That hair tho'. Image courtesy: Charlotte Hounds

That hair tho’. Image courtesy: Charlotte Hounds

New York Lizards midfielder Jake Tripucka is the definition of a work horse. He’s the two way midfielder that every coach wants on their team so they can provide quick transition from defense to offense and attack right away. Jake did this exceptionally well and his 47 goals, 48 assists, 74 ground balls, and 16 caused turnovers helped lead the Duke University Blue Devils to two National Titles in 2010 and 2013. In the MLL Jake has continued to serve as a two way midfielder surging the Charlotte Hounds to their first MLL Championship appearance. This coming season, Jake will bring his talents to a loaded New York Lizards team where he looks to find the same success.

What head and shaft are you using?

I am currently using an STX Proton Power with an STX Stallion 500 shaft.

Jake Tripuka 1

Do you string your own sticks? If not, who does?

I’ve always strung all of my heads. It just makes me feel better knowing that I strung it up. Over the years, I’ve tweaked the way I do it based on all the rule changes we’ve had.

What kind of pocket are you using?

  • Mesh: I’m using StringKing type 3X mesh. It’s just been the most consistent mesh I’ve used. It breaks in easily and keeps that hard mesh feel to it longer.
  • Pocket placement: I tend to use more of a mid to high pocket. I would say most midfielders are in the same boat here. It gives you both hold and a quick release.
  • Shooters: I use two straight shooters. In college, there were two different rule changes during my four years. I was originally used two U’s to create a nice channel but eventually had to transition to two straights my senior year. I’m comfortable with it so I just stick to what works.
  • Whip: I would say on a 1-10 scale, I’m somewhere around a seven. I’ve actually been dialing back the amount I use as of late. I’d rather have a more consistent and quicker release than anything. The mesh technology has helped with that over the past couple years.

Jake Tripuka 2

How do you tape your sticks?

I usually tape my stick up to where my top hand is when I throw. I don’t really over complicate it there. I do use a pretty hefty donut on the end.

You had to adjust to the 2013 NCAA shooting string rule, how did you go about it? Was it a hassle?

It was not ideal for anyone I think. I still haven’t talked to anyone that was pumped about it. But you just have to adjust and adapt. I just changed to two straights from two U’s. However, I did my best to channel the mesh and keep it tight towards the top. This in a way created a natural channel and was a substitute for not having the two U’s.

How has your stick changed since college?

The past couple seasons in MLL, I’ve been able to use STX for sticks and equipment. So I had to change my stringing up a little but for the most part it was an easy transition. The guys at STX have been awesome. They sent me whatever I needed and allowed me to find a stick that I’m comfortable with. It’s been great. But as for stringing, I’ve just tried to simplify it. I’ve dial back a lot of the whip and yank in my sticks. I just want them to be consistent.

Any superstitions or funny stories?

No superstitions really. I just like to get in as many shots off in pregame as possible. I also like to get some wall ball in as well. It helps with getting your hands going and gets you in rhythm.

Do you have a pregame playlist?

I don’t really have a pregame playlist. It honestly depends on the day. I can do anything from Rap to House music. It shouldn’t be too hard to get the energy up on game day. Being a new guy in the Lizards locker room, I’ll be happy with whatever music they want to put on. I’m excited to get going with those guys!

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