No matter if you are an attacker trying to score the game-winning goal, a goalie trying to stop it or a defenseman looking to shut down an opponent’s attack, your stick becomes an extension of your body during a lacrosse game.
That’s why taking proper care of your lacrosse shaft and head is so important. By taking some basic precautions, your stick can be ready to play all season long.
When storing your lacrosse stick, there’s a few things to keep in mind. Be sure to keep your stick in a cool, dry place when not in use.
“Big no-nos would be leaving it in your car or outside somewhere that is going to affect the plastic because it gets really hot or really cold, and it’s going to end up deforming,” said Greg Kenneally, president and cofounder of East Coast Dyes Lacrosse.
When you’re storing your stick, it’s best to lean it against a wall — with the shaft touching the ground — in either your house or garage.
SPICK AND SPAN
Keeping your lacrosse stick clean is imperative. If you are playing in a game on a muddy field, caked-on grit can dry on the pocket and affect the mesh. Rinsing your stick in a sink with warm water and little dish soap after a messy game can help keep it looking good and performing well.
To help your stick dry properly, make sure the pocket is pounded out so it doesn’t dry crumpled up. One way to help make sure it keeps its shape is to crinkle up some newspaper and place it in the pocket. The newspaper can help absorb some of the moisture while keeping the pocket’s depth and shape.
IN A PINCH
As a stick ages, the plastic of the throat can deform. There are set rules for how pinched a throat can be, so check with your league for its rules.
“If you find your head is pinching in too tight, you can get something like a softball or a soup can [and] stick it in the throat when you’re not using it,” Kenneally said. “It should bring it back to shape a little bit and extend the life of your lacrosse stick.”
Check regularly that the screw connecting the head to the shaft is tight and that your shooting strings are tied. It can be helpful to keep a stick repair kit with your gear. These kits usually come with screws, a screwdriver, strings and laces to help keep your stick functioning as intended.
No matter if you are running through drills in the offseason or getting ready for a championship game, you want your lacrosse stick to perform at its highest. By taking care of your stick, you can help make sure it’s in great shape to help you make the big plays when it matters most.