Monthly Archives: February 2016

How to Choose a Lacrosse Stick for Your Age and Level of Play

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Lacrosse is a great sport for young women to play. It is a great way to build teamwork, confidence, and other skills that will be valuable for life. It is also great fun, and unlike boy’s lacrosse, girl’s lacrosse is not a contact sport. This makes start-up costs for you or your young athlete much lower when compared to a boy getting into the sport. But you will still need to make some decisions about lacrosse sticks when deciding to buy that first stick.

Lacrosse sticks for females are somewhat different from boy’s sticks, so using a hand-me-down from an older brother or a friend is a mistake. Using a boy’s stick will put a beginning player at a disadvantage and can be very frustrating. Make sure that your athlete gets a fair start by purchasing the right stick for her. In general, sticks for female players have thinner shafts and pockets that are more shallow, making them lighter and better for ball control.

The Parts of a Lacrosse Stick

There are two main parts to the stick. These are the shaft and the head. The shaft is fairly basic, but the materials it is made from can vary. In most cases, beginner stick shafts are made from aluminum, which is light and inexpensive. The head of the lacrosse stick is much more complex, with many variables for you to decide upon as experience in the sport develops. However, there are some good tips for starting out.

The head of the stick can vary in width. Usually defenders and midfielders will use wider heads for better catching ability, while offensive players use more narrow heads to increase their accuracy and the speed of their shots and passes. For beginners, it is better to go with a wider head so that they can develop their catching ability. While this does decrease their control and accuracy, it gives a better starting point.

The scoop of the head should be flatter for beginners, who can later move on to a curved scoop as their skills advance and they begin to specialize their position. In general, what’s good for lacrosse defenders is also good for beginners. A flat scoop helps to build catching skills, while moving on to a curved design later on will improve accuracy and speed.

Two other characteristics to consider are the sidewall design and stiffness. Here again, the default preferences for defenders also have a lot of advantages for beginners. A stiffer head allows for easier catching and ground scooping. Players lose some speed off their shots with a stiffer head, but this is not as important as developing those important catching and scooping skills. The sidewall design should also be lower for beginners and defenders, building that focus on the core skills of ball control.

You might also wonder which brand is the best for beginners. Really, the brand does not matter so much for beginning players. Most of the beginner sticks are very similar in design. However, STX, Brine and Easton sticks generally stick to a more friendly design for beginners because of their scoop shape. What’s most important is to get the right stick for your level of play, and for your sport. Longstreth provides lacrosse equipment specifically designed for female players so that you can get the most from your game right from the start.

What size Field Hockey Stick do I need?

Choosing the right hockey sticks for field Hockey for a team can be a matter of each player’s preference, but there are some guidelines to help new players decide what is right for them. The best starting point is the following chart, which shows what the stick length should be when compared to the player’s height.

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Remember that this sizing chart is only a starting point. Finding the perfect stick for you may take a little time, and there are some other methods that you can use to find the size that is best for you. Especially in growing players, height is not always the most accurate way to size a stick, so there are some things that you do to make sure that the stick is proportionally sized to your body.

One way to see if your stick is the right size is to put your right hand on your right hip, with your index finger at the top of the hip bone, pointing forward. Place your next two fingers below your index finger and place the stick at your side. The top of the stick should just touch the edge of your ring finger.

Another way to find the correct stick size is the Dutch method. Field hockey sticks can sometimes be uncomfortable for a player when sized with the standard method, so if this is the case the Dutch method can help. To size the stick, turn it upside down and place the head of the stick into your armpit. The top of the stick should be right at your knee. If it is above the knee or more than two inches below the kneecap, then it is almost certainly the wrong size for you.

Field hockey sticks that are the wrong size put the players that use them at a disadvantage. Using a stick that is too long can cause a player to strike the ground too hard, or hit the ball clumsily off the head of the stick. This may also cause the stick to break. So even if it sounds like a good idea to buy a stick that is a little too long to allow a growing teenager to grow into it, this may actually end up costing more in the end due to breaking the stick.

A final factor to help decide what stick length to use is the position that you play. If you are on offense, you may want to choose a stick that is towards the short end of the sizing range. This can help to give you more control and power. On defense, you might choose a stick with a little extra length to improve your ability to clear the ball. Be sure not to go too far over length though, because this could cause inaccuracy and stick breakage.

No matter what you are looking for, Longstreth has the top brands in field hockey gear in stock. These include wood and composite sticks, along with goalie sticks and all of the accessories that you need to customize and make the correctly sized stick perfect for your play. We also carry a wide range of softball player equipment and lacrosse gear.

Field Hockey Sticks – all you ever wanted to know!

Field hockey sticks come in a variety of lengths, shapes, and materials. Familiarize yourself with the different options you have in stick choice, and your game will benefit from it. If you’re just starting out in the game, there are some key characteristics of field hockey sticks that you should pay attention to. And if you’re looking for a left-handed stick, you can stop now. Field hockey sticks are only right-handed.

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A good place to start is with trying out a few sticks from a teammate or coach. Find out what they like and dislike, and get a feel for what type of stick is comfortable for you. There are a number of options to choose from.

Parts of the Stick

There are three key components of the stick: The handle, bow, and head. The handle, also called the grip or shaft, is the part that is held. It is covered with a grip or tape that helps you to keep control of it while using the stick. The bow refers to the curve of the stick. By regulations, this bend cannot be more than 25 millimeters. Finally, the head can be divided into three parts. These are the heel, toe, and scoop. The heel is the bottom part of the stick, which connects to the toe, or the striking surface of the stick. The scoop is opposite the heel, and has a small groove that is used to help handle the ball.

Toe Types

The toe of the stick has four different options for you to choose: Hook, Maxi, Midi, or Shorti. The majority of players will choose the midi style because it has the greatest versatility. It’s also best for beginning players because of this. In general, defensive players choose a hook or maxi-style toe, while those on offense go for a shorti.

The Bow

As mentioned before, the maximum bow of a stick is 25 mm, but this bend can be at different places in the stick. The regular bow is an even, centered curvature that is best for beginning and intermediate players, because its balance allows for better overall play. For advanced players, the control bow moves the bend in the stick closer to the toe. This increases power and allows for greater control, but requires more skill. At the elite levels of the sport, late and extreme late bows allow for even greater power and control. These field hockey sticks take even more skill to control.

Materials 

Most beginner sticks are made of wood. These sticks help beginner and intermediate players to develop their skills with a more flexible, lightweight and comfortable feel. Composite sticks cover a whole range of skill levels and materials. In fact, many wooden sticks are even composite, give that they are covered in fiberglass to improve durability.

Fiberglass sticks help to keep that light, balanced feel of the wooden stick while offering many of the advantages of an elite stick, with a lower price tag. At the highest end of the materials range, carbon fiber sticks offer greater power and control, but are harder to control. They tend to be used by elite players.

Stick Sizing

Sticks can be up to 40 inches long, but most sticks used are going to be in a range between 32″-38″. The following sizing chart gives a good starting guide to finding the right stick:

Finally, you want to choose the stick based upon which skills you want to enhance, rather than entirely by position. No matter what your level of play or playing position, Longstreth has the sticks, balls or other field hockey equipment for you.