I wrote a post called Girls Lacrosse Equipment Recommendations for parents of new players. It’s a responsible theme of don’t spend too much on your new player. Outfitting a lacrosse player can be expensive and no one wants to be too vested in a sport their child is just trying for the first time.
So now for part two. Your child likes lacrosse and not only wants to continue, but is also telling you this is her new thing. The truth is, a good quality lacrosse stick can make a big difference. I often tell parents, it’s no different than a good set of golf clubs or tennis racket or running shoes compared to lesser quality product. Lighter and tougher with bigger sweets spots and more forgiving. Parents tend to buy that analogy.
This is not to construe that great gear will make a great player. I am sure a few parents have fallen for the new $350 driver and still can’t hit the fairway! However, with good fundamentals and practice, skills learned can be accentuated with higher quality equipment.
The first thing to do is to figure out what type of stick is the best fit for the player. Higher level sticks are much more specialized than the “off the rack” beginner stick. Shafts come in different shapes and thicknesses as well as grips (coatings) and materials. Heads employ different shapes and pockets designed for different purposes, such as ground balls or passing accuracy. As a player gets more experienced they also get more and more particular. I know. I have shopped with my high school daughter! SportsStop.com publishes a great resource each year that clearly explains the different stick types, target player, and price points. Download the SportsStop.com LaxGuide.
Also, in doing some research, don’t forget the obvious. Ask coaches and teammates. Trade sticks with other experienced players when tossing the ball before practice to get a feel for variations.
Lastly, upgrading to a better lacrosse stick doesn’t need to break the bank. Look for end of season deals or discontinued products. As an example, for the last few years one of my daughters used an STX AtTaK head on a Brine Rhythm shaft which, at the time, was about $180 combination. It was (and still is) a great stick, but has been replaced by newer product lines – the STX Crux series. Yesterday’s top of the line equipment can now be found online for as low as $50 – complete.