One of the best things a player could do to improve their stick handling skills is to carry a stick, cradling a ball in it as much as they can. The issue with this is that if you drop a lacrosse ball, in places such as a house, it could bounce around easily, causing damage (not to mention irritating everyone else in the house). The new SwaxLax training ball seems to have found a way to help with this, along with having a few other nice benefits.
The folks at SwaxLax were sent me one of their new training balls to review and it went above my expectations.
The SwaxLax training ball is a soft training ball, made like a bean bag, but is the same size and weight as a regulation lacrosse ball. Because of this soft material, it makes it less possible to damage stuff with it. It also doesn’t bounce around, reducing it’s possibility to break stuff. I’ve switched to using mine for when I am walking around my house, cradling the ball around. It is still the same weight as a regular ball though, so still be careful you don’t throw it at a wall or something breakable. I urge that if you’re using it in the house that you just stick with cradling (same goes for any ball for that matter).
Another nice benefit of the SwaxLax training ball is that, because of its soft material, doesn’t hurt as much when you get hit with it. I think this makes it good for kids and for coaching young kids that might be afraid of the ball hitting them. My fellow LPG writer Seth extensively tested this benefit of the ball (read his take here).
The ball is pretty durable so you shouldn’t have to replace it very often. I was shooting at the concrete wall in my basement with it a bit and it didn’t seem to have any issues taking a good beating.
The only downside of the SwaxLax ball is the slick texture of it. It has a smooth feel, so it’s not going to grip like a traditional lacrosse ball during the throw. But, this is a trade-off you’re going to have to have for a training ball like this. Although it has this little issue, the effects of it for my use of cradling around the house doesn’t really bother me since the ball doesn’t leave my stick and it still feels like I have a regular lacrosse ball in my pocket.
The SwaxLax ball is available in several colors, and I like my blue one a lot since it stands out. I’d recommend it to any player who likes to have a lacrosse stick in their hands all the time, like when they’re in the house as well as to younger players just learning the game or coaches of these young players.