While obtaining a shiny new lacrosse stick may seem like a great way to step up your game, it can actually hinder your performance. The head on this piece of lacrosse equipment tends to be made out of mesh, and new mesh can have strings that are too hard, tight, or waxy, leading to an undesired whip effect. To counter this important issue, it's in your best interest to condition the lacrosse head so you can play like a seasoned pro.
Testing the Whip
Before you get started on breaking in the head, you should test out the whip on the field, or at least in your backyard. You know if your head has a whip problem if the ball comes out too soon and falls on the field. Try tossing the ball and see if it consistently reaches its target or it goes too low.
Another way to test out the head is to put the ball in the pocket and allow it to slide around. It should easily roll from bottom to top. The ball getting stuck in the net is a bad sign.
Breaking in the Mesh
You can get rid of whip by adjusting the strings. The head should be loose at the bottom and tight at the top. After throwing your ball around, you should readjust the strings.
Another way to break in your equipment is to pound it. Forcefully strike a ball against the bottom part of the head, where the ball is typically caught. You may also use a pocket pounder, which is a hammer with a lacrosse ball at the head. Apply water for a softer effect; fabric softener may also be used if you aren't satisfied with the shape.
This motion will form a concave shape and form a crook where the ball will naturally fall into. The rest of the mesh will be stiff, making it ideal for throwing.
An alternative approach is to condition it with water and another product. You may use conditioner for hair, shaving cream, or fabric softener to apply to the mesh. Follow these steps.
As an additional tip, remember to remove the product entirely before shaping the mesh. Otherwise, the net will end up being too soft and you'll have unwanted residue. Remember, you want a net with the right amount of whip for optimal throwing and catching, a crucial part of the sport.
You can always ask experts like Breakaway Lacrosse for more tips.