Good morning laxers and lax lovers. After teaching my Gonzaga workshop this week, I obtained some more insight into what troubles beginner stringers: symmetry. Symmetry is among many of the important aspects to stringing your pocket. Some of the other most important parts: sidewalls (#1 most important – you’ll learn why and know this to be true if you already string) and tension.
Symmetry should be applied to all components of your pocket: sidewalls, topstring, bottom string, shooters. Symmetry of tension should also be implemented, ie. if one sidewall is pulled tighter than the other, it will give your pocket a skewed channel. If you find that the ball is coming out anywhere but the middle of your pocket, you should run down a quick symmetry checklist:
1. Topstring – if I used the 9 hole row, are holes #1 and #9 (if we number #1-9 across mesh) attached to side of head? Are holes #2, 4, 6, and 8 attached to the top of the head? If yes, move on. If you used the 10 hole row, #1 and #10 are attached to side, then you’ll have a #2/3, 4/5, 6/7, 8/9 attachment to the top of the head.
2. Sidewalls – are your sidewalls fed through the corresponding holes? They should look EXACTLY the same: including the tension. Make sure the sidewalls are pulled down real hard and tight. Good?
3. Bottom String – it really doesn’t mean that much, but my OCD always says, “If you’re going to be symmetrical everywhere else, why not here?”
4. Shooters – if you attach one side to just the sidewall string, do the same on the other side. If you attach to the side of the head, do the same on the other side. Make sure your ‘U’ or ‘V’, if you have one, is correct as well.
Keep in mind that this should be done right after you string your head to keep the mesh from breaking in wrong. If it ends up breaking in skewed and off center, I’d suggest restringing the pocket entirely. As always, stick with it! Stringing is a learning process, but one that will benefit you greatly when you fully understand its intricacies. Change your game for the better.
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WANT PRACTICAL, HANDS-ON STRINGING INSTRUCTION? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a workshop for your program, area, college, or high school and check www.roseschoolofstringing.com for classes in your area!!! We currently have workshop offerings (open to ages 11+ in the DC Metro area now, sign up for one of the following: Gonzaga HS Feb. 2nd and 9th(GOOD JOB LAST NIGHT GUYS!!), Bethesda Lacrosse (@ BCC Community Center) Feb. 27th and Mar. 6th, Breakout Lacrosse (@ Horace Mann School NW DC) Feb. 15th and 22nd, Manassas Area (@ Osbourn HS) Feb. 23rd and Mar. 2nd, and Wheaton HS Mar. 1st and 8th. Space is limited as to provide great instructor to student ratio!
Improve your game one day at a time, isn’t it about time you learned to string your own wand?