Monthly Archives: April 2016

How to Decide on the Length for your Lacrosse Stick?

Lacrosse sticks should be a length that is legal for play, and the right length for each player’s position and preference. Here are is a guide to help you to find the perfect length for you.

The length of a stick is officially measured from the lacrosse heads to the end caps. Using this, the stick must fall into a certain size range depending upon regulations that shift as players get older. NCAA regulations for women state that the stick must be a minimum of 35 1/2 inches, and a maximum of 52 inches. If you are unsure of your leagues’s regulations, check with your coach or a league official to be sure that your stick length meets the rules of play.

Beyond regulations regarding stick length, there are many other factors that you should consider when choosing the length of your stick. These include your height and the position that you play.

In general, young players should opt for a stick length that feels comfortable for them. While STX does offer a stick that comes with a shorter shaft, all sticks are able to be customized for your preference by shortening the stick with a normal household hacksaw. However, if you do so, be sure to remove the end cap before cutting, as it can be quite difficult to remove the end cap after a cut has been made.

The majority of lacrosse players want to adapt their lacrosse equipment to the position that they play, and with sticks this is especially important. In general, defenders choose longer sticks, midfielders choose a stick length that allows them to play both defense and offense well, and attackers usually have close to the shortest length stick allowed under regulations. Goalies usually prefer to have a stick length comparable to those of a midfielder.

Defensive players should choose a stick length towards the maximum length allowed by their league. A longer stick allows a defender to increase her reach, and make passes that can not be defended by offensive players from the other team. This aids in clearing the ball and advancing it up the field. A typical length for a defender’s stick is around 43-44 inches.

Midfielders need the versatility to play as defenders and attackers at times. A stick length that is neither too long or too short allows a midfielder to develop this ability. Because of this, most midfielders in high school or college choose a stick length around 40 inches.

Attackers choose to have the shortest length sticks allowed under regulations, and this usually means that an attackers stick measures 36 inches. This shorter stick allows them to make sharper passes, maneuver around defenders more easily, and take precise shots at the goal.

Now that you know what length stick you need, you can buy your lacrosse sticks here! http://www.longstreth.com/lacrosse-sticks.asp

No matter what your needs and preferences, Longstreth has the sports equipment that you need to take your game to the next level. From Lacrosse to Softball to Field Hockey, Longstreth is the sporting goods store that provides you all that you need to keep playing the game that you live for.

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5 Ways Parents can help their Young Softball Player

One of the best things that you can do for a young player first lacing up the softball cleats is to build their love of the game. You will help to teach them core values like teamwork and dedication, while giving them the gift of a positive environment and healthy habits that last a lifetime. The benefits of playing a team sport like softball are nearly too many to list. Here are five ways that you can help your beginning softball player to improve in the sport.
Young Softball Player
1. Keep it Fun

Remember that team sports, especially for young girls, should be positively motivated. Even if you or your spouse was a star player, that doesn’t mean your daughter automatically shares the same love of the game. She will have to build this over time. The best way to do this is by encouraging her to enjoy the game. You may encounter coaches or other parents that put a lot of pressure on young players. Try to counteract this by always encouraging your daughter, and modeling good behavior in front of her teammates.

2. Get the Right GearTo help your daughter develop as a player, you don’t necessarily need to buy all the softball equipment that you saw at the College World Series last year, or have a softball pitching machine (buy them here if you decide to) in your backyard. However, make sure that she has a glove that fits and that she likes. Be sure to offer her softball bats that will help her to develop a correct swing. The last thing you want is for her to suffer an injury, so make sure she has softball cleats, or even some great beginner’s catcher’s gear, if that is her position. Then, encourage her to properly care for the investment in equipment that you have made.

3. Reward Hard Work 

Once your daughter starts to really enjoy the game, continue to reward her dedication. If she takes the initiative to join a summer league or train in the off-season, sacrifice a bit of your time and resources to make sure that she can make practices. If she shows dedication, you should too. Reward hers with upgraded bats from Demarini or other brands and other equipment, your praise, and support.

4. Keep Calm During Setbacks

For every young athlete, there are setbacks, losses, injuries, and struggles. Lead by example by correcting problems when they can be fixed, and encouraging her to learn from the difficult times of the game. Let her take a break from the sport if she needs to. If she really loves it, she’ll return to it, but in the meantime encourage other healthy habits that build an overall winning attitude.

5. Find Positive Influences

You could be the best softball player in your city, but your daughter would still need other coaches and parents to give her a balanced approach to the game. Find other role models for her to follow besides yourself, and encourage her to learn from them. Often your local Softball Store will be able to connect her with such local support system. Whether that’s a local high school pitching star that is willing to share her experience, or a coach that really knows how to motivate young players, she will need many people to help her develop the skills and habits that make a great young player.

Alloy vs. Composite Softball Bats – What Should You Be Using?

Softball batsYou want every hit coming off the softball bats that you choose to be accurate and hit at the distance that you want. Sometimes that’s right out of the park.  Sometimes it means the perfectly placed sacrifice bunt. So which bat should you be using to make sure that you make the most of every opportunity, every time you’re at the plate? There are so many choices available to you now, but you have too main choices in materials. Whether you choose an alloy or a composite softball bat depends on a lot of different factors.

Price

If you need to watch your budget, and many younger players and their families do, alloy bats have a big advantage over composite bats. You can easily pick up two or three great alloy bats from big name brands like Easton or Louisville for the same price as one of the top composite bats. If you’re still learning the game, it can be a big advantage to have a few different bats available to you with different weight balances. Choosing to go with alloy as your bat’s material offers you this possibility. 

Performance

When it comes down to performance on game day, almost all top level players now choose a composite bat. Companies like DeMarini, Worth, and all of the other big names bats constantly innovate and improve their designs, offering you some truly incredible bat options in fastpitch softball bats. When the first composite bats appeared in the 1980s, they performed very poorly, but with advances in materials, composite bats now easily outhit alloy bats, featuring a much larger sweet spot. You may also notice more “pop” coming off the bat with every hit. 

Composite bats do have one disadvantage in performance. When you first purchase a composite bat, you need to break it in before you will see the best performance from it. With an alloy bat, the first time you use it to hit you will be able to see its full potential. It will take a couple hundred solid hits with your new composite bat before it is properly warmed up and ready for its game day debut.

Durability

Composite bats do have one more negative when compared to alloy bats. The same carbon fiber that makes these bats lighter and easier to swing, also makes them vulnerable to damage. Especially during your early springtime games, you may want to choose an alloy bat, because cold temperature make the composite material more likely to crack. 

If you do some minor damage to an alloy bat, it is very likely that you will be able to keep using it without danger or reduced performance. An alloy bat can suffer a dent or two and keep its reliability. Composite bats, once damaged, are not useful anymore and can be dangerous for you and your teammates if you continue to use them. 

The Final Score

The type of bat that you choose depends upon your needs and preferences, along with restrictions that some leagues place on bats allowed for use. In short, if you want a less expensive, more durable bat that delivers reliable performance one season after another, alloy bats may be for you.

If you want a top of the line bat with the most advanced materials available and have the budget to pay for it, go with a composite bat. You will be able to hit more accurately, and will feel more comfortable because of the lighter weight and reduced sting from these bats. No matter your choice, Longstreth offers you a wide variety of alloy and composite softball bats.  For the best in Softball Equipment click here.

Field Hockey Goalkeeping Essentials List

As a field hockey goalkeeper, you are the last defense against the opposing team. You need the right field hockey equipment to protect yourself and the goal. Your team relies on your skill and performance to give them the chance to make their goals count. Even better, the thrill of recording a shutout performance awaits you if you can combine your practice and skills with the equipment that works best for you. Here’s a guide to the most important equipment from head to toe. FH Goalkeeping Essentials

1. The Head and Neck

The most important part of your body for you to protect is your head. The hardest drives can put the ball speed well above fifty miles per hour, so a high quality helmet is essential to help you maintain your focus. Beyond basic protection, today’s helmets from top brands like TK and OBO provide well-ventilated comfort to help you keep a cool head. Add in a throat guard as well to keep your neck and throat protected.

2. Upper Body

The main piece of field hockey equipment here is the chest and shoulder protection, which comes in one piece. Entry level pieces even have attached arm guards, although more advanced protection keeps these two separate for increased mobility and faster reaction times.

Your hands need protection too, and you will need a left hand blocker along with your right handed goalkeeping glove.

3. Midsection and Lower Body

Your goalie pants are hidden under your game shorts, and may have a pelvic protector included in their design. If they do not, you will need to purchase this separately. Most beginner’s pants have this included, but if you are ready for the next level of mobility and protection, the pelvic protector needs to be a separate piece.

You protect your lower legs and feet with leg guards and kickers. The type of foam that these are made from is an important factor to consider, as lighter foam helps to deliver bigger rebounds. This gives you the advantage of clearing the ball further from the goal, though it is a more advanced product and may cost more because of this.

4. The Stick

Your stick is incredibly important, and while it does not serve the added purpose of protecting your body like the rest of equipment, your field hockey stick choice greatly affects your performance. Invest in the best one that you can, so that you can quickly reject any drive that comes your way. While Longstreth recommends goalie sticks, your stick can be a field player stick as it is not required to be a goalie specific stick.

5. Bag and Accessories

While you may have a team jersey that is assigned to you, you will need some an extra or two for practices. Wearing all of the goal keeping equipment generates a lot of heat and sweat, so make sure that you have a couple clean jerseys on hand. You will also want a way to carry all of this equipment around. It is a lot to keep track of, and a goal keeping bag helps you to stay organized so that you can focus on your performance.

No matter what you need as a goal keeper, Longstreth is THE sporting goods store that has it for you. Come by our retail store today and get fitted for your goalkeeping kit today from the experts. We know how hard you work, and we put the same effort into making sure that we have all that you need to perform at your best. We also carry the largest selection of Softball essentials and Lacrosse gear.