With the MLL weekend come and gone faster than you can not find a flashlight at your local hardware store, I wanted to note how admirably all the players dealt with the conditions laid forth: IRENE. For those of you who spent Saturday and Sunday glued to your couch watching the MLL, whether by choice or not, you probably noticed the distinct, severe difference between Saturday’s weather in Annapolis when compared to Sunday’s. Earlier this year, I posted about the weather changing from frosty to humid and how it may add whip, hold, etc. to your pocket; this post is more congratulatory to those who played this weekend and a conceptual discussion of how you maintain for pocket through such a disaster: hurricane, tsunami, tornado, Godzilla attack, or otherwise!
Any pocket discussion comes down to two questions, 1. What am I trying to achieve? 2. What do I need to do to my pocket to help me reach those goals?
1. The answer to this question depends on your situation, skill level, etc.; a novice player may want to be able to throw 10 perfect over-hand passes in a row, where a more experienced player (let’s say an LSM) might want to throw 10 perfect cross-field on-the-run passes in a row. But during this weekend, considering the caliber of play, all the players had the same answer: perform the same as they would SANS disaster.
2. Here’s where the debate between whip, no whip, and all pockets in between can forge a place in this: does a pocket with more or less whip change MORE or LESS with a change of weather? We’ve all seen the young, aspiring Pete Poillon-esque players of the world attempt at ripping top corner sent awry, sometimes striking an innocent fan or perhaps even heading back towards their own goal! The answer to the question posed is a resounding MORE in my eyes. When a player who uses less or no whip has to deal with an adverse, the results seem less drastic.
Either way, this is another resounding, emphatic reason for stepping up to the plate and KNOWING YOUR POCKET. I truly believe that the more knowledge you have about your pocket will help you improve your game to the level you want it to be: knowing more than your opponent is only advantageous. If you haven’t learned yet, I sincerely suggest you learn from a friend, from an online source, or from me: stay tuned on my Facebook and my Twitter for updates on hands on and online stringing classes — there are currently 4 hands on workshops set up in MD over the next few months, with more to be added in NYC, NY’s Hudson Valley, and am accepting inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org – I’m willing to travel! To hear more about the online classes, stay updated on Stick Doctor’s Facebook, or their Twitter. The next online class date is September 25th, 6-9 PM EST, you can sign up on Stick Doctor’s Website.
Gregory A. Rose
photo via mll