Having a well-strung stick is crucial in lacrosse. It can have an effect on the accuracy of your shots and passes, your stick-handling skills and also the ‘whip factor’ of your stick. These tips will help you understand what whip is and how to adjust it.
WHAT IS WHIP?
Whip is how high or low your stick is throwing the ball while you’re using a normal shooting motion. If your shots are traveling too high above the goal, that can be a sign that you don’t have enough whip. Meanwhile, if your shots are unintentionally traveling to the ground, that can be a sign that your stick has too much whip. The amount of whip in your stick is primarily determined by how your pocket is strung and, ultimately, is a preference for each player.
HOW TO ADD WHIP
If you’ve decided that your stick has too little whip and you need to add more, there are a couple areas of your pocket you can adjust to make that happen.
- Bottom String – Your first course of action should be to try to loosen the bottom string. This can help give your pocket more depth. Be sure that you are familiar with the legal limits for pockets in your league and stay within those guidelines.
- Shooting Strings – If you still feel like your stick doesn’t have enough whip after adjusting the bottom string, you can also tighten the shooting strings. Begin with the top one and work your way down. Remember that shooting strings should be loosest at the bottom and tightest at the top. Adjusting the shooting strings can help the pocket grab the ball better.
HOW TO DECREASE WHIP
Just like increasing whip, if you would like to loosen your pocket’s grip, you can adjust the bottom string and shooting strings.
- Bottom String – Pulling the bottom string a bit tighter can make the pocket more shallow and help make your release nice and smooth.
- Shooting Strings – Loosening the shooting strings can help your ball roll over them more freely and not get caught or stuck while you’re shooting.
How much whip you want may change by what position you play. Offensive players may prefer more whip for increased speed and harder shots, while defensive players and goalies may want less whip so they have more control and can throw longer passes. If you have multiple sticks, be sure to use a stick with similar whip so that your mechanics stay consistent and are not thrown off.