The hard mesh is made of twisted woven fibers which are highly resistant to heat, humidity, and harsh environmental conditions.
Softening techniques should consider the fiber ply and denier apart from the material construction. After washing you can test catching, retaining and passing convenience. If you are comfortable and the ball doesn’t slip out of control, you can be sure of softening level to be just fine.
In this article, I'll show you guys 5 easy to apply techniques, or as I prefer to call them 'tricks', that will help you soften lacrosse mesh.
You need to soften the lacrosse because the hardness factor can make the ball rebound and make it go out of control.
You won’t be able to make the ball land into the pocket and retain it while moving across the lacrosse field.
Long story short, YOU SHOULD.
Using a standard fabric softener for performing the task can do wonders. It is also stated to be the fastest way of softening the mesh.
Step-1: Take a bucket which has sufficient dimension to hold the entire lacrosse mesh. It would be better if the volume is a bit larger than the space occupied by the mesh to ensure complete rinsing.
Step-2: Pour hot water into the bucket. The temperature should be preferably between 70 and 80-degrees. Higher temperature may damage the fibers and lower temperature could be insufficient for softening.
Step-3: Add 3 to 4 spoons of fabric softener. You may also add a few drops of liquid fragrant to enhance your playing experience.
Step-4: You may invert the lacrosse stick and dip the mesh into the bucket. Soak it for 20 to 30 minutes at a stretch. Take it out and test the softness. Wash it in running water, dry it and try catching the ball. If it is working fine you can stop and relax. Or you may have to dip the mesh back into the bucket and soak for some more time. Repeat 2 or 3 times until you are finally satisfied with the results. Dry the mesh and start playing.
Using the lacrosse ball, you need to press it over mesh fibers. Start from one end and proceed to cover the entire inner surface area. It is a slow process which may take several days of effort.
Alternately you can use an OEM lacrosse mesh pounder. It is made of an STX-ball fitted onto an aluminum handle. You can pound the mesh at modest force from one end to cover the entire inner surface. It is a relatively faster procedure compared to using lacrosse ball.
After every pounding, you need to test the softness effects on catching, retaining and controlling. The procedure may take several attempts, but you can complete it within a day or two.
Selecting the pounder with the right steel ball is the most important aspect of lacrosse mesh softening. The recommended practice is to choose a branded product rather than opting for a cheaper version or DIY method.
Alternately, you can use a lacrosse ball for pounding instead of pressing. However, this approach may take patience and persistence on your part. The probability of change in pressure and force may vary during a pounding session. Hence, you need to concentrate on the task and make it highly accurate.
Make sure you place the mesh on a hard surface without any traces of dust, dirt, or other contaminants. It is to avoid frictional forces from damaging the mesh fibers.
Wall rebound and catch is a method, which can soften the mesh besides improving your footwork. You need to practice it consistently for about 20 to 30 minutes per session. It is one of the best methods of softening the mesh and providing a natural shape to it.
Alternately you can practice the catch and passing workout with your teammate. This process could consume relatively more time compared to the wall rebound, but it can soften the mesh just according to the standards.
At the beginning of the task you may find it hard to control the rebound from the ball. You may also feel the stick going out of your control. But the recommended method is to stick to the task and continue. You can experience the mesh softening according to the playing conditions within a few days.
Spray starch consists of softening liquid which can complete your task within a day or two of consistent usage. The ingredients of the liquid can get absorbed by the mesh fibers.
You need to soak the mesh for about 10 to 15 minutes every time you spray. Then you can wash it with cold or warm water. Test the softness factor by practicing the wall rebound exercise. If the ball control is fine, retention is longer, and passing is easy, you can consider it to be the most effective method.
You may choose to buy a spray starch off the shelf or prepare it at your home. Take 3 or 4 corns and take out the seeds. Soak them in hot water and grind finely to make a paste. You can control the thickness factor according to your specific requirements. Cool it and store it in a bottle.
The unconventional method is to use another lacrosse stick handle to rub the fibers gently but firmly. We found this method to work more efficiently than the others and the time has taken is also relatively lesser compared to the pounder and lacrosse ball.
Take your time and slowly press the lacrosse stick handle onto the fiber from all over the inner surface. Keep testing the softness factor by the wall rebound method. You can get the desired within two or three days of continuous effort.
You may choose any of the above methods that we have explained. You can experience the real effects while playing on the field in real time.
If one of the tried and tested methods doesn’t produce the desired results, you can try the other options. Make sure you don’t cause any damages to the fibers while softening.
Lacrosse defense drills can boost the agility, flexibility, strength, endurance and spot decision-making skills. Regular practice can boost concentration and ability to focus on opponents’ movements accurately.
Improvement in the reflex action and proactive movements can eventually block the opponent's moves and gain ball control. The drills can keep you physically fit for the entire season of tournaments and training sessions. You can develop better coordination with your teammates through non-verbal communications.
In this article, we introduce you to some of the best lacrosse defensive drills that lacrosse beginners can easily apply to improve their defensive skills on the field.
Star drill is to improve the ball movement detection technique and following it up with passing and/or catching. It needs a minimum of five cones set up at a distance of 3 to 4 meters from each other in the form of a star. The best practice is to position 2 to 3 players behind every cone. They keep passing the ball between themselves in both directions. You have to follow the pass and catch the ball from them. The players can increase the speed and direction of passing between the three players in the same cone and across the cones.
You may also have more than one defender chasing the ball as it gets passed along the five cones on the star.
Star drill helps improve footwork, running speed, eye movement, concentration, and ability to handle the lacrosse stick while catching the ball from attacking opponents. You can also control the direction of your running along straight and angled lines.
Having multiple defenders working with you can improve team communication and coordination skills. Your goal will be to catch the ball from the opponents and pass onto your team members as you pass between the opponent players. They may make attempts to take the ball away from your team members which your team members need to prevent.
For Cage Drill you’ll need to place two cones on either side of the goal outside the crease edge. You need to be dressed up in your lacrosse uniform with the leg-resistance K-bands on. As you race between the two cones, you have to jump over the net with your front leg. The drill starts at a slow pace and picks up speed within the next 10 to 15 minutes. You need to hold the lacrosse in a raised defensive position. Keep your eyes raised as if you are facing an offensive player.
The first benefit is improved agility and speed. Flexibility and dynamic crisscross movement of your body will improve muscle fitness. Body weight balancing while following the offensive player’s movement is another benefit you get. Jumping over the lacrosse goal will increase the heart rate to the range of 70% to 80% above the normal level. It can improve your concentration and focusing ability to the maximum extent.
Two players in lacrosse attire and stick can participate in the drill. One player assumes the role of an offensive player while the other is the defender. The offender moves from sideline towards the goal in criss-cross directions. As a defender, you have to shadow and prevent her from progressing ahead.
You have to force her to move away from the goal with your hip wheeling action. The offender can also move from midfield ring towards the goal. Initially, the pace of movement will be slow and then she picks up speed. Your task will be to block her offensive moves without making physical contact.
Shadow drill improves the speed of your reflex actions. Your footwork efficiency also increases considerably. You will learn how to defend with the lacrosse stick and block the opponent’s movements towards the goal. Muscle strength and stamina on the legs, thighs, and hips improves. Joints become flexible and nervous system fitness gets better.
Create an arc of 14.6 meters around the goal. Place cones on the arc circumference at equal distances. The defenders will be positioned behind the arc at the cones. The offensive players will face the defenders one-on-one at the opposite side of the arc.
The drill starts when three offenders move towards the goal from the line center. Now the two defenders move towards the opponents and the coach rolls the ball on the ground between them. It’s a real game situation where the offenders try to score and the defenders prevent them from scoring.
It’s a drill aimed at improving team communication and coordination during defensive moves. You plan your actions dynamically to counter the offender moves and actions. Improvements in footwork, focus, shoulder and body reflex actions are the benefits.
In the agility dot drill, you place four circular plates on the corners of a square and one at the center. You need to stand on two of the plates at one end. Then you start hopping onto the other plates with one foot and two feet in random order. Make sure you don’t step out of the plates.
Increase the pace as you proceed. Your eyes should focus on your feet while you use the shoulders to balance your body weight. Do it for three to four minutes continuously.
Change your foot from left to right and vice versa, while doing one-foot hopping. You need to increase the speed gradually and bring it to the maximum possible pace. Make sure your body balances on its own weight by shifting your upper body posture dynamically.
Agility Dot Drill is aimed at improving your foot movement and your body agility. Focus and concentration on the opponent’s movements increase. You can also do it with the lacrosse stick in your hands.
One-foot hopping drill gives you the ability to balance your body weight as you cover the opponent and match your body movement with his. Continuous practice can make you outpace him at every position of defensive action.
Core muscle strength on the feet, legs, thighs, and hips improve. Body balancing technique with shoulder movement becomes natural. You will be able to move your feet and upper body in perfect coordination.
1-2-3-Cone Drill is a simple, yet sophisticated drill for improving forward running and Backpedalling simultaneously. Place three cones horizontally at equal distances.
Stand near the first cone. Backpedal three to four steps and then run towards the second cone. Repeat the exercise and run towards the third cone. Now you need to return to the first cone in the same manner.
You can increase the pace of running with time. Backpedaling speed has to improve considerably between the two sessions. Each session can be of 15 to 20 minutes duration. Increase the speed after every five minutes.
After completing the 1-2-3 cone drill, you may change it to 1-3-2, 2-1-3, and 2-3-1. The dynamic change 8in the order has to be done within the same session to get the best results. Try crisscross movements while moving forward and backpedaling. Balance your body-weight by switching your shoulder positions.
1-2-3-Cone Drill increases the calf-muscle strength considerably. Now the muscle can endure stress over an extended time while chasing an opponent or blocking him from moving ahead.
Backpedaling improves agility and ability to change the direction of movement dynamically. Crisscross movement can prevent the opponent’s moves and force him to move away from the goal. You can also carry the lacrosse stick and practice defensive moves while doing the 1-2-3-Cone Drill.
The drill also improves muscle strength on the hips, lower back, and around the spine. Circulation gets better and the heart rate improves with practice.
Place five sets of two cones at equal distance from each other in two rows. The distance between the two rows should be sufficient for you to move freely. The sprint from the first cones to the last and return. Decrease the distance to the fourth, third and the second. At the same time, you need to increase the sprinting speed.
Agility and body control improve considerably. You can run short distances at high speed. It is helpful in covering a fast-moving offender from the opposite team and to force him to move away from his intended direction.
You need to complete both the on-field and fitness training sessions to get the maximum benefits. The on-field drills are generic for teams to improve communication and coordination. Fitness-training can be done individually on in the group.
Using the timer and countdown device may help in tracking your speed of movement within a specific time interval. Having a coach to guide you during the drills can bring discipline and order. He can also help you in identifying the mistakes and taking corrective actions. Make sure you practice the drills regularly without break in between to get the best possible results.
Playing defense in Lacrosse could be physically and mentally challenging task. Fest reflexes of the mind have to be matched with the quick action to block the attacking players and take possession of the ball.
Speed, accuracy, and coordination with midfield players and goalie are the most important factors for the solid defense.
Some of the coaches feel that aggression is the best way to defense. So, they train defenders to keep moving forward towards the midfield area, rather than stepping backwards.
Focusing on the opponent players' body language can help predict their next moves to a certain extent. Here are a few actionable tips.
Agility and speed of footwork are the two aspects which can help you catch up with the attacker and keep him away from the goal area. The foot movement is not always straight. You may need to run towards the midfield, sideline or backward. You have to avoid the head-on collision with your opponent while blocking him physically.
Always use the combination of your footwork and stick-work to defend the goal from the attacker. If the attacker is a leftie, you need to force him to switch the balance to his right and vice versa. You can do it when your footwork, agility and speed are at the maximum possible limit.
Ladder Drill Benefits: Footwork speed could improve with practice. Your entire body becomes agile. Reflexive actions quicken. Arms movement turns into free-flow. You can check your opponent’s flow and force him to switch to his weaker side get defensive from offensive motion. It is the time you use your angular footwork and arms move to take the ball away from him.
Stick-Hops Benefits: The muscle and bone strength in ankles, calf, shin, knees, thighs, and hip increases. Endurance to stress enhances. You can move your body through 1800 around the attacking opponent and restrict his forward movement.
Mind focus power increases considerably. So, you can distract the opponent’s attention and take the ball away from him by blocking his footwork and free movement.
Asterisk-Cone Drill Benefits: The Asterisk-Cone drill aims at switching your position within the defence zone. It sharpens your coordination skills with your team members. Responsiveness to team calls increases. Communication techniques improve. Ability to focus on an opponent's body language and movement gets better. It also enhances speed and agility of crisscross movements and footwork skills.
Stick-Projection Benefits: The Stick-focus method makes your offensive opponent slow down and to think about other options. It becomes easy for you to block him.
Communication Benefits: Your team starts thinking and acting in unison as a single unit rather than fragmented pieces joined with an adhesive.
Sprinting Benefits: Sprinting and hurdle running can help you in enhancing your ability to cover the opponents no matter how fast he moves towards the goal line or around it. You can also jump to avoid counter attacks.
As of 2016, there were over 825,000 lacrosse players across the United States and this officially made lacrosse the fastest growing sport in America and particularly among NFHS member schools.
Despite the increasing popularity of the game, however, professional lacrosse players are not yet at a point where they can enjoy a lucrative career as their soccer, baseball and basketball counterparts do.
As shall be discussed in this article, a professional lacrosse player’s salary varies depending on a couple of factors, but the one thing that all players seem to agree on is that a lacrosse salary is not enough to sustain a comfortable lifestyle for most players.
As a result, it is not uncommon to find many professional players having to work full-time jobs to make ends meet.
Internationally, lacrosse is governed by the Federation of International Lacrosse, and the most prominent tournament is the World Lacrosse Championships.
The United States always dominates this international competition, with Canada, Australia, and England being the other notable participators.
The Major League Lacrosse (MLL) and the National Lacrosse League (NLL) are the two major lacrosse leagues in the United States, and while the MLL has nine teams, the NLL has 11.
For the professional female (women) lacrosse players, there is the United Women’s Lacrosse League (UWLX) which comprises four teams.
Women lacrosse players do not get salaries, but the league offers travel stipends.
UWLX was launched quite recently in 2016, so perhaps with time, and as the sport grows, women professional players will eventually start earning a salary.
Wanna be a professional lacrosse player? Start with choosing the right lacrosse stick
As can be seen, lacrosse salaries are generally very low, and in addition to that, the salary range between the highest and the lowest paid player is pretty low.
Despite the salary issue coming up quite often, this has always been the case, but perhaps things are beginning to look up.
MLL owners recently voted to increase the salary cap by 51% and with a higher salary, players would be able to dedicate themselves to the game which would, in turn, bring about a higher level of competition.
So far, Paul Rabil is the only professional lacrosse player who’s boasting of a 7-figure income, and this is mainly owing to his impressive endorsements portfolio comprising big names such as Red Bull and New Balance.
Besides his endorsements though, Rabil has another niche whereby he plays in both NLL and MLL.
Not many professional lacrosse players can excel in both brands of the sport but those who do, stand to earn as much as $69,000 a year.
This is better than making a meager $25,000, but it is still a very modest salary especially when talking about professional sports.
First-year players, better known as rookies, always earn the least and this is just understandable because they are still getting a grip of professional play.
Interestingly enough though, lacrosse players generally don’t get paid higher salaries as their careers progress.
Years of experience will, however, give players an advantage when it comes to earning a spot in a professional team.
Simply being on a professional lacrosse team does not guarantee a salary. A lot of professional players could go several games without pay, and this is because leagues play the players who are on the active roster.
Take the MLL for instance: despite there being about 26 players on the team, only the 19 players on the active roster will get paid at the end of the game.
Some players play for NLL which is an indoor box lacrosse league while others play for MLL which is an outdoor field lacrosse league.
Better yet, some players manage to play for both NLL and MLL, and such players stand to earn higher salaries because they would be getting paid by both leagues.
The best part is that both leagues are played at different times of the year so if a player so wishes; they would easily juggle between the two.
Lacrosse doesn’t pay much, but most players get to supplement the meager salary with endorsement deals they get from big brands.
Remember how Paul Rabil got to earn a 7-figure salary courtesy of the endorsements he was getting?
Keep in mind, of course, that you need to be a notable player before a brand can approach you for endorsements or sponsorship deals.
For the longest time, lacrosse contracts were short one-year contracts, but the introduction of MLL’s Player Movement Policy in 2016 brought about long-term contracts.
This is because, with the Player Movement Policy in place, players who have an expiring contract and have been in the league for a minimum period of 5 consecutive seasons were then at liberty to move to a different market.
The long-term contract would additionally come with pay scales and incentives which would increase the competitiveness of the sport, therefore, improving the on-field product.
Moreover, “free agency” would allow players to establish themselves in the markets they wish to be part of, which may extend their playing careers and reduce roster turnover.
At all levels, participation in lacrosse is growing by leaps and bounds with the numbers growing steadily not only in the United States but internationally as well.
The sport holds a lot of potential for bigger and better endorsement deals and well as numerous sponsorship opportunities, and when this materializes, then there will also be plenty of professional lacrosse positions available in the future.
It is a well-known fact that lacrosse players don’t play for the love of the money, but perhaps the future will bring about better salary increments which match up to the players’ love for the game.
Finding the right lacrosse goalie pants for you can be a bit challenging at times.
So, we made this guide to help you with your decision.
Below, you will find the best lacrosse goalie pants as per our research that we did.
Flexibility, safety, stability, fitment, and comfortable experience are the main parameters you should consider in the lacrosse goalie pants.
Protective pads for shock absorption over the critical sections make it safe.