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Hot Pot: Celebrate The Wizard Not The Wand

To focus on the stick of a pro or top level college player too much is a mistake for sure. So how can you get away from caring about your actual stick so much, and start to focus on your stick skills? I’ve got one simple tip that you may find bizarre, but that you will also love once you try it.

It’s the Wizard Not The Wand day here in the Hot Pot!

When it comes to the most impressive lacrosse players and their corresponding success on the field, it rarely has much to do with their actual physical sticks. The focus is always on their athleticism, their stick skills, and their lacrosse IQ, which is exactly where the focus should be. To focus on the stick of a pro or top level college player too much is a mistake for sure. So how can you get away from caring about your actual stick so much, and start to focus on your stick skills? I’ve got one simple tip that you may find bizarre, but that you will also love once you try it.

Check out my idea below on how to keep the emphasis on the wizard not the wand, and let me know what you think of this idea in the comments below! Is it feasible? Could it actually hurt your game? I’m excited to hear your thoughts on this outside the box thinking!

It's the Wizard Not The Wand
Could you play with ALL of these?

Ok, here we go…

Most people have their “gamer”, but it rarely stops there. Players of today often have multiple lacrosse sticks in their possession at any one time. Some like to string all their sticks the exact same, while others like to have different sticks for different weather conditions, or uses. While I definitely see the benefit in the first approach (consistency achieved through all sticks being the exact same), I also see some serious value in having 3 or 4 different sticks that you can use… and I recommend using as many of them as you can, as often as you can, and all the while mixing up your rotation.

I’m doing this myself, and I’m loving the results. For the last couple of seasons, I’ve rarely used the same stick twice. I’ll use a stick once, and then restring it, or give it away, and then use another, different stick. Sometimes I use mesh, and at other times I use traditional. Sometimes I use a women’s lacrosse stick for no other reason than it is different. Sometimes I string up a non-offset head or two, and that’s another big change.

So what, exactly, is the benefit here?

Well for starters, I no longer look at my stick when something goes wrong with a pass or shot. I know it’s not the stick. I know it’s me. My stick is NEVER going to be perfect, and I will never be fully accustomed to it, because it is always new. What does that result in? More fundamentally sound play from yours truly, simply because I do not have a choice. I can either be terrible at lacrosse, or I can make fundamental moves. The choice is all mine.

You can also think about it this way: If you have two sticks, and they are both different, and you close your eyes and pick one up at random, are you going to A) throw a fundamental pass, or B) throw a hyper stylized sidearm pass? I’m going with the overhand fundamental pass every time because I don’t know which stick I am using… and even if you do know what stick you’re using, it can still work, simply because you’re aren’t accustomed to that specific stick.

Wizard Not The Wand Video

Matt Gibson got the black stick he was using here only a few days before. His friend strung it for him in the car on the way to the airport. Gibby said, “it’s not like my old stick, but it works”. Yes, yes it does:

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Using many different sticks, or constantly changing your pocket forces you to use a more fundamental motion when you play the game, especially if you want to play it well. Small mistakes get amplified with a different stick, and deficiencies are exposed. A different stick FORCES you to play fundamental lacrosse. How is that EVER a bad thing, especially when it comes to training?

Maybe you’ll use one stick, or have a collection of replica sticks, when the season rolls around, and the games really count. But for now, I highly recommend learning how to play with a couple of different sticks. It will force you skills to step up and it will force you to get back to basics. And there ain’t nothing wrong with that!

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