As a player begins to improve skill wise and becomes more technical about her game and equipment, she may want to consider having her pocket professionally restrung. Taylor D’Amore – US National Team player, Team STX player, and IWLCA All-American, among other accolades – can provide just that; a new pocket to improve performance. Information on her services can be found at http://www.tdstringing.com/.
I recently talked with Taylor about her business and learned a lot about pocket design.
Why should a player consider having her head restrung?
Taylor: I think a player would want a head restrung for two primary reasons. First, they have had their stick for a long time and feel like it is worn out. Getting your stick restrung for $60 is much less expensive than buying a whole new head considering top of the line heads cost about $120. The second reason to get your stick restrung is that you have a new head but don’t like the factory strung pocket. I have found that my way of stringing sticks allows the ball to sit high in the pocket under your shooting strings which allows for more ball control cradling as well as a quicker release on your shots and feeds.
What if a player has a lower end stick? Is it worth investing in a new pocket?
Taylor: You can definitely make a starter stick into a better stick with a new string job. It will never be as good as some of the more advanced stick heads but it will be much better than what you bought at the local sporting goods store. For example, I would often go back to work with some of the kids in our youth program in my hometown when I was home from college during the summer. When I would use some of the first and second graders sticks to show them basic catching and throwing techniques, I couldn’t even cradle the ball because it was such a “cheap” stick. I remember telling my dad that the kids’ problem was not that their technique wasn’t right, but the equipment they were using was so basic that it made the skill much more difficult than it should have been. No wonder the kids were getting frustrated! However, if you’re a parent and your child is just starting lacrosse, I’m sure you don’t want to spend over $100 on their first stick. I think it’s a matter of figuring out how serious they are about the sport and then going from there.
How often might a player need a head restrung?
Taylor: I would restring my stick two to three times a year. Once in the winter before our spring season, a second time right after my high school or college season ended and before the summer season started, and then again before fall ball started.
Are there different kinds of pockets and stringing designs?
Taylor: There are different types of pockets and I think most hand strung sticks all have their own intricacies. The biggest thing is what type of control you have with the ball in your stick. I also think that one of the biggest factors in the control of your pocket is in the material and shape of the center piece. STX is a perfect example. They have evolved from a soft nylon center piece, to a rubber one, then to one with rubber hexagons, and now to their newest Launch pocket which has rubber Vs. I have always been a fan of a softer center piece and that is what I use to string my heads. These center pieces also vary in width, which changes the shape of the pocket.
What are some ways players can maintain their pockets?
Taylor: Something that I don’t think most people think about is how they tighten their sticks. When I string a stick for someone I always send it back to them completely tightened and ready to go with instructions for how to tighten the pocket. I believe that your leathers should be pulled tight and the center piece let lose so that there is a channel for the ball when you release it. I have also found that girls who tie their leathers and then tape them are forced to constantly adjust their pocket. There is a way you can cut and tape the leathers and then tie the center pieces so that minimal adjustment is necessary, even in the rain. For me as a player that was one of the best differences between a factory strung stick.
Lastly, why should a player send their stick to you instead of going to the local store or figuring it out on YouTube?
Taylor: I have found that the high school kid at the local lacrosse store is often a guy who has never played with a women’s stick. The pocket tends to be too tight and no matter how much you break it in, there is not enough length left in the gut strings to allow you to build a good pocket. I believe that the difference in length of the “gut” strings is what determines the quality of the pocket. If the distance between the center piece and the leathers is the same throughout the stick head, you will struggle to make a good pocket.
For more information and a pocket guaranteed to raise your game, please visit Taylor D’Amore Stringing at http://www.tdstringing.com/.
- US National Team
- Team STX
- IWLCA All-American
- 2014 NCAA Leader in points per game
- 2014 NCAA Leader in assists per game
- Johns Hopkins career draw control record holder
- Johns Hopkins career assist record holder
- 2014 American Lacrosse Conference Offensive Player of the Year
- Tewaaraton Nominee
- NCAA Post-graduate Scholar
- Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-American