Wednesday, April 27, 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 of 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.


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.

Friday, April 22, 2016

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.

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 Gear

To help your daughter develop as a player, you don't necessarily need to buy the softball equipment that you saw at the College World Series last year, or have a softball pitching machine 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 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. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

You 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 in fastpitch softball bats constantly innovate and improve their designs, offering you some truly incredible options. 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, as well as all the other Softball Equipment you need.

Monday, April 11, 2016

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. 

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 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.

Monday, February 8, 2016

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.



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 stick or other field hockey equipment for you.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Simple Tips to Improve Your Softball Hitting


Great athletes have a natural beauty and rhythm to their motion that makes everything they do seem effortless. The control they have over their game, like a good softball hitter with her softball equipment, separates them from the average athlete. Softball hitting can be broken into six distinct steps, each one of which you can practice mindfully.

Box Position


Step into the batter’s box with your feet in line, greater than shoulder width. To give yourself more time to see the ball, stay toward the back of the box; to catch the ball before it breaks down or away, move up in the box.
Flex your knees, keep your elbows in, and ready yourself for the pitch. Generally, think fastball and adjust your bat speed down for other pitches, but be open to advice from your hitting coach or manager.

Grip


Grip the bat lightly to give your hands quick muscle movement. Start with the bat on the second joints of your fingers, curling your fingers around. Keep the bat handle out of the palms of your hands. Wrap your fingers of both hands around the bat and line up your second knuckles, eight in a row. If that is uncomfortable or feels unnatural, you can rotate your grip so the third knuckles of one hand align with the second knuckles of the other (a box grip).

Swing


The largest muscle groups in your body are in your legs, so use them to power the bat around and send the ball 300 feet. Push off with your legs to connect. Your legs, though, are the sturdy foundation for movements elsewhere:
  1. back foot turning
  2. hips rotating
  3. shoulders turning into the swing
If everything is moving into and through the swing, you should end up with your body loosely and comfortably twisted, watching the ball streak away with your feet still on the ground.

Contact


Contacting the ball with the bat differs by pitch:
  • Down the middle—make contact straight out from the leading hip
  • Inside pitch—must be hit more in front of the center of the body
  • Outside pitch—contact is made from the body’s center to the back hip
Contact should be level, so you are hitting the ball as close to its center as possible, even if your intention is to drive it up or down.

Follow-through


Follow-through means full arm extension, then continuing your swing around. Wrists roll and the swing ends with both hands near the front shoulder, your head aligned to your back shoulder (your chin is above the shoulder).

Attitude


Finding your comfort zone with hitting means practice and more practice. You are honing your swing and stance so that everything feels loose and easy as you step into the box.
Avoid over-thinking the whole choreography of hitting. By training repeatedly, you condition your muscles and gain instinctive proprioception (awareness of body position) so on game day you can step in, assume your proper stance, and swing away without consciously thinking about any of it.



Once you have matched the right softball equipment—helmet, gloves and bat—to the player, your bat becomes an extension of your body. For the finest in softball bats and player equipment, step into Longstreth, and we will help you step into the batter’s box with confidence. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Longstreth Sporting Goods Announces Ali Lowe Hired as Softball Manager

Ali Lowe's passion for fastpitch softball will strengthen the Longstreth team.

Parker Ford, PA (PRWEB) July 16, 2014

Longstreth Sporting Goods is pleased to announce that Ali Lowe has been hired as Softball Manager. Ali will lead the softball business at Longstreth. “Ali brings a tremendous passion for fastpitch softball, and is excited to provide the best products and world class customer service to young female athletes,” says John Schaefer of Longstreth. “She has played at every level, from youth leagues to travel tournaments all over the country to collegiate competitions. I am confident her experiences, knowledge and also excitement will greatly benefit our softball customers.”

Ali is a 2014 graduate of Villanova University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication. She was a four year starter at shortstop on the softball team at Villanova, and was captain her senior year. Ali was recognized on various all-academic teams during her college career, and grew up playing youth recreational and travel softball in Florida.

“I’m beyond excited to join the Longstreth team! This company is very unique in its mission to specifically support the female athlete and that is the most compelling aspect of this opportunity. Not many sporting goods companies tailor directly to women’s sports, especially softball, and that is what makes Longstreth so great. I never would have imagined landing my dream job so quickly, but I did and I couldn’t be happier!” says Ms. Lowe.

Longstreth has been supporting fastpitch softball for almost 25 years. Longstreth partners with key equipment manufacturers such as Easton, Louisville, DeMarini, Mizuno and Worth to offer a full range of softball equipment to young female athletes. From the young, beginning recreational player through to the college players, Longstreth provides a great selection of products to help players succeed on the diamond!

Longstreth Sporting Goods has been dedicated for more than 30 years to encouraging and developing women’s sports. While specializing in Field Hockey, Lacrosse, and Fastpitch Softball, Longstreth can also outfit almost any team or athlete with uniforms and footwear. Located approximately 30 miles northwest of Philadelphia, PA Longstreth supplies uniforms, equipment, footwear, and training gear for female athletes across the United States. Visit http://www.longstreth.com to see the full selection of products.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Longstreth Sporting Goods Announces USA Field Hockey Sponsorship

Longstreth Sporting Goods proudly announces a long-term sponsorship agreement with USA Field Hockey. Longstreth has a long history of dedication and commitment to the game of field hockey and support for young female athletes, and is one of the original corporate partners to USA Field Hockey. This partnership will benefit the development and future of field hockey within the United States.
Founded by Barbara Longstreth, a pioneer in the sport of Field Hockey, Longstreth has a mission to support and grow the sport of field hockey by providing the best gear available for athletes at all levels. Longstreth has consistently been a source for field hockey players – both beginners and elite – for equipment, uniforms, and expert advice. Longstreth’s hockey professionals, all experienced players, work closely with top international and domestic vendors to help develop equipment specifically designed for female athletes. Year after year, Longstreth offers the best of the best in sticks, bags, and goalkeeper equipment to the United States marketplace.
Longstreth looks forward to working with USA Field Hockey. “We are extremely pleased to renew our support for USA Field Hockey, and to make this long term commitment,” says Alli Lokey, Field Hockey Manager at Longstreth. “The National Team has great momentum under new coach Craig Parnham heading into the World Cup, and we are excited about the impact USA Hockey is having at the Club and grass roots levels in building the sport. This partnership will also allow us to work closely in supporting many of the national team players on an individual basis. We look forward to continuing to build the sport of field hockey.”
Longstreth currently supports many of the players on the National Team, and has sponsorship agreements with National Team players such as Paige Selenski, Katie Reinprecht, Lauren Crandall and Shannon Taylor. These players generally utilize equipment from Longstreth’s core internationally renowned hockey brands: TK Hockey of Germany, Gryphon Hockey of Australia, Slazenger Hockey of England and Ritual Hockey of Australia.
Longstreth Sporting Goods has been dedicated for more than 30 years to encouraging and developing women’s sports for young female athletes. While specializing in Field Hockey, Lacrosse, and Fastpitch Softball, Longstreth can also outfit almost any team or athlete. Located approximately 30 miles northwest of Philadelphia, PA, Longstreth supplies uniforms, equipment, footwear, and training gear for female athletes across the United States. Visit http://www.longstreth.com to see the full selection of products.

Monday, April 28, 2014

2014 Field Hockey Catalog Coming Soon!

Longstreth’s new 2014-2015 Field Hockey catalog is due to hit homes soon! Remember to sign up to receive your FREE catalog by clicking HERE and submitting your mailing information.  The catalog will include new stick lines from TK, Gryphon, Slazenger, Ritual and so much more! For any questions about the new equipment don’t forget to ask one of our Field Hockey Experts for information and advice.

 #choosethebest #longstreth #fieldhockey

Monday, April 7, 2014

New 2015 Softball Bats

2015 CF7’s are on their way! We are waiting impatiently for our store to be filled with the vibrant colors of the new CF7 line up! Check out the D-Fusion handle on all models this year and keep an eye out on our website for their arrival.