No Bounce Lacrosse Ball Alternative

Swax Lax Practice Lacrosse Ball

Swax Lax Practice Lacrosse Ball

GirlsLacrosseHQ reviewed the Swax Lax Soft Weighted Lacrosse Training Ball and we want to share what we found. This new and innovative alternative to a no bounce lacrosse ball has a lot more than meets the eye.

We reviewed the Swax Lax ball on 6 key areas listed below:

  • Accuracy – How close to a real lacrosse ball does the Swax Lax ball feel both coming in and going out of your crosse.
  • Durability – How long will the ball last and what type of use can it take and still stay usable.
  • Best Fit Person for This Ball – What type of users would benefit most by using this ball.
  • Bounce and Roll – When the ball gets away from you, these two attributes will tell you how far you will be chasing it.
  • Added Benefits – Any extra or unknown benefits that might come of purchasing these balls.
  • Comparison to Similar Products – How does the ball stack up against similar products.

Accuracy

The ball felt great in a quick game of catch and got better as we played longer.  The weight of the ball was as advertised by the vendor at 141 grams which is how much a regulation lacrosse ball weighs.  In comparison, a no bounce ball is on the high end at 160 grams.

At high speeds, the ball does come out of the cross a bit differently but only when pushing it to the extreme where feel is critical such as in a sidearm shot.

Durability

Though we didn’t get a chance to give it the full battery of tests, it held up remarkably well when throwing it against a cement wall but alas, no worries because this comes down to where and how you are planning to use this ball.  I don’t anticipate you will be chucking this off of a cement wall because that is not its intended purpose however I’m happy to see that the folks over at Swax Lax did perform this test.

Best Fit Person for This Ball

Without question, there is no lacrosse user who won’t find a use for this ball but there are some that will see a greater value in this ball than others.

  • Young Player – As the ball’s inventor Laura Gump describes, she designed this ball with the K-8 player in mind and we can affirm that this is who would get the most value out of the ball from a player’s perspective.  Over the past decade, the governing bodies of  most of the major sports have been reorganizing the youth game around modifying both the equipment and playing area dimensions.  We have seen this in our own game with the advent of “small ball” and we are now seeing major restructurings such as the game of 10 And Under Tennis and its ball progression where they emphasize the alteration of equipment to better groom the next generation of players.
  • Coach – Coaches of all levels will find many uses for these balls but none more than the U9 Lacrosse Coach.  As a former coach, I can attest that the quickest and permanent exit of a new player comes when a ball goes awry and hits a player.  Further, as coaches we know that our most precious commodity is time; especially when we are trying to prepare a new player for their first game in just a few weeks practice.  The Swax Lax practice ball will save you time and keep your drills more organized.  Chasing a dropped or missed ball can eat up valuable minutes in your practice.
  • Older Player – While you won’t see this ball as much on the practice field at the older levels of play in the forward positions, this ball should be in every older player’s bag.  As you are learning the more advanced plays in the game, you will continuously run in to situations where getting hit with the ball is likely.  This ball will give the older player an opportunity to practice catching on the run during a cut or an over-the-shoulder catch without fear of getting bonked.
  • Goalie – If I didn’t know any better, I would think this ball was designed by a goalie coach.  It is rare that you come across the player who has known that they were going to be a goalie from an early age and sticks with it.  Everyone wants to try the position but the ones who stay are usually the ones who do not fear the ball.  As a coach teaching the position, the last thing you want is a real stinger that hits an un-padded area.   The player may not walk away from position but you can guarantee that the pain will be on their mind.  When you are trying to teach coordination and timing, the last thing you need is a negative experience like being hit with a ball to be on your mind.  This ball will help build the confidence a goalie needs while giving a more realistic weight and feel of blocking a real ball.  Tennis balls are great for peppering a goalie but they fall short on properly preparing a goalie for a game situation.

Bounce and Roll

We tested the bounce and roll of the ball in a practice situation.  As mentioned above, a missed or dropped ball can waste valuable practice minutes leaving the player with less repetitions.

We tested the Swax Lax training ball against a standard no bounce ball for bounce height and found that when dropped from waist height, the  Swax Lax ball outperformed (deadening the bounce) by half.

As for roll, we took the ball indoors and found out where the real sweet-spot is for the Swax Lax ball.  We threw both balls to see where they stop on a smooth surface like a standard gymnasium floor.  There was nothing scientific about these results; the no bounce ball only comes to a stop when it hits a wall (almost always under a row of bleachers it seems) and the Swax Lax ball stops about 20 feet after its first bounce which is tremendous for the continuity of a throwing line drill.

Added Benefits

Being an avid reader of Lifehacker, I am always interested in what else you can do with a product besides what the vendor intends it to be used for.  After all, the Lacrosse Ball has been made famous as a deep tissue massage aid for years now so why shouldn’t the Swax Lax ball have alternate uses.  Here are a few we suggest.

  • Learn to juggle with the perfect weighted ball that will not…you guessed it…roll away from you when you miss.
  • As a soccer ball prop for an American Girl Doll.
  • Replace a baseball in a game of catch in tight quarters.
  • Playing lacrosse catch at the beach when you don’t want the ball to end up in somebody’s turkey sandwich a mile away.
  • Playing lacrosse catch while tailgating – you don’t want to put a dent in the muscle-head’s shiny new pickup truck and you certainly don’t want to freak out your grill-master who really should be paying attention to how your steak is cooked rather than a ball off the head.
  • If buying in bulk, you can buy varying colors for station work color coded by ball.  Make sure to match game color balls for your goalie station.
  • All those times we have told our players not to get in too close during a catch and shoot drill for fear that all of those repetitions would wind up injuring a goalie somehow is now a thing of the past.  How about a shooting space drill from inside the arc?

Comparison to Similar Products

Let’s face it, regardless of the added benefits mentioned in the previous section, this ball will most often be compared to a no bounce ball because it is the most likely avenue it will find its way into a coach’s bag.  A standard no bounce ball will cost you around $6-$8 and for now the Swax Lax training ball is priced at $10.

The $10 price tag may seem tough to swallow for just one ball but you should think of the value this ball will bring to your practice.  The average 20 person team probably brings about 30 no bounce balls ($180 worth of balls) to practice and probably looses a couple in the first few weeks.  With that same investment, you can just about have 1 ball for each person on the team and not be worried about them getting lost.

GirlsLacrosseHQ.com highly recommends the Swax Lax Lacrosse Training Ball to our readers.

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