DOUBLE ISSUE: We picked over 20 reader tips for publication this month! And we're giving the authors e-Lacrosse Rage II Videos! Winners, please contact us if we miss you. Some e-mails cannot be returned to the addresses given to us.
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! In this issue we have included a tip on off-season workouts. Be sure to check with a doctor if the recommended workout is way above and beyond your usual exertion. If you are not sure check with a parent or your coach.
Submitted by Aaron of Canton, Mi
I've found a way to string that gives people who like whip a faster and a more accurate shot. I have been stringing for about 2 years now and I help my teammates if they have any problems with their sticks. I like whip and this pocket gives me a good shot when I put the shooting strings on. I put a shoelace in between the 2 leathers so the ball will sink in the middle. When I catch the ball the diamond design in the very middle gets a lot larger.
Top Down Managment Submitted by Matt
I am 15, and from Colorado. I have been playing lacrosse for 9 years, and am one of the top players in the state. Lots of people on my high school team ask me how I get my Duramesh pockets to throw so well. Usually, most Duramesh pockets are hard to get to a desired depth and retain its shape. So what I do is boil the mesh for about 1 to 2 minutes. Then I stretch the TOP part of the mesh as much as possible, and string it to the top of the stick. Then I soak it in lukewarm water for about 3 hours. THEN string the whole thing, leaving the side walls and bottom strings loose, but not too loose. Pound the pocket near the lip of the head. then use the old ball under the butter knife for about a day and a half. You will love these throwing strings. This is a great pocket, with superb control, and a VERY quick release. My stick has allowed me to shoot, as hard as I can, in the 80-90 m.p.h. range as a freshman in high school. It works great for me and many others on my team.
High on traditional pockets Submitted by James
I looked through most of the previous reader tips, and I haven't seen this one. I recently strung my first traditional pocket, and strung the bottom a little too high in the stick. I was afraid the ball could fit through if I caught a quick pass, so I took the extra cross lace and wrapped it around the empty part of the leather and tied it off on the other side. I like to keep high pockets in my sticks, and this, by accident saved me a lot of breaking in, it forces the ball up to my main pocket area. Another thing I noticed, as I tried to string the pocket around a ball, is that I ended up with a pre-made channel. That also prevented me from spending hours breaking it in.
The Rope Ladder Submitted by Tim
I've been stringing pockets for several months now. I have been named the "Stick Doctor" on my varsity team. I have fixed a lot of their sticks and the J.V. players want me to string theirs. I just finished this pocket. I would say my best tip would be: When you're going to string your own pocket, find a way to keep a ball in the stick while you string it. This prevents your pocket from being way to shallow. I heard this is what rock-it pocket does when they string their heads.
Faux Marble Submitted by Ryan
Instead of buying those brand name marble colored lacrosse balls, just take a regular ball and put hot glue on it in the pattern you want. Then dye it the color you want. Let it dry and remove the glue. You can also do double and triple color balls. It is a more colorful, fast way to make an expensive ball for dirt cheap.
Submitted by Eric
I have made a few lacrosse wallpapers that I thought you might like. If you would like you can post them under the Free Stuff and put them up for download. I've made 2 versions of each wallpaper: 1024x768 and 800x600. I hope you like them! -
First off, the sticktech site is probably my favorite site on the web. It rules. Well anyways, I recently started experimenting with traditional stringing, I strung a couple of normal traditionals for some teammates and then I decided that it was time to try some of the designs from sticktech. I couldn't decide which one I wanted so I just started stringing and messing around. What I came up with is cross between the Complete pocket and the
dog-track pocket. So far, I've really liked how this stringing throws and holds.
Painters Tape Dye
Submitted by Will from Philadelphia
I love the site and have a dying tip. When I was dying my evolution blue, I tried to keep the sidewalls white with painters tape, which looks like blue masking tape, and there were some air bubbles left in there accidentally. What I got was a cool splatter effect with a white background and a blue splatter.
The Vertabrae - The wild, wild weave
Submitted by John (Panda)
I'm an attackman from Chapelgate Christian Academy in Howard County, Maryland. Here's a stringing design. It's just a hemp necklace like design down the middle. Then you attach the sidewalls to 2 leathers and the leathers to the middle. It's kinda hard because you have to keep track of 6 strings at the same time. It takes about 50 ft of sidewall (in case u mess up), 2 leathers and 2 shooting strings.
Submitted by a defensemen from Texas
I have found the answer to the age old question, "What can I do in the off-season to stay/get in shape?"
If you were to say the word "agilities" to most people they would give you a pretty goofy look. No one thinks of the word as a noun. You would be surprised how many athletes don't know what they are. Agility building exercises, along with a good running, weightlifting, and stick work program is your road to improvement with a long pole.
Line hops - Hop back and forth across your stick for 15 seconds. Rest and repeat using only right foot, then only left foot. (3-4 times)
Suicides (shuttle run) - Pick a spot to start and three spots to end (lines on a basketball court or field). Run from starting spot, touch line 1, run back to starting spot and without stopping repeat but on next run go to line 2 ect. (3-4 times)
X - Think of having two lines with an X in the middle ( IXI ). Start on the right line and sprint forward. After ten or so yards, back peddle at an angle for about ten yards. Sprint forward and then back peddle at an angle to your original starting spot. (About 5 times)
Shuffle - This one is a killer. Shuffle parallel to a sideline for 50 to 100 yards, never crossing your feet while throwing checks. Change it up by switching direction at random. (2-3 times)
Jump Rope - Jump rope for 15 to 20 minutes. Switch it up by jumping with only one foot then the other. This is a great running substitute on rainy days too. (Add ankle weights for extra resistance)
Do these drills 3 times a week along with basic distance running and sprints and you will notice a huge difference in stamina and agility in a short period of time. Keep workin' the wall and hittin' the weights.
Using Guide Tape
Submitted by Geoff
First off, I love your site. It's been awesome in helping me figure out new stringing styles. Second, I have a tip for beginners regarding shooting. When I started playing, I couldn't figure out the best place to put my upper hand when shooting, and when I'd hit the sweet spot between power and accuracy, I'd lose it within a few minutes. I was taping up my new shaft a while back, when I decided I should put some tape at the sweet spot to remember where it was. I ripped a piece in half lengthwise and wrapped it around the shaft at my best shooting spot. It's been great since then, because when I wind up for a shot, I slide my glove down, and it catches on the tape, so I've been shooting great consistently.
I've been playing for a little while now, and I can predict or guess where the sweet spot on a shaft will be, so the tape is not needed now. But it was great when I was starting, and I wanted to give some advice to new players.
I've also tried the same kind of thing with a newly purchased defense stick, putting slightly larger pieces of tape at the ideal scooping, cradling, and throwing places on the shaft, and it's helped greatly. I'm still learning the position, but my stick skills have improved nicely. Thanks again, and keep up the awesome site.
Waxing about laces
Submitted by Myles from Vermont
I've read just about all of E-Lacrosse, as well as tried most of the stringing jobs. And I have to agree with everyone else who has been posted on your site. It's the best place to pick up tips and tricks for lacrosse. One thing I have to add to people's little bag of tricks has to do with shooting laces. Most people find that using hockey laces can slow down shot speed, hence the development of the rubber rails. Well there is another solution. I also play hockey and I don't use regular laces in my skates, I use Waxed Laces. They are very water repellant and help reduce the loss of shot speed when used for shooting laces. They are usually neon yellow so they look different too.
Keep it clean
Submitted by Neil from Ontario Canada
I am always on the stick tech site reading up on everything. I absolutely love your site. I have just recently found a new way of softening hard mesh. A good way to do this is to throw it into the washing machine. I was stringing one of my sticks and the mesh
I needed had been sitting on the floor of my car for a couple months during the winter. With my friends always stepping on it as they were sitting in the car it became really dirty. I am a perfectionist, and I always like to string a clean stick with clean mesh.
So I decide to throw it into a load of laundry that I was doing. When the load was done, I immediately strung up my stick. When I was done I noticed that it had turned out perfect. I didn't need to sit there for a couple days stretching it.
We even used a fabric softener in our miniMESH Stretch Test.
The stretched mesh is on the bottom
Refridgerate after pinching
Submitted by Vlad of Victoria B.C.
I LOVE this site! It has taught me so much. Now I have some stuff to share. First off, for an end cap on your shaft, a plastic pop bottle cap is much better. It feels like hardly anything is on the end of your stick. Just stick it on, bang it tight and tape it up.
Next tip, when pinching your stick, after it is heated, put it in the fridge instead of the freezer because it causes a lot less stress on the plastic because there is less temperature change in the short period of time used to cool it. Another tip is when you restring a stick, leave the leathers in for a couple weeks, and then tighten or loosen to the desired amount. This gives it time to stretch, and no matter how much you stretch them in the 1st place, they will always stretch more after you throw with it a bit. Also, for mesh sticks, I find that semi-hard mesh is best because it holds the ball like soft mesh and shoots more like hard mesh (which is good).
Don't forget to bring two no. 2 pencils
Submitted by Jon
I usually keep up with the stick tech at e-lax and I wanted to throw in an idea of my own. Instead of paying 20 bucks for a pocket maker or a few bucks on a pocket smasher, make your own! All you need is a ball and 2 pencils (anything straight works). Basically ram the ball into your pocket and quickly put the pencils in to keep the ball in place. This stretches the mesh just as well as a pocket maker would!
Submitted by Tom
This is for people who are having a hard time with their hard mesh not breaking in or failing to hold the ball, etc. First off, I began playing lacrosse almost five years ago, and have used several different types of stringing for pockets. Anyway, when using hard mesh for your pocket, once it's done getting strung, run it under hot water, not boiling but hot water none-the-less. This will "melt" or loosen the material making the mesh so darn hard. Then pound the pocket the way you like while the mesh is still hard. But, make sure to shake off the left-over water so you don't make a mess. Allow the pocket to dry over-night with the ball in it. In the morning the pocket will be stiff, but not as stiff, just loosen it up with the ball or a few throws and you'll be good to go. If your hard mesh pocket doesn't seem to be holding the ball well, then pour some water on it, temperature doesn't matter, this will increase the "adhesion" of the pocket to the ball. Last year before games I used to dip my stick in a creek before the game and at half-time. Even during the occasional midfield line-change I'd add more water to it. Hope this helps.
A narrow Edge
Submitted by Marc
I just broke one of my heads and needed another, so a friend gave me an edge, I didn't like that there wasn't much of a channel in the stick because it is so big. I had previously had a corner pocket in an edge aero and liked that. I wanted something different this time, so I just let the strings flow. It throws perfectly.
Try on this Jacket
Submitted by Clint
Here is a pocket I just did on my warrior revolution. I call it the Jacket Pocket because my school team is the Jackets. It's a very easy pocket to do, too. I just ran two leathers from the middle holes at the scoop to the outer holes at the throat. It helps if you leave the leathers with a little bit of a pocket before you start stringing. Then I just did one coil across the top to get it started and started doing the center of the pocket. It is just like traditional except you have to do double knots at the leathers so they don't slide around. The side is also just like a giant traditional pocket. I strung the top sides very tight and got looser as I went down. Keeping the Top tight makes it so you do not have to use shooting strings. The last step was the Nylon Stabilizer going down the sides. Just twist a piece of nylon in and out of the nylon going down the sides of the pocket to hold the strings in place. The combination of the 2 leathers and the stabilizing nylon make this an extremely well channeled pocket.
Submitted by Brent
I gotta say first that I have been stringing for about a year and have learned everything I know from your website. Thanks for keeping it up and running as a great tool for any lax stringer or player. I was sitting in bed and decided to start stringing away and this is the outcome of a mad scientist at work for a night. I strung the outside leathers w/ a regular traditional style of stringing but I did that pretty tight to the sidewall. Then I used coils to center the ball into the middle of the stick and for the middle I had the 2 leathers cross once at the top and once at the bottom so that it would create a circle for the ball to rest easily in. this pocket has great control and a smooth release. Shooting strings are optional since the top cross of the leathers acts as a release point.
Submitted by Marc
I've been trying new stringing jobs on my new head in an attempt to get all of the whip out. I have found that with hard mesh if you put in 2 "U" shooters and one nylon shooter on the top that there is no whip. Editors note: This is a perfect mesh pocket. We always preach the graduated steps method for shooting strings and Marc has done it just right. This pocket probably yields good control and great fakes while still throwing and shooting straight and hard.
Rubber Rails Transformed
Submitted by TBD
I just recently strung a custom pocket that incorporates a lot of different things that I have seen on E-lacrosse.com, except for one thing. The heat shrink tubing that I put on the side crosslace creates a smooth release on the ball and the way I strung the pocket there is no need for shooters. The reason I didn't put the wide pita all the way up the middle is because I still wanted some feel of shooting strings. This pocket would be best on a Hype, however, since I didn't have the cash to buy one I just strung it on this stick. The only thing a stringer must make sure to do is make the center wide because otherwise the ball rattle is horrible. That is why the "hammock" design of the hype would be best.
Thanks to all for participating. Keep sending your tips and we'll pick some more in a few months! Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org! Please include your name and a permanent e-mail address.