Not wanting to pass up a chance to work with his hands, N has recently become interested in fiddling with his LAX head, which is analogous to taping your hockey stick but is much more involved and has greater opportunities for creativity. He's been playing LAX for about 3 years and I think it takes second fiddle to hockey, though he does enjoy it. The two sports complement each other nicely, though I think LAX takes more skill and endurance. It's just harder to throw and handle a ball in three dimensions versus a puck sliding on the ice. Plus, running is a lot less efficient than skating.
As I mentioned, N likes the game and he's a solid player, which is not just my opinion because irrespective of what I think, he was chosen to play on the select travel team last year and was asked by the coach to come play for the even more select select team. They are totally hardcore and practice throughout the year, sometimes driving as far as Burlington or even Boston to practice. Talk about dedication, I don't think we had the wherewithal to pull it off, nor the financial resources - it's pretty expensive.
His buddies on the hockey team are all accomplished LAX players and one thing they really get into is tying the pockets on their sticks. One of his friends even paints custom designs on the heads and makes his own shafts out of wood. Pretty cool stuff. Up to this point N never really showed interest in doing any of this, he just went out and played. I encouraged him to try tying his own pockets figuring it would speak to his constructive leanings, but he was ambivalent. I even got him a new head to tie, and obtained a few "junkers" at Listen to practice on.
Well, that moment seems to have arrived because he's been tying and lacing his own heads, and his interest is growing. Much like hockey, I don't know much about LAX, but I'm learning at warp speed. I didn't realize how much the shape of the pocket and the design of the laces affects the trajectory of the ball out of the head, but it does, and in a big way. This really came to light last year when right before a game SS re-tied N's head and it completely ruined his game. Every time he threw the ball, it went straight into the ground. The coaches did a quick, on the spot re-adjustment, but it highlighted the importance of your pocket.
This year N was complaining that his throws felt a bit off, and we asked coach DW his thoughts. Right away he pointed out some of the problems, and N took it all to heart. He never listens to me, but when it comes from a person who knows what he's talking about, which of course excludes yours truly, he's a good learner. Right after that N began toying with his heads and pockets, and he got pretty creative with it, using different colored strings and modifying the pattern. He wants to do more and wants to employ his new head. I'm excited for him, though it means a trip to Stateline, our favorite store, and thus, more $$. I just recently had to replace his LAX shoulder pads, and nothing involving LAX is cheap, which is baffling but nonetheless the reality of the sport. What are you going to do?
Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Team Lacore for the pic.