Today’s post is my response to a question I got from a young goalie regarding how to tape a lacrosse goalie stick.
Taping the stick is one of those things I never thought about discussing here on the blog but I’m sure there are plenty of beginners wondering what the purpose of tape on the stick is and how they should go about taping up their shaft.
Like every lacrosse goalie stick setup you’re going to find a lot of variance in how goalies tape up their shaft. But you’ll also find a lot of similarities.
There is a lot of personal preference there. But there are also some steadfast rules that I think all goalies should follow when it comes to taping up the stick.
So let’s get right into it.
The Purpose of Tape on the Stick
Tape serves 2 (sometimes 3) purposes on the lacrosse stick:
Improve your grip on the shaft
Serve as a quick reminder (a guide) of where to put your hands
Keep the head attached to the shaft when your screw is broken
Titanium shafts can get a little slick. Especially when its raining or wet outside. So the tape on the stick helps improve our grip between the shaft and the leather palms of our gloves.
Secondly, tape on the stick serves as a reminder. A physical reminder of where our hands should be when we’re setup in the perfect lacrosse goalie stance. While we’re focused on the ball and setting up our defensive slides, the tape will help a goalie get his hands into the right position every single time.
Finally, for those that have old gear like me. The hole in the shaft no longer properly holds a screw. Thus I have no way of attaching the head to the shaft except for good old fashion tape. In this scenario the tape literally holds the head on.
I use the STX Eclipse as my preferred head (although I just ordered the STX Eclipse II). The head design of the Eclipse means that your top hand is on the shaft. For some heads, the top head rests on the plastic of the head. Therefore I also like having tape at the top to improve my grip.
Bare Minimum Tape Job
At a bare minimum I think all goalies need to have tape on the stick where the bottom hand should setup in your stance.
You want to be able to find that location on the shaft instantly and a piece of tape as a guide will do the trick.
Next at a bare minimum you need some tape around the butt end of the shaft.
After you make a save and transition into the clear you’ll want to be able to throw a quick outlet pass. That involves repositioning your hands on the shaft. The revolutions of tape at the bottom of your goalie shaft will allow your bottom hand to slide right into position – without sliding off the shaft.
Some goalies have a few hand lengths worth of tape at the bottom. Others just have a few revolutions. As long as you have something to prevent your hand from sliding off, you’re good.
I like to have lots of revolutions of thin tape around the base so I can slide my bottom hand down aggressively to the end of the shaft for a quick outlet pass.
That’s really only the two basic tape jobs that I recommend all goalies need. Everything else is optional.
Other Tape Options
The other tape options include tape at the top of the shaft where the head connects.
I have tape here for two reasons – 1.) my old shaft broke where the screw connects so the tape holds the head on 2.) I actually like having tape underneath my top hand. I think it prevents the shaft from rotating when the ball makes contact with the head during a save.
Some goalies also put more tape on the stick for additional grip. A common setup is a “candy cane” style tape job where you do thin single (or double) revolutions all the way up the shaft.
As I discuss in my post what shaft length you choose to go with, I use an attack length shaft. This means where I setup with the bottom hand in my stance is pretty much where I place my top hand when throwing outlet passes.
If you have a longer shaft these two spots will not be the same so you’ll want to place tape to mark where the top hand goes for outlet passes.
Lacrosse tape will add a little bit of weight but I think that is completely negligible so feel free to put on any style tape job that feels comfortable and performs well for you. So long as you don’t have an additional pound of tape, it shouldn’t effect your shaft weight.
Here is NCAA goalie Gerald Logan discussing his stick setup along with the tape job he uses:
What Kind of Tape
Couple options when it comes to which kind of tape to use to tape up your stick.
The king of tapes when it comes to sports. Tapes goalie sticks as well as it does ankles. Slap a piece with your name written on it on your helmet and you’ve got an instant name tag.
Standard athletic tape is not only the most common its also the best. This style of tape gives a great grip and can easily be split down the center to create thinner pieces for the candy cane style tape job.
The only drawback of the athletic tape is it gets dirty and worn out pretty quickly. Meaning you’ll have to give your stick a new tape job every once in awhile. Some goalies have turned this into a pre-game night before routine, giving their goalie stick a fresh tape job for each game.
Lacrosse is my passion! The game has given me so much and this blog is my way of giving back to the lax community. Specifically the most bad a$$ part of that community - the goalies! After learning to play goalie from scratch, I wanted to create a site where I could share what I learned with others so they too can become champions in the crease and in life. Learn more about Coach Damon.