The best mesh/shooting string situation really depends on the player. Some players like some whip and other don’t. Younger players sometimes get caught up in having to much whip and hold though so they can’t pass or shoot well. I would say get a pretty well strung pocket and just keep playing around with the tightness and shape of the shooting strings until your son finds what he likes/is able to play with best.
I’ve also worked with goalies who needed new mesh after ONE DAY of practice because shots tore the mesh (I’m looking at you, Brine: fire your soft mesh supplier already).
To the lax manufacturers reading this: you’re welcome, but I should start sending each of you invoices whenever this crap happens. This needs to stop now.]]>
Remember when offset heads first got big? Tierney literally banned them from his team b/c the players were throwing them straight into the ground. Many of the more experienced players these days have adjusted and can throw with them but SO MANY still cannot well. GET YOUR HANDS UP. That’s what Tiernery was yelling about. B/c you need to get your hands higher than usual which meant it took more time to make a good pass. Also offset equal more whip.
Anyway, the whole offset head, having whip, and big bag pockets, are all forced on younger players. This is fine at the higher level b/c players across the board have adjusted and can play with them now. Just not that well. You should only play enough whip that allows you to still make a good accurate quick pass.
All in all: STOP MAKING OFFSET BEGINNER STICKS!]]>
Bill brings up a good point also. If “Johny’s” first pocket is great the first time he gets one what are the chances he learns how to fix it or string? But if the pocket is poor hopefully the player wont give up, find a resource or someone will help him fix his pocket.]]>
That being said, I think one of the biggest mistakes that beginner players make with their first stick is having too deep of a pocket. A shallow pocket is going to force better fundamentals when throwing and catching. Keep that pocket at around half a ball deep, and even soft mesh isn’t that bad.]]>