishes. The increased flex will allow you to add a little extra snap to all of your shots and passes. $139.99
The 40” Carbon Pro features a Mid Kick Point and is rated as a Flex3 on our 10-point flex scale. The Mid Kick Point provides a supremely balanced feel and allows for more accurate outlet passes to the streaking midfielders after your biggest saves. Lowering the flex rating means the shaft will be sturdier while stopping hard shots and taking checks from attackmen. As an added bonus, the 40” Carbon Pro features a unique raised texture right where you keep your top hand, so you can have the best feel possible. $149.99
The 60” Carbon Pro features a Mid Kick Point and is rated as a Flex3 on our 10-point flex scale. The Mid Kick Point provides a supremely balanced feel and allows for an accurate release perfect for long clearing passes. Lowering the flex rating means less recoil time and gives the stability you need to throw hard take away checks. As an added bonus, the 60” Carbon Pro features a unique raised texture on the bottom portion, so you always have the perfect grip when throwing checks. $199.99
As the game of lacrosse spreads, we’ve made it our goal to expand and continue to fill customer's needs. First stop on the Spring 2016 expansions: Lancaster, PA. The location had its grand opening just last weekend and is now open daily 10AM to 7PM. Located right across from Park City Mall on Plaza Boulevard, this is the first location to be co-branded with Field Hockey World.
The grand opening event featured vendors, deals, and giveaways. Nike, STX, True Lacrosse, and East Coast Dyes all donated their time and products to show their support. Partnering with those brands, we gave away STX field hockey sticks, a complete STX women’s lacrosse stick, a STX men’s lacrosse head, True Lacrosse shafts, East Coast Dyes shafts, and a variety of Nike performance apparel and accessories. Over 200 people turned out for the event throughout the day and everyone went home happy. With the opening of our Lancaster store, southeastern Pennsylvania athletes won’t have to travel far to fill their lacrosse and field hockey needs. Lax World offers both mens and womens apparel, footwear, team stores, accessories, and lacrosse services. Our educated staff are happy to help make decisions and offer information. Since 1988, Lax World has been the world’s largest lacrosse specialty superstore and we’re excited to spread our love of Lacrosse even more. Next stop for grand openings: Long Island, NY. Check us out our website and other social media pages for more information on Long Island and other future locations.
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!
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 →
Earth Day is a day that’s overlooked. That’s pretty unfortunate considering we only have one planet. After all, you can’t play lacrosse without it!
We’ve made a lot of progress over the years economically, socially, and politically, but our environmental progress has a long way to go to catch up. We’ve experienced a huge population boom in the past decades and it’s been taking a toll on the planet.
We at Lax World realize the importance of having a planet that’s sustainable for not only us, but for future generations. That’s why we dedicated the entire Earth Day weekend towards donating a portion of sales to the “Plant A Billion” project by the Nature Conservancy. This project is dedicated to protecting, preserving, and planting forests worldwide in locations as diverse as the United States, China, and South America.
Any purchase you made during that time helped to plant a tree in a different region of the world. Not only were you stocking up on great lacrosse gear, you were helping a great cause as well!
We know that we’re up against a huge task here. We’ve got a ton of different issues we’re facing – from climate change, to deforestation, to fossil fuel depletion. It took a lot of years to do damage to our planet and it will take a lot of years to repair it as well. It can be daunting – but you can do your part.
Here’s some ways a lacrosse player can help the planet out in his or her own way.
Give away old lacrosse equipment – A good way to get rid of old lax sticks, shafts, and heads is to just give it away. These sticks can be great for a rising player or someone who needs a new piece of gear to add to their arsenal. A used piece of equipment is better in the bag of a player than in a landfill.
Carpool to games and practices – This not only saves on gas but it also cuts down on the amount of emissions in the environment. This has been a common practice for years but it may become an even more common now in the coming years.
Donate to an environmental agency or volunteer – This is more of a personal choice. Another good way to help out the environment is to donate to an environmental agency or to even volunteer for one. There’s tons of volunteer opportunities in your own community. Search the organization you’d like to volunteer for and type in “volunteer” (ex: “Nature Conservancy Volunteer”) in Google.
Helping the planet doesn’t just start on Earth Day. It starts with all of the small actions we take each and every day. Small efforts add up over time and in the end, we’ll be leaving a more verdant planet for everyone after us.
This week we take a closer look at the STX Hammer 500 Head.
In the game of lacrosse, having a superior defense is essential. A solid defense can win championships or put you in a sharp losing streak. It makes sense because after all, you can’t defend a castle if there’s no wall. Defensemen are that wall. Defensemen with great lacrosse equipment make a better wall. Defensemen with the new STX Hammer 500 are the best wall.
The STX Hammer 500 lacrosse head gives you the strength and power you need to absolutely decimate the opposing team and disintegrate any chances of the offense scoring a goal. Continue reading →