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We picked ten reader tips for publication this month! And we're giving the authors e-Lacrosse Rage II Videos!

WARNING: Ovens, lighters, matches, knives, and other tools called for in this tips section can be dangerous when not properly used. If you intend on trying any of these tips at home, you must tell your parents exactly what your plans are before proceding. Improper use of some of the tools suggested can result in cutting, burning or staining yourself or your family's property. So ask FIRST, and be careful!

A Cut Mesh-Coil Hybrid     Submitted by Steven Knockout

I designed the pocket I use from scratch and I was thinking maybe you could post it in the stick department on e-Lacrosse.

This pocket has what some might call a lot of whip. It has good control and is very accurate. It is the only pocket I know of where the mesh is cut so that it forms a resting place for the ball.

Spiderman Pocket    Submitted by James Reinhardt

Training Your Sidewalls    Submitted by Andrew Grimes

My tip will help keep the shape of your pocket once it is already broken in. Side wall strings eventually become loose and your pocket will not keep its shape as well and you will eventually lose consistency when throwing. To prevent this you can spray a little bit of super hold hair spray on your strings near the side wall holes. That will keep the strings in the position you want temporarily. Once the hair spay wears off the strings will have a little bit of "memory" and will stay in the same position the way you want it.

A Keeper's Configuration    Submitted by Dave Jacques

I play goalie at York College and came up with a new way to string about 2 weeks ago while doing a new stick. It uses:
  • 1 long piece for both sidewalls
  • 1 for the top
  • 1 at the bottom,
  • A hard mesh
  • 7 shooting strings
With 1 string used for both walls it makes a channel that starts wide at the top down to very narrow and very deep at the bottom getting rid of whip and making it extremely easy to make outlet passes. I triple up the string at the top ensuring long term reliability. The first stick I tried that on still hasn't broken after a year of use. I use eclipse heads exclusively and haven't had a chance to try it on anything else. I've used this on 2 of my 3 eclipses so far and couldn't be happier with the results.

Fixing Bad Pockets and More    Submitted by Kyle

I actually have a few things. It is very important for players to have at least a basic knowledge of stick maintenance. I've played with some people for the past few years that are always throwing bad passes because they don't know how to fix their bad pockets. It's true that you should be able to pick up any stick and play with it, but sometimes there might as well not be a pocket in it. I think stick maintenance is something that is extremely under-emphasized at the younger levels. Kids don't realize sometimes that it really is the pocket's fault and they get frustrated. They also pay no attention to frayed strings that end up breaking in the middle of pre-game line drills.

One of the easiest things to fix in order to make a stick throw better is the shooters. I've seen several places on this site that say shooters should be tight at the top and looser at the bottom, which is absolutely correct. But some of the problems I've seen result from them being too loose, too tight or too far from the top. I've found that if I put the top shooter in with a little give and then gradually loosen them as I go down it works out pretty well. I usually put one last shooter in right at the point where it seems like I may not need it, but I loosen it so that it only makes the top of the pocket a little more ridged. This helps keep it more consistent regardless of how much your stick speed changes from passing to shooting. If the top shooter is too loose, then the ball will get caught under the plastic and throw straight down. And when there is too much space between the top one and the plastic it can act as a second pocket and get caught. Those are easy fixes and you can do any number of things, like add more shooters, double up on one (where you would run a nylon shooter across the stick twice and then wrap around both of them at the same time) and you can use nylon at the top and hockey laces on the lower ones.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to string breakage. You should look at your pocket daily to see where problem areas may arise and fix it before it gets too bad. When a string first starts to fray there really isn't much you can do about it because sometimes taping it seems like over kill. I have found that a couple of coats of nail polish does wonders for getting a little more wear out of that area before you need to wrap tape around it.

The problem with soft mesh is that it is too soft and gets about twice as deep when it gets wet but then when it gets "old" very quickly and the pocket shrinks. The problem with hard mesh is that it takes so long to break it in because it is so hard. Both of these situations are unacceptable, so I found a way to make soft mesh harder, but not "stand up on its own" hard. I actually had my stick strung up with soft mesh but got too much stretching; I didn't want to unstring it and string it with hard mesh because I didn't have the time. I got some wood deck water seal from the corner of my basement and dipped the lower part of my pocket right into the can, but for the parts that didn't fit I just painted it on with a paint brush, avoiding the plastic head. I let it dry overnight and I had a harder soft mesh. I went back for another coat and got the mesh a little harder. It's pretty ideal now. You could probably just add coats of water seal until you get your desired hardness. It's great because now all of my strings are water sealed and are probably less resistant to fraying. I also thought that hard wood lacquer type finish could possibly harden the mesh even more.

Sorry this is so long but you have the absolute best website and I was so excited to let you know some things that may help.

Picking Hockey Laces    Submitted by Lee Clerkson from Vancouver, B.C. Canada

Love the page! I've enjoyed reading the tips and ideas. I have a tip regarding hockey skate laces. If you look at the different laces in the store you'll notice some have one black stripe woven in them and others have two. I've found the lace with the single stripe is much better for shooting strings because it is slightly thinner and lies flatter in the stick.

The "G-String" Pocket    Submitted by Chris Gilroy

This pocket is one of the best traditional pockets I've ever used. It has a pita down the middle so it is smooth on release. On the far sides is regular traditional but you have to match up the amount of locks you put on it to match the amount of pita locks your put on it. Then to add a little style to it, put coils in each middle to give it a nice look with a channeled pocket and smooth release. The more coils you put in it, the less you feel the ball rolling up the pocket.

Custom Meditional     Submitted by Laxgod

I just recently strung my Proton with a sweet meditional pocket. There is no whip, and it's the hardest shooting pocket I have ever used.

Materials needed:
  • 2 leathers
  • 1 4-hole wide piece of mesh
  • pocket nylon
  • sidewall string
  • 1 nylon shooting string
  • 2 hockey lace shooting strings

Here's how you do it:

1. String the sidewall string on the outside like The Who Pocket

2. String the leathers in the top of the stick. Don't wrap it in the bottom yet.

3. Weave the leathers through the outside holes of the mesh and string the leathers through the OUTSIDE holes on the bottom of the head.

4. String the pocket nylon outside of the leathers like the Quasar pocket

5. Attach the pocket nylon to the sidewall string and tie it off tight

6. Coil the hockey lace shooting strings until you reach the mesh and do a normal weave through the mesh.

7. String one nylon shooting string above the hockey laces.

8. Adjust the leathers to desired pocket depth (MAKE IT LEGAL!!)

9. Go out and start ripping nets!!

The Wright Pocket     Submitted by Collier Wright

The new pocket that I made is very channeled and has great ball control. It is a great face off pocket, as well.

Unraveling the Tape Mystery    Submitted by Mark Wood of Virginia

When taping a shaft for grip take some a wax, a candle will do, and rub it on the tape where you ended. This will help the tape stay on and never come off. Thanks to all for participating. Keep sending your tips and we'll pick some more in a few months! Send them to!

April 9, 2002