If you play lacrosse, you probably know how important it is to have the right gear. But there’s one thing that many players overlook: the maintenance and adjustment of their lacrosse pocket. The lacrosse pocket, where the ball sits, can greatly affect your accuracy of your shooting and passing. If you’ve noticed that your shots or passes are going higher than they should, you’re not alone. In this article, we’ll look at what causes this problem and how you can adjust your lacrosse stick to improve your performance.
The Basics of Lacrosse Pockets
Understanding the different parts of your lacrosse pocket is the first step. The pocket essentially comprises three main components:
- Shooting Strings / Cords: These dictate the ball’s release when passing and shooting. The tighter the top shooter, the lower your shot tends to be. Conversely, if it’s too loose, your shots might arc higher than desired.
- Bottom Strings: Responsible for adjusting pocket depth and hold. A deeper pocket can increase the whip, which can inadvertently cause shots to aim higher.
- Sidewalls: These influence pocket placement, hold, whip, channel, and release. The pattern in which these are strung can make all the difference in your stick’s performance.
Diagnosing High Passes
If your passes consistently veer too high, whether in practice or during games, understanding the nuances of pocket adjustments can significantly enhance your accuracy. While enlisting the expertise of a stringer offers an immediate fix, familiarizing yourself with the art of stringing proves invaluable in the long run. By mastering this, you can make on-the-fly adjustments without stringing an entire pocket from scratch. If self-reliance in refining your pocket sounds appealing, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s delve into the primary reasons behind high throws in lacrosse:
Loose Top Shooter
The slackness in your top shooting string can lead to the ball releasing higher than intended. To address this, start by tightening the top shooter. If the issue remains, consider adjusting the following shooting string down. These tweaks are convenient for on-the-spot fixes, especially with women’s lacrosse sticks where extra depth isn’t an option.
A shallow pocket can impact pocket hold and whip in lacrosse, often resulting in shots being directed higher than desired. To address this, loosening the bottom string can be effective, adding depth to the pocket and improving hold and whip. For men’s lacrosse, this is a commonly recommended adjustment, given the typical allowance for deeper pockets without violating regulations.
However, in women’s lacrosse, deepening the pocket in this manner can often render it illegal. Additionally, many female players tape over their strings, which makes this kind of adjustment cumbersome and impractical during a game. For in-game modifications in women’s lacrosse, it’s more effective to concentrate on adjusting the shooters.
In the long term, it’s better to stretch your pocket by using a wooden baseball bat or something similar, in the manner shown in the example above. So, if you loosen the bottom string while playing or practicing, tighten it back up at home and use the bat to stretch it out again.
It’s important to consider how your sidewalls are strung because it can impact various aspects of your performance, such as the ball’s release point, pocket hold, pocket whip, and more. If the hold is too much or the channel is too tight, the ball may release at a lower angle. Combing differnt sidewall knots like the Knotted Standard Interlock or the Knotted Stacked Special Interlock can help you achieve more consistent results overtime by locking in your sidewalls. A good mix of a deep pocket, tight channel, and the right pocket placement; will result in a more consistent performance.
Your lacrosse stick is an extension of you on the field, and just like any tool, it requires occasional tweaking to ensure optimal pocket performance. By understanding the intricacies of your lacrosse pocket and making the necessary adjustments, you’ll be better poised to control where your shots and passes land. And when in doubt, always seek expert insights to fine-tune your equipment to your unique playing needs.
Work on your game, and let all your shots fulfill their destiny!