There’s nothing worse than having your stick bag out and then not being able to pass the next game. Unfortunately, as the fall rainy months roll in, this is an all too common occurrence. Fortunately for you though, we have FIVE great tips to keep your stick game ready, come rain or shine.
- Get your stick ready for the game: It sounds obvious but often overlooked. If you’re going to be playing in a rainy game consider making sure all of your strings start at legal depth and your knots are extra tight. Sometimes we forget to overlook the basics and if you start with a pocket that is almost illegal, combined with loose knots, you’re just asking to be called for an illegal stick.
- Make your stick rainproof: If you’re a goalie and you play in rain or snowy conditions often, consider using a mesh that will stand up to the conditions. This means waxed mesh, memory mesh or otherwise treated mesh that won’t give in to the elements. If you have leathers on your stick, consider using a fabric protector meant for leathers such as scotchgard. Simply spray it on and your pocket won’t absorb the water as quickly!
- Post-game treatment: After a long hard game or practice many of us just shove our stick back in our locker, car or garage. While you may be tired, now is the time to take a few extra minutes to really tend to your stick. Using old newspaper, stuff your pocket as much as you can and use a knife or other flat object to secure it in place. It is important that your pocket is pushed out in the correct way (away from the front of the head) so that it does not dry in an awkward position. Newspaper helps absorb any liquid quicker than just letting it air dry.
- Stretch and adjust: The next day your pocket has probably become noticeably more shallow. Using your hand or glove, stretch your pocket so that it begins to loosen up. Check all of your strings again and adjust as necessary- some may have tightened up since the last time you played! If your stick is throwing down, make sure everything is tight. If the ball is throwing off of your shooters, tighten them up a bit but leave them untied. Proceed to the next step.
- Wall ball, my friend: Before you hit the field again we recommend hitting the wall. While it’s nice to get some passing going with a friend, you can hit the wall (literally) much harder with the ball and receive stronger passes to your stick than you can with a friend (and more of them!). This will help break your pocket back in and allow you to make adjustments as you see fit before you’re back with your team. If you’ve tightened and left your shooters untied, throw with your stick (with them still untied) until it begins throwing the way you want it to. Knot off and continue breaking in!
Now, you’re ready to get back out there! Lax on!
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