The Lacrosse All Stars #StringItForward campaign is off to a fast start. At our first clinic, in conjunction with Harlem Lacrosse & Leadership (LAS non-profit partner), we taught 35 young lacrosse players in Harlem how to string sticks and/or how to improve their pre-existing stringing abilities!
We brought a ton of stringing supplies with us and the kids brought their own empty heads to work on. From there, we got down to business for two and a half LONG, but extremely fruitful, hours in the basement of the Sojourner Truth Middle School in Harlem.
Greg Rose, Billy Nguyen, and Justin Skaggs of StylinStrings all made the trek to the Sojourner School, and all these guys were amazing with the kids. They dropped knowledge all day, asked the kids questions, and engaged on a very direct and personal level. Kids were forced to learn and try new things, and we even got a goalie stringing up a back-up stick for the Spring. I noticed a couple of kids perk up when I told them Billy was All-City in 2009 and 2010.
Players who had strung lacrosse heads before worked with Justin in a small group. They focused on learning the finer points of stringing a perfect channel pocket, skipping mesh holes, and how to keep tension even.
These guys had strung up some top notch sticks by the end of the day. I was impressed with their skills before the clinic. But afterwards? Next level. It was great to see.
Myself, Billy, and Greg were tasked with a totally different assignment, as the three of us tried to teach the basics to 25-30 kids, many of whom had never strung a lacrosse stick before. Some did not totally get it, which is definitely okay! Stringing is tough, and all the kids made significant progress. A couple of aspiring stringers definitely got the hang of it quickly, and I was impressed at how good some of the pockets were from coming out of the beginners group. Serious props to Greg and Billy for working their magic on such a large crew of eager students!
I tended to work with the kids who were struggling the most, and I told the story of my first mesh pocket a couple of times. Here is a quick synopsis: I tried to string a stick, it did not go well. I tried to string another stick, it was better, but still not great. That kept happening each time I put a pocket together. I got better. You will too. Keep at it!
Hopefully, the struggling players keep at it. I’ll have to go back soon and check in on them!
I plan on heading back to Sojourner Truth in the next month or two because a couple of kids said they wanted to learn traditional and pita pocket stringing. How could I turn that opportunity down?
Special thanks to Harlem Lacrosse & Leadership for having us up to teach stringing, and to Simon Cataldo and Wyatt Melzer for getting on board so quickly with the #StringItForward idea. It was a great time, and couldn’t have happened without JimaLax, East Coast Dyes, and Throne of String. Each company provided stringing kits or mesh for us to give away, and therefore each of them gave a couple kids a brand new love for the game!
To support our Lacrosse All Stars’ mission to grow the game, please consider purchasing a $25 LAS Membership today. The membership gives you a lifetime subscription to premium content on LaxAllStars.com and enables us to run future stringing clinic just like this one.
Together, we can #StringItForward and #GrowTheGame!