Goalies are lacrosse players too and they might be even more in tune with their sticks than anyone else on the field. Trying to balance between a goalie stick that catches well while not throwing with too much whip was the difficulty in creating the Goal-Ex. The stick is a conglomeration of many different stringing styles as we tried to give our goalies here at CSU the best of both worlds. Former CSU goalie, current Denver Outlaw (MLL) and Rock-it Pocket employee Alex Smith collaborated with us on getting this stick to his liking.
Built in, not broken in, the Goal-Ex is borne of the same concepts as the Rock-it Pockets before it. No, it’s not strung with leathers and nylons, but with 12-diamond or hard mesh. Our goalie pocket creates a throwing channel down the middle of the head that allows for a consistent release and precision passing. The channel “rocks” the ball during cradling and mimics the tracking of the middle leathers in our original Rock-it Pocket. With the mesh pulled tight in all directions, the ball is set squarely in the middle of the pocket, primed to throw outlet passes or overhand fakes. The channel also ensures that passes will never miss to the left or right of the target. The Goal-Ex remains true to one of the Rock-it Pocket’s original slogans: “Point and shoot.” You should never feel this pocket throwing off the plastic as we have pulled the top section of the mesh extremely tight. Keeping the top tight is paramount in creating a consistent throw every time you make a pass.
Another plus of keeping the mesh tight along the plastic is cutting down on general wear and tear. Since there is not too much pressure being put on the sidewall strings, there will be much less fraying and shredding than you would normally see after making hundreds of saves in practice in games. The high-strength polyester we use all the way around the mesh is the same stuff we put in our Rock-it Pockets, so you know it will last.
We prefer the Goal-Ex to be strung with 12-diamond mesh rather than regular hard mesh. The larger diamonds make catching a little easier because the ball seems to stick in the pocket better. In arid climates, the large diamond mesh helps catching immensely. We don’t recommend soft mesh for goalies because it is nearly impossible to keep the integrity of the pocket.
For whatever reason, most likely the head's flared sidewalls, the Goal-Ex seems to fit almost perfectly in the Warrior Nemesis. This is the head we created the pocket in and will come ready to go right out of the package. Other heads may take some extra break-in time to build the channel just right. We’ve found that this pocket will generally require only one adjustment as the mesh stretches out. With the 12-diamond mesh, you simply bring the bottom string up a row or two in the mesh as you play with it. You will eventually get to a point where adjustments are no longer necessary and it throws with consistency and accuracy every time.
If we don't carry the goalie head you like to use, send one in. We'll be happy to restring it and get it back to you as soon as we can.
The above photo is of a hard mesh Goal-Ex Pocket that we brought to Philadelphia. You can see how we keep the mesh tight to the side of the head on all sides. We like the channel better in the 12-diamond mesh, especially in the Warrior Nemesis, but the hard mesh also has its advantages, most notably in its throwing accuracy right out of the box.
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