Wednesday, June 9, 2010

My 2010 Lacrosse Goalie Tips

I just posted my Top Five Lacrosse Goalie Tips for 2010 over here.

You can check out my top five lacrosse goalie tips through this link.

Jonathan -

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

What Position Should I Play?

Question: Mr. Edwards,

I was told you were the guy to go to for lacrosse questions. I have never played in an actuall game before but i love the game of lacrosse. I play in pick up games all the time with my friends and now im finally thinking about playing for real. I jus dont know which position to play. Im not fast but i was a 4 year starter at rugby so i have stanima. My stick skills are not the best because i havent really played long. Im about 5foot 9 and wiegh around 185. Id love to play attack but i dont think i have the skill set for it. Would defender be good? I play goalie in other sports but im not to hype to play goalie for lax cause it seems totaly different then handball nd hockey goalies. If you could help me out id appreciate it thanks.

Answer: Hey there Bra. Thanks for writing. I'm totally curious, who told you to email me? I always like to know and to thank those who refer me to others.

Ok, first off, are you a handball goalie? and a hockey goalie? Lacrosse goalie might be perfect for you. An option for you might be to go out for the team as a goalie, but to also have your short stick and play some defensive midfield until your stick skills improve. You can learn to play goal, but then can sub out to play in the field during practice. This might be a real option for you.

When a player has weaker stick skills but has physical ability like you do from your rugby background a coach would probably put you on the field as a defender. They may even put a long stick in your hand but if your stick skills aren't good you may be a liability on defense if your stick skills are weak.

I've got got size and strength to play almost any position but it will be your stick skills that limit you. Goalie might be the perfect place for you to go with your background. I was a soccer and a hockey goalie and played goal in lacrosse. Ultimately my stick skills got good enough that I could play any position and sometimes did. But I loved goal and became an All-american.

With enough hard work you can play anywhere. Seriously. It's just your stick skills that will limit you from playing. So work hard on your stick skills and the sky is the limit.

Good luck! What state are you in and what year are you in school?

Jonathan - The Goalie Guru

Monday, April 6, 2009

Can I Dye My Head Without Taking The Mesh Out?

Question: Hello it is Vincent, I want to dye my head but i don't want to undo the stringing and do it again and i want it to remain white.
Can i put duck tape on the mesh and strings what can i do?

Thank You

Answer: Vincent I've never seen this work. The duct tape breaks down during the dying process and becomes this big sticky mess when you try to take it off.

Your best bet is to start another stick (you need one anyway). Dye that one the way you like it and learn how to string it up. The one you have now can be your back up.

Jonathan -

Why Don't They Take Away all the Goals Scored By An Illegal Stick?


If during a normal REF stick check, a stick is found to be illegal and removed from the field, why are any of the goals scored by the illegal stick allowed? This scenario has happened twice during my sons high school lacrosse game...

Hey there Barb. My understanding is that you can't really prove "when" the stick turned illegal.

I know. I know. If it's something solid like a shaft or a head it was probably illegal the whole game. But if it's something like a pocket in the rain, that may just happen in the course of a game.

The purpose of a stick check by a coach after a goal is to specifically remove that goal (hopefully)

Even the head of a stick can get pinched in the course of the game which can start the game legal, and then can be illegal after a few face offs.

Hope that helps Barb. Let me know if you need anything else. It's a great question.

Jonathan - The Goalie Guru

Should I Take A Face Off With a Long Pole? How Long Should It Be?

Question: You see more and more faceoff specialists using long poles. It would seem to
me that a longer shaft has some leverage advantages but that 60 inches may
be longer than needed.

What do you think the best pole length for faceoffs is? Would it make sense
to use a goalie length pole, i.e. 40 inches, or to cut down a long pole to say 5
inches for face offs?

Answer: Hey there Adam. What your seeing is actually a trend with teams who do not have a competitive face off guy. What they will do is put a long pole on the face offs so that if they lose the face off they have a pole on the ball carrier right away. They will shut off the wings and let the pole try and strip the ball carrier who is usually the face off guy. Most face off guys are good at face offs and aren't the best at protecting the stick. So the hope is that the pole can strip the face off guy after he gets possession.

So in fact a pole is not an advantageous tool for winning face offs off the ground. It is heavier and thus is harder to clamp on the face off. A shorter stick will always be quicker than a long pole when the talents of the two face off guys are the same. The advantage comes after the other guy wins the face off.

Make sense? Let me know if you need anything else.

Jonathan -

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Rules Question: Do you throw the ball in bounds like in Basketball?

Question: Robert wants to you walk the ball in bounds? or do you have to throw it in like in Basketball?


Hey Robert. You walk the ball in bounds.

The player steps on the field. The defensive players must be no closer than five yards prior to the ref blowing the whistle. Once the ref blows the whistle the play is live.

Hope that helps!

Jonathan -

Leather? or Mesh? Best Pocket for the Northwest?

Question: I am going to put a pita pocket on my new head and was wondering the benefits and downsides between leather and mesh. I live on the west side of Washington so we get all kinds of weather. Also concerning the pocket I would string it with the ball already in so the pocket would already be made when I am done stringing it. Also should I go with a different style of pocket I play attack 5'10" 145 pounds

Sean if you are anywhere in the Northwest I would recommend mesh. And this is coming from a guy who, when I was younger, strung all my sticks with leather. I grew up in the northeast where we had snow in the early spring and rain a fair bit in the season. The leather shrinks a ton and then gets really brittle. You'll need to have a couple of sticks on the go so that you can keep the pockets consistent.

Guys will sometimes argue that leather is more accurate. I don't believe it anymore. I did at one time. But having spent a ton of time in Canada with guys who can rocket the ball with great accuracy I've seen how well mesh can work. The biggest benefit of mesh that I've seen is that once you've got the pocket broken in once it has gotten wet, you've got a pretty consistent pocket from their on out. It may droop or "bag" out in the rain, but if you've got some slack in your sidewalls you can usually remedy that with a couple of moves on the sideline between plays or after warm up.

Even though you are strining the pocket with the ball in it, that will change. Your leathers are going to stretch at one rate, and the lacing will stretch at another. You may find that the leather puckers in between the lacing. So even though you've strung it around the ball it's going to be a bit on the shallow side once it shrinks, and it will stretch prior to that.

To be honest, I would go with a small diamond mesh "shooters" pocket for attack. There used to be a great article at but I can't seem to find it. The pocket in that stick is lower to the throat so you can keep the stick verticle and keep it protected by your head when you dodge, but you can rifle a pass or a shot with very little wind up. Most coaches in the know will recommend you go with that sort of pocket.

Hope that helps Sean. Let me know what you decide. By the way, learning how to string a stick is a really valuable skill. You can make $40 a head for all the guys on your team. It's a nice little side business.

Jonathan -