For years I’ve been coaching players of all age groups and have always felt uncomfortable watching new players try to catch a lacrosse ball for the first time. The obvious nerves on the receiving end are valid. With no experience, there’s no guarantee a traditional hard rubber lacrosse ball flying their way isn’t going to hit them. And, unfortunately, it frequently does.
This lesson hit close to home (literally) when I started to teach my daughter Molly to play the sport. She was so afraid of getting hit with the hard lacrosse ball — and, in fact, she did — by me! I knew it was time to invent an alternative, softer training ball. It’s scary for first-time lacrosse players to learn with such an intimidating ball, so I put on my thinking cap and got busy.
I tried using the well-known pinky balls, but they were so light that it made catching even harder. I tried hacky-sack balls with my younger players. This was better, but unfortunately, they still weren’t the right dimensions, and they frequently broke. I needed a ball that was the same weight and size as a regulation lacrosse ball—but softer and less intimidating.