Chances are better than good that your son or daughter introduced the game of lacrosse to you. Consequently, it’s not something you can share with them, other than as a spectator. This page is devoted to familiarizing you, the parent, with the game of lacrosse. Also provided is information and our recommendation for lacrosse sticks and protective gear. We encourage you to learn about the sport, buy a stick of your own and “have a catch” with your son or daughter!
The use of a properly strung, quality stick is essential for becoming a good lacrosse player. Lacrosse is the only sport where a stick is used as an extension of a player’s arms. With practice, the player will develop a “feel” for where the ball is in the stick while craddling and running with the ball. The learning curve for developing this skill is steep. If your child can’t run with the ball in their stick without looking at it, they don’t have a “feel” for where the ball is in the pocket. The ball is either rolling around or bouncing while they are moving. This is usually due to a worn out or badly strung pocket.
The only thing you can do to lessen this learning curve is to buy a decent stick. We recommend buying a lightweight, flexible stick head and lightweigth shaft. Have it professionally strung. This costs more than the ‘Play It Again Sports’ stick, the WalMart special or the “loaner” but will last for years and provide a better experience for your child. Also, a good stick has a resale value when you decide to upgrade it (or donate to our recycling program).
The pocket on the WalMart special comes with a cheaper pocket and requires lots of adjustments. To work correctly, the pocket and shooting strings need to be adjusted so the ball remains in the same place during cradling and the ball leaves the stick consistently during passing or shooting. The cheaper shafts are made of aluminum which break and bend easily. For young/small beginners, cut 2 – 3 inches off their stick for better control.
Each player should know how to string a stick. One way to learn is to buy a professionally strung stick and compare it to the number of on-line guides out there (see links below). Armed with the on-line guides and a completed stick in front of you, you can string a stick yourself. Another tip is to try out other players sticks. After you find one that works for you, purchase the same stick.
Safety is a huge concern in any sport, not to mention a contact sport such as lacrosse. To the novice parent, it looks gruesome when beginning players are swinging sticks around. The sound of a stick hitting your child’s helmet can be stressful. In actuality, it really doesn’t hurt. The hard plastic shell and foam cushioning absorb all of the impact. Information from the US Lacrosse Insurance program (required for all Tri-City lacrosse participants) supports this claim. Based on claims data, the most common injuries on the lacrosse field are similar to soccer (i.e., leg related sprains and muscle pulls). As an additional safety precaution, our youth leagues prohibit body checking until the 7-8th grade division.
Your child should have a good helmet, mouthpiece and groin protection. The rest of the equipment doesn’t need to be top-of-the-line, although a good set of gloves will help your child get a better feel for their stick.
Goalies should have a top-of-line chest protection and throat guard. Tri-City Lacrosse purchased a number of helmets with screw mounted, hard plastic throat guards to ensure the safety of our goalies. Please speak to your child’s coach if you’d like to borrow this equipment on a per game basis.
Please contact us (see the contacts link on the main page) if you have any questions.