Let's face it. You won't always have another player or the coach to string the lacrosse head for you. You need to learn it eventually. It may seem like something you can't grasp, but trust me. All you need is practice, and you are halfway there.
Quite frankly, there are many styles, holes, and loops you will learn about, but for now, let's start from the basis. I am going to teach you the basic style of how to string a lacrosse head.
Feel free to practice it in your spare time, and slowly, you can move your way up to an advanced level.
What You Will Need
- Lighter (You will need to melt the ends of the string and prevent fraying)
- Pliers (optional)
Depending on which lacrosse head you opt for, you will need the following:
- Top head string (around 36 inches long)
- Two sidewall strings (30 inches long each)
- One bottom string (around 8 inches long)
Before you even attempt to sting, you need to get to know the mesh. If this is your first time, let's sum it up. So, the mesh is the netted material you will be attaching to the inside of the lacrosse head.
Lacrosse mesh has a top, bottom, front, and backside. It is essential to identify the parts before you get started.
When you stretch the mesh up, you can locate the top part by noticing it has nine diamonds across the top edge. The bottom side has ten diamonds across. The front side is going to be rougher, while the backside is much smoother.
Why is this important?
Well, if you want your performance to be top-notch, you want the rough side (front) to be the one touching the ball.
Keep the string as tight as possible.
You can use pliers to ensure there is maximum tightness. You want the string to be as tight as possible in certain areas to optimize your performance level.
Do you want the string to come undone when you are in the middle of the game? Didn't think so.
How to: Top Head Stringing
Step 1: Stretching The Mesh
Believe it or not, this is a common mistake among beginners. A lot of them skip this step and go straight into the shooter string. Don't be one of those guys.
You need to stretch the mesh fully and have a better idea of what you're working with. If you don't, your lacrosse mesh will look a whole lot different at the end and result in poor performance.
Fold the mesh's topside to the "nine diamond row" right under it. You should line them evenly and see right through the diamonds once they are folded.
Then, you are going to start with the top string. Start by creating an anchor knot on the sidewall. Pull the unknotted side of the string through the outside of the first hole. Through the front to the ten diamond mesh hole's backside, pull the string back to the sidewall hole to create a loop. In this way, you are securing the mesh and creating a stable knot. Fully complete the loop by again going from the front to the back through the mesh.
Now, you aim for the first hole at the top of the lacrosse stick. Run the string through the scoop's back and then through the mesh, over the string, and tighten the loop. Pull the string through the mesh's back and the front of the scoop and under the string.
This is crucial now. SKIP the third top hole. Repeat step 4 in the fourth mesh diamond.
Skip the middle mesh hole and repeat step four in the next scoop.
Skip one more diamond and pull the string in the second to last diamond.
To finish off, pull the string out of the top head scoop and into the sidewall hole. Ensure the sidewall holes on both sides are aligned, and you are stringing in adequate direction. Tie it up as you did in the beginning and finish with a tight knot.
When you are done with the top string, it should be perfectly symmetrical with the middle diamond straight in the middle of the head.
Here is a helpful video demonstration.
Now you are ready for the sidewall stringing.
How to: Sidewall Stringing
Step 1: Just like you did with the top head stringing, start with a knot through the third sidewall scoop and loop in the first hole of mesh through the hole.
Step 2: Skip two holes in the sidewall. By creating a knot, pull the string through the mesh's second hole and down to the next sidewall hole.
*Fun Fact: The purpose of skipping holes in stringing is to create a tighter mesh channel. Eventually, a tight channel results in release delays, adds hold and precision to your passing and shooting.
Step 3: Skip another sidewall hole and knot the third mesh hole down to the next sidewall hole.
Step 4: This time, you are not skipping the next hole. Knot the fourth mesh hole in the sidewall hole.
Step 5: Now, we are creating a pocket. As you work your way down, you will notice a bump in formation. This is the so-called pocket. Before you start planning out the pocket depth, make sure both sides of the sidewall are aligned and symmetrical.
Step 6: Start by pulling the string up and under the 5th hole mesh and through the outside of the sidewall.
1. Do the same without skipping a sidewall whole.
2. Repeat with the next two holes but only pull the string through the mesh-not back into the sidewall.
3. When you pull the string through the second mesh, bring it back through the sidewall scoop.
Step 7: Again, pull the string through the mesh diamond, skip one sidewall hole, and pull the string in the next sidewall hole.
Step 8: Do the same as you did with the previous step. This time, bring the string from the back of the mash first and through the inside of the sidewall and tie the knot at the end. You should have one sidewall hole left on the bottom once you are done.
How to: Bottom String
Step 1: Pull the knotted string in the last sidewall hole you left and through the bottom string hole.
Step 2: Go up through the bottom of the outside hole of the nine-diamond row, right under the ten diamond row you already used for sidewall stringing.
Step 3: Skip three bottom rows of mesh. Go through the middle diamond and back around through the outside of the second bottom string hole.
Step 4: From the bottom, go into the fourth bottom string hole and pull the string through the same diamond mesh you ended with previously.
Step 5: Pull the string to the end, skipping another three mesh diamonds. Bring the string to the last bottom string hole. Tie off the knot on the last sidewall hole on the other side.
And that's a wrap. Your lacrosse head is complete. Make sure the tension is equal and firm.
How Long Does It Take String the Lacrosse Head?
Assuming you are a beginner, it will probably take you around 30-45 minutes if you follow the steps above correctly.
Take your time with the task. It can be quite perplexing at first, but once you get the hang of it, it will be a piece of cake.
Testing Out the Finished Product
Congrats! You have finished stringing, and now comes the fun part. Putting it to test.
You want to make sure everything is in place, and you have achieved the desired depth and the placement of string.
Call your buddy up, and practice passes and catches.
I would also recommend you take notes of what you think needs improvement. In this way, you're going to be prepared for your next stringing attempt.
If you feel like you need to increase the whip, loosen the bottom string. If the situation is opposite, tighten the string. You get the point.
*Bonus tip: You can add more whip If you replace the cotton string with a nylon one.
I hope this tutorial on how to string a lacrosse head was helpful for every beginner out there.
Like I said in the intro, it can be confusing to many, but I bet you will master the technique in no time!
Every player has a different style of stinging, but you should stick to the basics and work your way up for now.