Lacrosse sticks should be a length that is legal for play, and the right length for each player’s position and preference. Here are is a guide to help you to find the perfect length for you.
The length of a stick is officially measured from the lacrosse heads to the end caps. Using this, the stick must fall into a certain size range depending upon regulations that shift as players get older. NCAA regulations for women state that the stick must be a minimum of 35 1/2 inches, and a maximum of 52 inches. If you are unsure of your leagues’s regulations, check with your coach or a league official to be sure that your stick length meets the rules of play.
Beyond regulations regarding stick length, there are many other factors that you should consider when choosing the length of your stick. These include your height and the position that you play.
In general, young players should opt for a stick length that feels comfortable for them. While STX does offer a stick that comes with a shorter shaft, all sticks are able to be customized for your preference by shortening the stick with a normal household hacksaw. However, if you do so, be sure to remove the end cap before cutting, as it can be quite difficult to remove the end cap after a cut has been made.
The majority of lacrosse players want to adapt their lacrosse equipment to the position that they play, and with sticks this is especially important. In general, defenders choose longer sticks, midfielders choose a stick length that allows them to play both defense and offense well, and attackers usually have close to the shortest length stick allowed under regulations. Goalies usually prefer to have a stick length comparable to those of a midfielder.
Defensive players should choose a stick length towards the maximum length allowed by their league. A longer stick allows a defender to increase her reach, and make passes that can not be defended by offensive players from the other team. This aids in clearing the ball and advancing it up the field. A typical length for a defender’s stick is around 43-44 inches.
Midfielders need the versatility to play as defenders and attackers at times. A stick length that is neither too long or too short allows a midfielder to develop this ability. Because of this, most midfielders in high school or college choose a stick length around 40 inches.
Attackers choose to have the shortest length sticks allowed under regulations, and this usually means that an attackers stick measures 36 inches. This shorter stick allows them to make sharper passes, maneuver around defenders more easily, and take precise shots at the goal.
No matter what your needs and preferences, Longstreth has the sports equipment that you need to take your game to the next level. From Lacrosse to Softball to Field Hockey, Longstreth is the sporting goods store that provides you all that you need to keep playing the game that you live for.
It is always a good idea to have a number of field hockey balls around; both practice balls and regulation game balls. Even if this essential piece of field hockey equipment takes a long time to break down, there still does come a time when the ball should be replaced with a new one.
The hockey balls that you use on game day have to undergo a strict series of testing to make sure that they play evenly on a number of surfaces, and that they conform to a bounce test, among other standards. They must also be a specific size and weight. So, if you notice while playing that the game ball is marked, dented, or otherwise damaged, you should request that the umpire change the ball. A damaged ball could affect the game's play, and put you and your team at a disadvantage.
For the practice balls that you use, they will generally be hollow, and are often plastic, making them susceptible to breaking and cracking over time. In a study published in 2008 in The Engineering of Sport, various tests showed that at low speeds, the greatest impact on field hockey balls is to the plastic covering. As the ball is hit harder and faster, the materials that make up the ball have a big impact on if it will deform or break. Since practice balls usually have a hollow core, this makes them more likely to break down over time when compared with the field hockey balls that you use on game day. This is also one reason why practice balls have a lower price.
So when should you replace the ball? Just like on game day, if you see that a ball is dented or cracked, remove it from your practice collection. It could split or crack further, and create a dangerous situation where pieces of the ball come flying off. Without eye protection, there is the possibility of injury due to this type of damage, so play it safe and grab a new ball.
Remember to keep in mind that the temperature also affects the durability of field hockey balls. Cold weather play makes the plastic of a practice ball and the polyurethane cover on game day balls more brittle and likely to crack or break. You want to have the peace of mind to know that when you deliver your strongest drive, the ball you are using will not break apart. Take a little extra time to inspect the ball when the temperature is below 60 degrees.
When it is time to replace a lost or broken ball, you can rely on Longstreth Sporting Goods to have the type of ball you want, from a brand that you trust. That goes for all field hockey equipment, from the store that focuses on your specific needs as a female athlete including the best and the most durable Field Hockey Sticks!
You want every hit coming off the softball bats that you choose to be accurate and hit at the distance that you want. Sometimes that's right out of the park. Sometimes it means the perfectly placed sacrifice bunt. So which bat should you be using to make sure that you make the most of every opportunity, every time you're at the plate? There are so many choices available to you now, but you have too main choices in materials. Whether you choose an alloy or a composite softball bat depends on a lot of different factors.
If you need to watch your budget, and many younger players and their families do, alloy bats have a big advantage over composite bats. You can easily pick up two or three great alloy bats from big name brands like Easton or Louisville for the same price as one of the top composite bats. If you're still learning the game, it can be a big advantage to have a few different bats available to you with different weight balances. Choosing to go with alloy as your bat's material offers you this possibility.
When it comes down to performance on game day, almost all top level players now choose a composite bat. Companies like DeMarini, Worth, and all of the other big names in fastpitch softball bats constantly innovate and improve their designs, offering you some truly incredible options. When the first composite bats appeared in the 1980s, they performed very poorly, but with advances in materials, composite bats now easily outhit alloy bats, featuring a much larger sweet spot. You may also notice more "pop" coming off the bat with every hit.
Composite bats do have one disadvantage in performance. When you first purchase a composite bat, you need to break it in before you will see the best performance from it. With an alloy bat, the first time you use it to hit you will be able to see its full potential. It will take a couple hundred solid hits with your new composite bat before it is properly warmed up and ready for its game day debut.
Composite bats do have one more negative when compared to alloy bats. The same carbon fiber that makes these bats lighter and easier to swing, also makes them vulnerable to damage. Especially during your early springtime games, you may want to choose an alloy bat, because cold temperature make the composite material more likely to crack.
If you do some minor damage to an alloy bat, it is very likely that you will be able to keep using it without danger or reduced performance. An alloy bat can suffer a dent or two and keep its reliability. Composite bats, once damaged, are not useful anymore and can be dangerous for you and your teammates if you continue to use them.
The Final Score
The type of bat that you choose depends upon your needs and preferences, along with restrictions that some leagues place on bats allowed for use. In short, if you want a less expensive, more durable bat that delivers reliable performance one season after another, alloy bats may be for you.
If you want a top of the line bat with the most advanced materials available and have the budget to pay for it, go with a composite bat. You will be able to hit more accurately, and will feel more comfortable because of the lighter weight and reduced sting from these bats. No matter your choice, Longstreth offers you a wide variety of alloy and composite softball bats, as well as all the other Softball Equipment you need.
1. Keep it Fun
Remember that team sports, especially for young girls, should be positively motivated. Even if you or your spouse was a star player, that doesn't mean your daughter automatically shares the same love of the game. She will have to build this over time. The best way to do this is by encouraging her to enjoy the game. You may encounter coaches or other parents that put a lot of pressure on young players. Try to counteract this by always encouraging your daughter, and modeling good behavior in front of her teammates.
2. Get the Right Gear
To help your daughter develop as a player, you don't necessarily need to buy the softball equipment that you saw at the College World Series last year, or have a softball pitchingmachine in your backyard. However, make sure that she has a glove that fits and that she likes. Be sure to offer her softball bats that will help her to develop a correct swing. The last thing you want is for her to suffer an injury, so make sure she has softball cleats, or even some great beginner's catcher's gear, if that is her position. Then, encourage her to properly care for the investment in equipment that you have made.
3. Reward Hard Work
Once your daughter starts to really enjoy the game, continue to reward her dedication. If she takes the initiative to join a summer league or train in the off-season, sacrifice a bit of your time and resources to make sure that she can make practices. If she shows dedication, you should too. Reward hers with upgraded bats and other equipment, your praise, and support.
4. Keep Calm During Setbacks
For every young athlete, there are setbacks, losses, injuries, and struggles. Lead by example by correcting problems when they can be fixed, and encouraging her to learn from the difficult times of the game. Let her take a break from the sport if she needs to. If she really loves it, she'll return to it, but in the meantime encourage other healthy habits that build an overall winning attitude.
5. Find Positive Influences
You could be the best softball player in your city, but your daughter would still need other coaches and parents to give her a balanced approach to the game. Find other role models for her to follow besides yourself, and encourage her to learn from them. Often your local Softball Store will be able to connect her with such local support system. Whether that's a local high school pitching star that is willing to share her experience, or a coach that really knows how to motivate young players, she will need many people to help her develop the skills and habits that make a great young player.
As a field hockey goalkeeper, you are the last defense against the opposing team. You need the right field hockey equipment to protect yourself and the goal. Your team relies on your skill and performance to give them the chance to make their goals count. Even better, the thrill of recording a shutout performance awaits you if you can combine your practice and skills with the equipment that works best for you. Here's a guide to the most important equipment from head to toe.
1. The Head and Neck
The most important part of your body for you to protect is your head. The hardest drives can put the ball speed well above fifty miles per hour, so a high quality helmet is essential to help you maintain your focus. Beyond basic protection, today's helmets from top brands like TK and OBO provide well-ventilated comfort to help you keep a cool head. Add in a throat guard as well to keep your neck and throat protected.
2. Upper Body
The main piece of field hockey equipment here is the chest and shoulder protection, which comes in one piece. Entry level pieces even have attached arm guards, although more advanced protection keeps these two separate for increased mobility and faster reaction times.
Your hands need protection too, and you will need a left hand blocker along with your right handed goalkeeping glove.
3. Midsection and Lower Body
Your goalie pants are hidden under your game shorts, and may have a pelvic protector included in their design. If they do not, you will need to purchase this separately. Most beginner's pants have this included, but if you are ready for the next level of mobility and protection, the pelvic protector needs to be a separate piece.
You protect your lower legs and feet with leg guards and kickers. The type of foam that these are made from is an important factor to consider, as lighter foam helps to deliver bigger rebounds. This gives you the advantage of clearing the ball further from the goal, though it is a more advanced product and may cost more because of this.
4. The Stick
Your stick is incredibly important, and while it does not serve the added purpose of protecting your body like the rest of equipment, your stick choice greatly affects your performance. Invest in the best one that you can, so that you can quickly reject any drive that comes your way. While Longstreth recommends goalie sticks, your stick can be a field player stick as it is not required to be a goalie specific stick.
5. Bag and Accessories
While you may have a team jersey that is assigned to you, you will need some an extra or two for practices. Wearing all of the goal keeping equipment generates a lot of heat and sweat, so make sure that you have a couple clean jerseys on hand. You will also want a way to carry all of this equipment around. It is a lot to keep track of, and a goal keeping bag helps you to stay organized so that you can focus on your performance.
No matter what you need as a goal keeper, Longstreth is THE sporting goods store that has it for you. Come by our retail store today and get fitted for your goalkeeping kit today from the experts. We know how hard you work, and we put the same effort into making sure that we have all that you need to perform at your best. We also carry the largest selection of Softball essentials and Lacrosse gear.
One of the most exciting parts of fastpitch softball is the windmill pitch. This technique allows pitchers to reach amazing speeds with their pitches, giving the game its intense, fast and explosive character. If you want to become a pitcher or help someone who wants to learn the windmill pitching technique, grab your softball gloves and follow these steps:
1. Grip. Place your thumb at the top of the curve on one of the seams. Your middle finger needs to be exactly across from your thumb on the bottom side of the ball, with the index and ring fingers spaced evenly alongside it. Your pinkie should touch the side of the ball, but not grip it. Make sure that the ball is held lightly by the end of each finger, so that it does not lay in the palm of your hand.
2. Stance. Place your dominant foot on the pitching rubber, with the other foot about one foot to a foot and a half in front of the other. If you are pitching with your right hand, this means that your left foot should be in front. Put most of your weight on the back foot, and practice transferring the weight from the back foot to the leading foot. This will help to add extra power to your pitch.
3. Wind-Up. Now that you have your grip and stance set, you are ready to practice your wind-up. Softball gloves for pitchers are specially designed to hide the grip of your hand on the ball, making it difficult for the hitter to guess which pitch is coming. It’s a good idea for you to practice transferring the ball from the glove to your wind-up. But to practice, you should start with the ball at shoulder height with your pitching arm fully extended behind you. When you start the forward motion of your pitch, bring your glove to your side. This helps to put more weight behind the ball and give it more speed.
4. Delivery. Keep your eye on the catcher’s glove as you prepare your delivery. This helps you to focus on the target. As your arm comes down, step forward with your leading foot. This step needs to be in a direct line towards home plate, or your pitch will be off target. The release of the ball should happen just as the ball reaches a parallel line with your front thigh. Snap your wrist as you release the ball to get the maximum speed into the ball, then continue with the windmill motion of your arm until you have completed one full revolution.
While you can learn how to deliver a windmill pitch on your own, you should really consult a coach or another experienced pitcher to help guide you through the process of safely perfecting your pitch so that you can enjoy a long career as a pitcher. The windmill pitch is just one of the aspects of the game that makes it so much fun to play and watch. Longstreth has all of the softball equipment that you need in order to learn and enjoy this amazing game, as well as a variety of Softball bags to carry all your equipment!