I cut my mallet down about a month ago. I did it out of curiosity. I had noticed that my mallet was always longer than everyone else’s, in our club and even at tournaments. I told myself this was to my advantage. I could out reach anyone else. The longer sword cuts first, right? But, I’m a weight weenie with a bum wrist, and I can only drill out my heads so much. So, after watching some of those Euro Qualifier games and seeing the baby walking sticks those guys are playing with, I decided to go for it.
I cut about an inch off the back end of one of my backup mallets in case I hated the change. First thoughts, why didn’t I do this a year ago!? That one inch made my mallet significantly lighter. And after taking it to the park I realized something else; My shot had significantly improved. It took me about an hour to get it down, lots of whiffing and cursing up till then. But before I tended to hit the ground before I hit the ball. That was no more. Combined with the beautiful Alchemy capped heads, I could send a full court shot straight where I pointed it. Over and over! A first for me.
I chock this up to holding my mallet at the very end. Before, with a long mallet, I tended to choke up about an inch or two and then drop back to the end for that extra reach. This made me less flexible when choked up. The butt of my mallet was pressing into my wrist and blocking certain wrist movements. And because I was always moving my hand up and down the shaft (wink wink) the head of my mallet was a constantly shifting distance from me.
A shorter mallet forces me to keep the ball closer, keeping me more in control. I can take my shots from closer in, and faster. I play better in goal because I can move my mallet quicker. My writs thanks me too. After buying a sweet wrist brace and cutting my mallet, I’ve had significantly less—as in zero—wrist pain.
Lack of reach on defense was something I thought I would miss, but I don’t. It’s taught me to position myself in front of the ball carrier better instead of going for a big swipe. I play closer defense than before, which is a better way to play, IMHO.
If you’re looking for a way to lighten your mallet without drilling more holes, or you’ve been thinking about a way to improve your shot. Try cutting your mallet down. Everyone is different and you might hate it, but if you’ve been thinking about it, do it. You’ll probably love it.