As summer draws to a close we have to face the fact that it won’t always be bright and sunny outside. Rain can do the worst things to your lacrosse stick, from making it throw like a windsock to destroying your strings with the resulting mud. There are a few steps you can take to ensure that your pocket will actually throw the next day, and it just involves giving your head a little TLC. These things will also make sure your pocket lasts as long as possible, so it’s really worth taking the extra few minutes when you get home from a drencher.
First, rinse your pocket. It will probably have mud all over it, and this is the worst case for pocket-life. Mud dries and makes strings brittle, drastically shortening the life of your mesh, sidewalls, and top string. Rinse it in warm water, and if it’s really caked in there, you can always apply a little soap or shampoo. I’ve heard of guys showering with their sticks, but that’s a step you’ll have to decide for yourself.
Next, stuff your pocket with balled up newspaper. The newspaper will not only hold the shape of your pocket, but it will also suck all the moisture out of your strings, making it playable as soon as possible. If you don’t have any newspaper the ball and knife (or screwdriver) trick will work too, it just won’t dry it out as quickly.
So, the next time the clouds open up on your wand, don’t neglect it. Remember, if you care for your stick, it will care for you.