Why and how players tape their lacrosse stick
Whether it is refusing to wash a particular piece of your uniform or eating the same food before every game, athletes have more than their fair share of superstitions. However, taping your lacrosse stick before playing is not one of them. While some players do it ritualistically to help center their focus before a game, if you want to play your best, it’s a necessity.
For it to be effective, however, it must be done the right way.
Why tape a lacrosse stick?
In sports such as baseball, basketball, football and rugby, ballhandling is a major factor in determining a player’s quality. In lacrosse, however, except for the goalkeepers, athletes never touch the ball with their hands. Instead, these players are rated according to their stickhandling capabilities. If a player cannot get a firm grip on their stick, they won’t be in full control of the lacrosse ball.
A lacrosse stick is a thin, hollow piece of lightweight metal or carbon fiber. They are often very smooth. Even textured lacrosse sticks can be difficult to hold and control when you’re wearing gloves or there is some precipitation.
To combat this inherent slickness, players carefully wrap the bottom portion of their stick in lacrosse tape — though athletic tape will work just as well. The wrapping gives the player the confident grip they need to perform best.
Benefits of taping a lacrosse stick
The main benefit of taping your lacrosse stick is to provide extra grip. However, there are a few other benefits of taping your lacrosse stick.
- Ritual: Taping your lacrosse stick before a game can be a ritualistic activity that helps a player mentally prepare. It puts them in the moment, gets them focused on the upcoming competition and can help them relax.
- Power: If you have a firmer, more confident grip, you can apply more power to your shots.
- Moisture: If the weather turns bad, any player who has tape on their stick has an immediate advantage.
- Positioning: If you tape your lacrosse stick, you know where to put your hands without even looking. Beginners can use tape so they know where to place their hands when holding, catching and shooting.
The standard way to tape a lacrosse stick
The most popular way to tape a lacrosse stick is to start at the butt end of the stick with one straight wrap. On the second wrap, start spiraling the tape up the shaft.
On each turn, overlap the tape slightly — by a quarter- to a half-width — making sure there are no gaps in coverage. As you wrap, keep the tape tight and even. Continue doing this until you get a quarter way up the stick.
Finish with a couple of straight turns. This is called a standard quarter wrap. If you prefer a longer grip area, you can wrap to your preference, although most players do not go beyond half the shaft. This is called a half box wrap.
Two other lacrosse stick taping styles
While these methods are not nearly as popular, you can use a candy-cane wrap or a crisscross wrap.
- Candy-cane wrap: Start and finish the same way you would for a standard wrap. However, leave a gap between tape passes so your stick looks like a candy cane.
- Crisscross wrap: Perform a candy-cane wrap, then repeat in the opposite direction to create a crisscross pattern on your stick.
Tips for taping your lacrosse stick
- To get the best adhesion, clean your lacrosse stick before applying tape.
- Always start at the butt of the stick.
- Be patient when wrapping to make sure the tape lies flat on the stick.
- If you do not like a tacky feeling, don’t wrap your stick just before a game. If you want to remove some of the tackiness, wear gloves and hold the stick tightly while twisting in the direction of the spiral wrapping. This should remove some of the adhesive.
- To get the smoothest application, after wrapping your stick, briefly run a hair dryer over the tape and press down on the edges. This should eliminate any fraying.
What you need to buy to tape a lacrosse stick
Lizard Skins DSP Camo Lacrosse Wrap
This lacrosse tape is patterned to create an enhanced grip. It features a camo design so you can add a personal flair.
Where to buy: Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods
This two-pack is a good value for people who use a lot of tape. It is precut for players who prefer using thinner strips of tape.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods
This roll of lacrosse tape is precut in 1-inch and half-inch bands. It’s an affordable way to get the job done.
Where to buy: Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods
If you prefer wrapping your stick in something other than white tape, this black tape is an appealing alternative. It’s precut for the player’s convenience.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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