I learned about Swax Lax Training Balls in a serendipitous sort of way during the product’s initial launch at the US Lacrosse Convention.
A few weeks prior, I had been planning an indoor clinic advertised as “no experience or equipment needed” for new girls to try out the sport. I had plenty of sticks to share, but no goggles or mouth guards (obviously). Since a black eye would likely not be good for recruiting I decided to order some soft foam lacrosse balls.
The bouncy lightweight soft foam balls are almost impossible to catch. It’s difficult enough for a young player to learn to catch and throw at first, but they were going to have to do.
On the day of the clinic, I was away at the US Lacrosse National Convention in Baltimore so I had arranged for another coach to run it. While idling in a very long Starbucks line I happened to notice what looked like a miniature soccer ball for a person about the size of an American Girl doll, in the hand of the woman in line next to me. If we hadn’t been in an environment surrounded by “all things lacrosse”, it would never have occurred to me that it was a lacrosse training ball. I asked her about the ball and after learning it’s purpose – designed for young kids, great for indoors – excitedly asked if she could get three dozen to Texas in two hours. Oh well, wishful thinking.
We continued to talk about her product and her background only to realize we had a mutual friend. A woman she used to coach with had relocated to North Texas and recently the two of them had been talking about trying out the new balls at an indoor clinic she (the friend) was hosting. Ironically, it was my clinic; the “bouncy ball” clinic that was about to start. It was our mutual friend I asked to run the clinic since I would be at the convention. Crazy.
My new friend, Laura Gump, is an innovative entrepreneur and lacrosse coach. She created this new training ball to provide a safer alternative for young players to work on their stick skills. Read her bio and the story behind her invention on her website. As they say, “necessity is the mother of all invention” and this one is no exception. The Swax Lax training ball is the same size and weight as a regulation ball, providing the same catch-ability and pocket handling, but without delivering the knots on the head or causing other damage. Additionally, they are ideal for indoor (gymnasium, not living room) use, as they will not careen wildly off of hard walls or floors or cause marks.
From her website, here are some of the other benefits:
- Developed by a longtime lacrosse coach and field tested by K-12th grade boys and girls.
- Patent-pending, beanbag-like design helps new players develop their skills with less fear and more confidence.
- Less bounce and no rebounds makes for a more productive practice environment.
- Constructed of two layers of material for double-strength durability.
To purchase Swax Lax lacrosse balls or to learn more visit http://www.swaxlax.com/. I will definitely have some for our next beginner clinic; indoors or out!