Your young daughter returns home from school to announce that she made the lacrosse team. Celebration is in order, and then reality sets in: what lacrosse player equipment does your budding star goalie, center or attack wing need? And then that other reality: what is all this going to cost?!?
Every lacrosse player needs three pieces of lacrosse equipment:
- mouth guard
These are mandatory pieces of lacrosse equipment; your beginning athlete cannot take the field without them. The goggles should meet the ASTM International standard for eye protectors for women’s lacrosse, F803. Goggles are available for eyeglass wearers, in wire frame styles and with full plastic lenses. Do not skimp on this vital piece of protective eyewear, because a lacrosse ball packs a mighty wallop.
Do not purchase lacrosse goggles without trying them on the player’s head. Adjust the fit with the straps; ensure comfort and visibility. Remind your young player to check peripheral as well as forward vision.
Mouth guards come in many styles, too:
- Mouth guards are available for girls wearing braces
- Mouth guards are available in flavors, so your dedicated daughter at first, second or third home can still enjoy the wild tastes of spearmint, fruit punch, blue raspberry, lemon lime or even bubble gum on the field
- Lightweight, open mouth guards that allow easy talking, breathing and drinking during the game
The stick (head, handle or complete stick) is perhaps the most personal piece of lacrosse equipment. Veteran players become very selective in choosing their sticks for the features they like best, but how do beginning players, with no experience, select their stick? Beginners will find a stick that has a flat scoop at the top to be easier for groundball pick-up; a wide face helps with catching.
In shopping for lacrosse equipment, how do you select the ideal length of a stick? You can buy a long stick and cut the handle to suit (that is legal, but remember, you can only cut a stick shorter, not longer). The stick’s overall length should be between 35.5 inches (minimum) and 43.25 inches at the most.
Beginners and younger players do well with shorter handles, which allows for greater handling control. Remember, though, opponents’ sticks may be longer, giving the opponent a stick advantage as well as the possible advantage of more playing experience against your beginner.
Most players purchase their own balls so they can practice stick handling skills on their own. Gloves are also advisable, especially if your daughter plays in a region of the country where lacrosse and cold weather go together. Goalies have additional lacrosse equipment: padding, protective gloves, special goalie sticks and helmets. it is also worth it to invest in quality cleats for lacrosse to improve her grip on the field.
Handy to Have
Beginners will generate muscle memory and improved game performance by practicing often and at regular intervals. This means practicing skills outside of formal team practices. Boost your young player’s confidence and possibly improve her game play by considering special individual practice tools.
One learning tool is the Cradle Baby, an inexpensive lacrosse-ball-on-a-band that attaches to the stick by a clove hitch and allows for cradling, ball control and stick work practice. It is not useful for catching and throwing, but can improve player wrist strength. It also helps teach cradling, fakes and switches.
Paying for proper safety equipment, a quality beginner’s lacrosse stick and some supplemental equipment to help support your daughter’s efforts will cost no more, all together, than a decent set of golf clubs or a few nights’ stay at a hotel. Your investment returns to you in a more confident, more agile daughter.