What is Whip in Lacrosse?
Whip is how easily your lacrosse stick throws the ball into the ground. The more whip, the easier it is for a lacrosse stick to throw into the ground.
Hey I’m Jake and I’m a lacrosse coach. One of the most confusing terms in lacrosse is whip.
Today I want to explain the concept of whip in lacrosse so you can know exactly what it means.
Table of Contents
- What Causes Whip in Lacrosse?
- Is Whip a Good Thing?
- How to Adjust Whip
- Frequently Asked Whip Questions
The analogy I like to use to explain whip is a quarterback with a sticky glove:
Imagine you’re a quarterback in football and you have to wear a glove on your throwing hand.
Then imagine your glove is extremely sticky.
When you go to throw the ball, it will come out of your hand much lower than where you aimed because it “sticks” to your hand before coming out.
Now imagine you put on a glove covered in vaseline.
When you go to throw the ball, it will come out of your hand much higher than where you aimed because it slips out of your hand.
Whip in lacrosse can be related as the amount of “stickiness” of your glove.
What Causes Whip in Lacrosse?
So now that you understand what whip is, I want you to understand what actually causes whip in the stick.
A Deeper Lacrosse Pocket
As a general rule, the deeper the lacrosse pocket, the more whip a lacrosse stick will have.
This is because a deep pocket creates a steeper “ramp” that the lacrosse ball will travel out of, making it more difficult for the ball to release.
A Higher Lacrosse Pocket
As a general rule, the higher the lacrosse pocket, the more whip a lacrosse stick will have.
A high pocket means a ball has less time to travel out of the stick, making the “ramp” that the ball must travel much steeper.
Tighter Shooting Strings
The tighter your shooting strings are on your lacrosse stick, the more whip your stick will have.
This is because the tight shooting strings create more of a “hook” that will force the ball to release earlier and lower in the stick.
Looser shooting strings will “grab” the ball less, which means there will be less whip in the stick.
Lower Shooting Strings
The lower your shooting strings are on your lacrosse stick, the more whip your stick will have.
This is because the ball has a shorter distance to travel before releasing from your stick.
The higher shooting strings mean the lacrosse ball has more time to travel and thus, less whip.
A channel in lacrosse is the path that the lacrosse ball travels when releasing from the lacrosse stick.
The “tighter” or smaller the channel is, the more whip you have in your lacrosse stick.
This is because a tight channel “grabs” on to the ball, which makes it release in a downward motion more.
The less of a channel your stick has, the less whip it has.
Is Whip Good In Lacrosse?
Yes, whip is a good thing to have in your lacrosse stick. The right amount of whip will add more hold to your pocket and speed to your lacrosse shot.
Hold in lacrosse is how easy or difficult it is for the ball to leave your lacrosse stick. The more hold, the harder it is for the ball to leave your stick.
Hold allows you to throw more fakes, and it makes it harder for the lacrosse ball to get checked out of your stick.
A simple test to determine the amount of hold in your stick is tilting your stick upside down.
If the ball slips out of your pocket easily, your stick has less hold. If the ball slowly comes out of your lacrosse stick, you have more hold.
Whip and hold generally go hand in hand, so the more whip a stick has, the more hold it has.
Speed is how fast the ball comes out of your lacrosse stick.
The more whip in your lacrosse stick, the faster the ball travels since it “hooks” on the stick.
So overall, whip is a good thing in lacrosse since it adds more hold and speed to your shot.
However, too much whip can be a bad thing if it means you’re throwing the ball into the ground. Make sure you adjust your whip to a level where you feel comfortable throwing and shooting consistently.
How to Adjust Whip Level in Your Lacrosse Stick
It’s important to understand how to adjust the whip level in your lacrosse stick so you can make sure it’s throwing correctly. Here are a few simple ways to adjust the whip in your lacrosse stick.
Adjust the Bottom String
The simplest way to adjust the whip in your lacrosse stick is with the bottom string of your pocket.
If you pull the bottom string tighter, your lacrosse pocket will be shallower and you will have less whip on the stick.
If you pull the bottom string looser, your pocket will be bigger and you will have more whip on the stick.
Adjust the Tightness of your Shooting Strings
The tighter the shooting strings, the more whip you’ll have in your lacrosse stick.
If you want to adjust the whip in your stick, an easy way is to loosen or tighten the shooting strings.
This is relatively easy to do even if you don’t know how to string a lacrosse stick.
Adjust the Placement of Your Shooting Strings
The lower your shooting strings, the more whip you’ll have in your lacrosse stick.
You can adjust the whip in your lacrosse stick by moving the shooting strings lower or higher, depending on how much whip you want to have.
Adjust Your Pocket Placement
As mentioned previously, a higher pocket in lacrosse means more whip to your stick.
You can adjust the placement of your pocket by changing how you string the sidewalls of your stick.
If you don’t know how to do this, I suggest asking a friend or professional stringer to help you out.
Frequently Asked Whip Questions
Does Whip Make You Shoot the Lacrosse Ball Faster?
Yes, more whip generally means you’ll shoot the ball faster. Be careful though; too much whip can cause the ball to shoot the ball into the ground.
Should I Use Whip in Lacrosse?
Most players would benefit from having some amount of whip in their stick, but this is completely up to you.
Lacrosse players who shoot the ball from further distances benefit from whip the most.