How to Choose A Lacrosse Head For Goalies

Selecting the right lacrosse head for goalies is a critical decision that greatly impacts their performance, durability of the equipment, and overall game experience. The perfect goalie head can enhance a goalie's ability to defend the net effectively, control rebounds, and clear the ball accurately. This guide, brought to you by a trusted source like Lacrosse Monkey, will walk you through the key aspects of choosing a goalie head that suits your specific needs and playing style.

In this article, we’ll cover:

Understanding Lacrosse Goalie Heads

Role of the Goalie Head

The goalie head is instrumental in protecting the net. It differs from player heads in design and functionality, offering a larger surface area and specific features tailored for blocking shots and controlling the ball.

Key Features to Consider

When selecting a goalie head, consider the following features:

  • Stiffness: Essential for durability and consistent ball stopping.
  • Width: Wider heads provide a larger blocking area.
  • Depth: A deeper pocket allows for better ball control but may affect quick release.

Types of Lacrosse Goalie Heads

Choosing the right goalie head can significantly influence a lacrosse goalie's performance. Each type varies in stiffness, width, and depth, catering to different playing styles and preferences.

  • Stiffness
    • Stiff goalie heads offer increased durability and better shot-blocking capabilities.
    • Pros: They provide consistent performance and are less likely to warp under the impact of high-speed shots.
    • Cons: Stiffer heads can be heavier and might offer less flexibility for quick movements and clears, potentially not ideal for goalies who rely on speed and agility.
  • Width
    • The width of a goalie head determines the size of the blocking area. Wider heads cover more goal space.
    • Pros: They are excellent for goalies focusing on shot blocking, as the increased surface area can stop more shots.
    • Cons: Wider heads can be bulkier and heavier, potentially slowing down reaction times and affecting quick hand movements.
  • Depth
    • Depth refers to how deep the pocket of the head is. Deeper pockets can hold the ball more securely.
    • Pros: They provide better ball control and can be advantageous for goalies who prefer to retain the ball before making a calculated clear.
    • Cons: Deeper pockets might slow down the release when making quick passes or clears, and they may require more maintenance to keep the pocket in optimal condition.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Lacrosse Goalie Head

1. Head Design and Shape

The design and shape of the head influence control, accuracy, and durability. Different shapes cater to various playing styles, from aggressive shot-blocking to strategic ball distribution.

2. Material Composition

Goalie heads are made from materials like nylon or composite plastics. Each material offers different benefits in terms of weight, stiffness, and longevity, affecting the head's overall performance.

3. Mesh Pocket

The mesh pocket is critical in a goalie’s performance. Different mesh types, such as those from Stringking and East Coast Dyes, offer variations in ball control and release characteristics.

4. Stiffness and Flexibility

The right balance between stiffness and flexibility can significantly affect ball handling and rebound control. A stiffer head may offer better blocking but less flexibility for quick movements.

Choosing the Right Lacrosse Goalie Head: Step-by-Step Guide

1. Assess Your Playing Style

Consider whether your style is aggressive, positional, or a mix of both, and what kind of goalie head complements your approach.

2. Identify Specific Needs

Think about your playing environment, league regulations, and personal preferences in terms of weight, balance, and control.

3. Research and Compare

Read product reviews, watch our product reviews, and compare the features and performance of various goalie heads to find your best match.

4. Test and Evaluate

Try different heads to see which one feels right in terms of comfort, control, and overall performance.

Lacrosse Head For Goalies FAQs

How do I determine the right pocket depth for my goalie head?

The right pocket depth should allow for secure ball control without hindering quick releases. It should comply with league regulations while suiting your playing style.

Can I use the same goalie head for both field and box lacrosse?

While you can use the same head for both, there might be specific features more suited to each type. Field lacrosse typically requires quicker movements, while box lacrosse may need more robust construction.

How often should I replace my goalie head?

Replace your goalie head if it shows signs of significant wear, warping, or if it no longer provides the control and response you need.

Can I customize my goalie head with additional accessories or modifications?

Yes, you can customize your goalie head with stringing preferences, tape, and other modifications as long as they comply with the regulations of your playing league.