Friday, October 7, 2016

My Daughter is Starting Lacrosse - What Equipment Does She Need?





Congratulations!  Your daughter is going to play an intense and exciting game which will challenge her to develop physical stamina, hand-eye coordination and the ability to work with her team. Here is what she is going to need to play well and keep safe:

Lacrosse Stick
Of course, the most important and personal piece of equipment for each player is her stick which has two parts: the handle, and the head. Both pieces come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes that give young women different advantages depending on the position they play and how they like to handle the ball.  However, without knowing all the ins-and-outs of the game, how is a beginning player supposed to choose? Here are some guidelines:
  • Heads with flat scoops and wide faces help beginners catch and pick up the ball.
  • Stick head choice can depend on position: narrow throat for offensive player wanting increased accuracy; stiff, flat head for defenders for hard checks and stability on groundballs; sturdy head for goalies to withstand hard shots.
  • Stick length can be between 35.5 and 43.25, but beginners often opt for a shorter stick for better control.
  • Handle material advantages differ: alloy is strongest in moderate weather, composite is softer and more flexible in extreme weather; titanium is lightest and strongest but can make a stick top-heavy.
ASTM Approved Lacrosse Goggles
Safety is first and wearing goggles that meet the current ASTM International standards is a must to protect your daughter's eyes. Lacrosse goggles:
  • Are made with soft padding, rubber, plastic, and wire.
  • Should fit snugly on the face, be comfortable and provide good side and ground vision.
  • Can be made for girls who wear glasses.
  • Should be tried on before buying.
Mouth Guard
Available in a variety of fun colors, shapes, and flavors, lacrosse mouth guards protect teeth but are lightweight and comfortable.  In addition:
  • Girls like to show their style with their mouth guard colors.
  • Mouth guards allow girls to breathe, talk, and even drink.
  • You can buy them for girls who have braces.
  • Flavors include: bubble gum, mint, fruit, and lemon-lime
  • Mouth guard cases are a good way to store them.
Lacrosse Cleats
The right lacrosse footwear will help players have good traction on grass, mud, or turf. The cleats are usually designed with 4 studs on the heel and 6-8 on the front.  Choose cleats that are:
  • Lightweight and breathable for flexibility and comfort.
  • Stiff enough to absorb impact and protect from foot fatigue and injury.
  • Not too tight or too loose, with about 1/2 inch of space between toe and shoe.
Optional Lacrosse Equipment
For protection or cold weather comfort, some players like to wear gloves.  In addition, players often want to have their own balls for individual practice. One inexpensive but important piece of lacrosse gearfor beginners is the Cradlebaby, a lacrosse training ball attached to an lanyard-type band which allows players to practice stick work, cradling, and improve wrist strength.

Worthwhile Investment
Yes, buying your daughter lacrosse equipment will be an investment, but the total cost will probably be less than private lessons in many sports. Better yet, you will get the enjoyment of watching her grow in confidence, agility, and pride in her sport and her team.