Editor’s Note: You’ve seen the pictures of MLL All-Star Anthony Kelly’s stringing style and now the A-Train is back with some verbal advice that will help you string up a top notch spoon. It’s always good to learn from the best of the best and Anthony certainly fits the bill. Take it away, Train!
Thanks for the props, Connor! Just to give all of the LAS readers an even better idea of how I do all of my sticks, I thought I would write in with some more details to help out the young bucks who are trying to learn the stringing game.
I always do my top string the same with the criss cross look – 1) it looks cool, but more importantly 2) it’s very functional. It keeps things nice and tight, pulls the mesh all the way up to the plastic, and it doesn’t get loosened up much over time. I will go through when I have it in place and use needle nose pliers to pull it as tight as possible. If it’s loose all the time, it will change where the ball releases, which is a bad thing!
Now for the side wall – I always double up the sidewall when I string, and I always start at the bottom and work my way up. With this one, I started on the 4th hole from the bottom and just sewed my way up to the top – its important to count out your holes first on the mesh to make sure the pocket will end up where you want it. After I finish that, I work my way back down, looping the sidewall string back under the initial string that I went up with.
This does 2 things for me: 1 – the sidewall string rubs on itself and puts all the pressure back on itself, so when it rubs, it will rub against itself and not the mesh. This keeps me from ever blowing out any mesh during a game. 2 – It gives me more material to grab the ball during face-offs. Also, by using the sidewall material instead of more mesh (having a mesh mullet at the bbottom is no bueno!) it allows the pocket to grab when I clamp, but still release the ball when I pull it where I want it.
People always ask why I start my sidewalls at the bottom. By doing this, it also allows me to have a really high bagged out pocket which helps a ton for shooting hard, and it also gives me a nice pocket to grab the ball for pinch and pops when I push it in for facing-off. Also, if you notice how I did the bottom sidewalls, this keeps the stick from becoming illegal when they go to roll the ball out – I eliminate all the material at the bottom.
Lastly, always anchor your shooting strings to the plastic! Never tie them off to the mesh! When you tie them to the plastic they will not move once it’s broken in. If you tie shooterst to the mesh or sidewalls the whole pocket will move as one and it will be inconsistent especially in bad weather or extremely humid days when it bags out.
Thanks for the support guys! Hope this helps you guys all shoot and FO like me! (Editor’s Note: I’ll never break 100 with my shot so that’s unlikely but thanks anyway! ha)
Anthony Kelly #34
If you think you’ve got what it takes to dispense stringing advice, contact us at email@example.com!