May 12, 2008

May 12, 2008

OK, I'm a middie, and sometimes take shots from far away. My question is, what kind of mesh should I use? I currently have soft. It seems to be slower then hard, but has better ball control. Could you help me out here?

- Kyle Larsen, Centennial, Colo. (Age: 14)


Dear Kyle,

When it comes to head properties and stringing, your shot's velocity is more influenced by the amount of whip in your pocket than by the type of mesh. Whip, or lip, is the small shelf under the lowest shooting string that tends to snag the lacrosse ball. That shelf grabs hold of the ball and provides an otherwise greater velocity, without extra force, when released. However, sticks with a big whip do have their drawbacks. Throwing a straight and accurate pass is much more difficult. I would never sacrifice the rest of my game for a couple of miles per hour.

As your question pertains to mesh, soft mesh is recommended for beginners because it comes broken in and hugs the ball when cradling. Most intermediate and advanced players use hard mesh. It takes time to break in, but it can be molded and channeled to a player's preferences. Unfortunately, I can't definitely tell you which mesh throws faster/harder than the other and why.

Best,
Matt Zash
"Straight Shooters" is a US Lacrosse-produced advice series that runs every Sunday in the Baltimore Sun and on baltimoresun.com. The series can also be found here on Lacrosse Magazine Online at www.laxmagazine.com.

Matt Zash was a two-time All-American midfielder at Duke, graduating in 2006. He plays professional lacrosse for the MLL's Philadelphia Barrage and the NLL's New York Titans. Zash was a member of the 2003 U.S. under-19 men's world championship team and played for Team USA in the 2007 Indoor World Lacrosse Championships in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He owns and operates the Lax Hut, a chain of lacrosse retail stores.

E-mail your questions to Zash at zash@laxmagazine.com.

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