Everything You Need in Your Bag to Make the Most of Summer Ball
The end of the school year means one thing, time for summer ball. With the start of so many summer lacrosse opportunities, it’s important to have your gear locked in and ready to go. Here’s a helpful list of the things you might need, whether you’re playing travel ball, men’s league, or just attending various summer camps and clinics!
1. A Bag
This might be the most obvious on the list, and it’s very likely that you already have a bag that can hold all of your equipment, but more often than not, the summer league you’re playing in won’t have a locker room or facilities that you can leave your equipment in, so it’s important to have a decent bag that can get everything to and from your field. It’s also important to take care of your bag and remember to air out your pads after each use, because there’s nothing worse than opening up that bag weeks after your last game of the season to find stinky, sweaty pads.
2. Comfortable, breathable pads
Depending on your style of play and personal preference, a lot of players like having different pads for different leagues or seasons. While safety and protection should be your #1 priority, a lot of players like to have lighter, more comfortable pads that can breathe a bit better in the hot summer months. A shoulder pad liner instead of a full shoulder pad is a good example, as they are a bit more comfortable and can breathe a bit easier without sacrificing protection. It’s never a bad idea to have a few extra pads in there as well for when a teammate undoubtedly forgets their equipment, or you happen to bust out of something mid-game.
For the same reason as having extra pads in your summer bag, an extra pair of cleats or turf shoes is never a bad idea either. Unlike where you might play, a lot of summer tournaments or leagues are played on grass fields, and if you’ve been playing on turf for your full season, it would be worth looking into some cleats with longer spikes that can grip the ground a bit better. Not only does this help with control in many different weather conditions, having an extra pair of cleats can also help prevent injury from not being properly equipped for your environment.
4. Stick AND Back Up
Obviously needing your stick shouldn’t be news as it is the most important part of your equipment, however having a backup should be just as important, especially in the summer months. The performance of heads and shafts can vary greatly in different weather conditions, especially in hotter temperatures, so it’s important to have a back up that is just as dialed in as your gamer in case anything were to break or warp. Heads have made big strides in their heat resistance, such as the ECD Lacrosse DNA or STX Enduraform line, however with constant use in varying temperatures, a solid backup is a must.
As with a lot of the other items on this list, mesh performance can vary greatly in differing temperatures, especially if you’re planning on using the same mesh that you used during the regular season. A good rule of thumb would be to always have a few tools that can help you fix your mesh or stick on the fly, such as a pair of scissors to trim any loose strings, a lighter to burn any frayed edges, and a screwdriver to help transfer or secure heads to shafts on the fly. The Warrior Stick Repair Kit is a great place to start, as it’s filled with anything and everything you’d need to fix a stick on the go.
Nothing worse than showing up to your game and realizing you don’t have your league jersey. In some cases, the league won’t let you play, which isn’t ideal. In others, however, you’re left with the option of being the guy with no jersey, or trying to borrow someone’s old, crusty jersey that hasn’t been taken out of his bag since summer of 2006… and no one wants to be the guy without a jersey on. Going with neutral, reversible colors for a backup pinney is always a strong option.
Another “better that you have it than have to rely on others” situation with tossing a roll of tape in your bag. It might not be the most important thing you need, but everyone’s been in a situation where their end cap flies off and they have no way of keeping it reattached. Just don’t be annoyed by everyone and their dog asking for a bit of tape before your men’s league game though.
Some people like to think it’s good luck to never wash a jersey or pads during the season. While we’re not superstitious over at Monkey, we are a little stitious, so we won’t judge anyone for wanting to do that (just don’t expect us to stand next to them in the huddle). HOWEVER, this is summer league, and summer = hot, hot = sweaty, and sweaty = stinky, so miss us with that.
Captodor makes sprayable options that can actually improve the smell of your pads when aired out, one of our newest products, Odor Crusher, creates options that can completely remove smell from a bag or standing rack of pads, and there are several other in-bag additions that can vastly improve your stench week in and week out. Air your pads out, wash your jerseys, use a deodorizer, and don’t miss a routine shower, ya filthy animal.
Probably the most important thing to have in your bag year-round, but water is crucial to your summer league game. Leagues without trainers or facilities make this even more crucial, and heat exhaustion is no joke.
This article was originally published on July 6, 2019, and has been updated with new information.