I’ve really been feeling the lacrosse mojo in a major way lately, and my usual response to this feeling is to dye a lacrosse head. Maybe it’s for a friend, a kid I coach, or a special cause, but there’s usually a reason behind it. But this time, there was just too much to choose from. I couldn’t narrow it down and come up with a theme. The choices were endless.
The NCAA Championships are this weekend and they feature 3 ACC teams and DENVER. Crazy. Last weekend I played with the Thai National Team. What an honor! Jeff Brunelle’s HS team (Bishop Kelly) is in the Idaho State Championship. The last time they did that Jeff PLAYED on the team! My old HS team (Weston HS, in Mass) is 16-2 heading into the playoffs. I helped start that team in 1996! The LAS crew is heading to Thailand early next week. HOW COOL IS THAT!?!?!?!? And that’s only the beginning.
So instead of trying to choose one of those themes, I just had some fun with the white Warrior Evo3 head (we’re giving one away!) and tried something simple, and something new. I used strips of vinyl adhesive tape to do a pattern, but instead of cutting the tape with regular scissors, I used fabric shears. That gave the pieces a jagged shark tooth like edge and turned a boring dye into something a little more exciting. I also only dyed the lower half of the head and left the top half white. Why not?
I put the stickers on and dyed the head Navy blue. Unfortunately, the RIT dye I used must have been compromised because it came out more purple than blue. Disappointing, but far from a disaster. Then I peeled the stickers off and put the head in a teal RIT powdered dye, which came out quite nicely and true to shade. There is a small #53 on one of the sidewall rails, because that is the number my dad wore when he played lacrosse at the Rivers School back in the 60s. Always nice to give a little nod to the guy who drove me to 1 million practices and helped coach almost every non-school team I ever played on up through high school. Thanks, Dad!
So the dye was done but I still had to string the stick up. I settled on trying something I had wanted to try for a little while now and that was the elusive “pocket made out of an old net from a lacrosse goal”. I had a section of net from an old goal in New Orleans that had been thrown in the trash, and proceeded to cut out a piece of “mesh” The piece I used was 2 diamonds, then 3, then 2, then 3, then 2, then 3, then 2, then 3, then 2, then 3, then 2. 11 rows of holes in total.
Eventually I found that the mesh had to be pulled tightly across the scoop, and the more points where the mesh could be connected to the scoop, the better. The first row of 3 diamonds had to be pulled somewhat tightly down to the sidewalls, however, if it is pulled down too tightly, a serious lip will develop. Since the mesh holes are SO wide, the mesh itself almost acts as a shooter, so if it is pulled down too tight, it’s like having a SUPER tight shooting string in your stick. Lip city. It’s like finding porridge that is just right… it takes some time, experimentation, and may lead to a run-in with bears.
As you go down attaching the mesh to the sidewall, you will want to make sure to only attach the 3 hole wide portions of the mesh. At the second attachment knot, the mesh should be less tight than the first sidewall attachment knot. And so on down the side of the head. By the 3rd or 4th sidewall knot, the mesh is not pulled down the side of the head at all. Wherever the mesh lines up with the sidewall is where it should be attached. This will give you a nice middle pocket with a smooth release.
The shooting string were extremely difficult to put in, and I could only get them right when I went to play wall ball. The stick threw fine with NO shooting strings. When I added the top one, I got a little more pop and control, but no whip, even through I pulled it pretty tight. The second shooter improved things further, but did make the stick whip just a little. By putting in a low and VERY loose third shooter, the bad whip disappeared, and only good whip remained. I’d actually managed to string up a useable, perfect pocket with goal netting. And it only took me 2 hours or so!