When it comes to lacrosse sticks, every lacrosse player has his own specifications. Each aspect of the stick, from what color it is to what type of pocket it has, is tweaked according to the player’s personal preference. The first step to building your own individualized stick is choosing which mesh to use. There are three basic kinds of mesh: hard mesh, soft mesh and traditional. Here, we lay out the advantages and disadvantages of each type:
Advantages: Overwhelmingly the most commonly used mesh; hard mesh gives you a quick release, provides decent ball control and is great in inclement weather. Hard mesh is consistent, reliable and effective.
Disadvantages: There aren’t many disadvantages to hard mesh, but some would say that it doesn’t provide as much ball control as soft mesh, and it takes awhile to break in.
Advantages: The softness and flexibility of the mesh gives you great ball control and makes catching extremely easy. Good for beginners and inexperienced players.
Disadvantages: Terrible when it gets wet – only use soft mesh when it’s dry out. Water causes the pocket to “bag out” and makes it almost impossible to throw. Furthermore, the release and speed of your shots and throws will be much slower. While it is great for catching and cradling, soft mesh is inconsistent and unpredictable.
Advantages: Traditional mesh (strung with a combo of nylon and leather strings) is consistent, accurate, and when it is extensively broken in, it can provide great ball control. If you take your time to string it and break it in, traditional mesh is a great option.
Disadvantages: It’s hard to string, hard to break in and doesn’t do that well in the rain. Learning to string traditional, and string it well, takes a lot of time and energy that most players don’t have. If you can string it right, traditional might make you the happiest lacrosse player out there, but most people don’t have the time or the patience to give it a try.
The most important thing to remember when choosing mesh is that you have to go with what works best for you. It’s your stick and you’ll be the one playing with it, so try them all and pick the one that will bring your game to the next level.
Whether you are a lacrosse coach or an up-and-coming lacrosse player, be sure to check out the rest of our lacrosse articles and coaching resources to reach your full potential.
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