Enterprising Loudoun Valley Freshman, Max McNerney, has done something even most adults never venture to do: start his own business. The 14 year old lacrosse player took an interest in stringing his own head, the part of the lacrosse stick that catches and holds the ball, when he learned to restring a head he had just purchased from a YouTube video. He found that changing the stringing changed the way the stick held the ball when he was checked (when his stick was hit by another player’s stick), as well as how difficult it was to pass the ball.
Max asked his coach why stringing had made the same head perform in a different way, and his coach told him everything he knew about different stringing techniques. His curiosity still not satisfied, Max began watching as many YouTube videos as he could to find out how to maximize his performance on the field by tweaking his stringing. Soon, he started dying his own heads using a special technique to produce a squiggly effect. His dad, Neil, saw the potential for Max to start his own business and they set up the MaxLax website together that day. He also started making YouTube videos to review products at first, then to show different stringing techniques. His teammates started asking
him to string their heads, and the stringing side of his business has grown from there.
Next, Max started thinking about optimizing the mesh. He starts with soft mesh, which is simple woven string mesh, and coats it with his own special formula that does not flake like other waxes; the players who have tried it love it. Currently Max sells his MaxWax
and kits for lacrosse stick heads at Purcellville Sports. Owner Alex Inman says that as a local store, he likes to support local businesses by carrying their products, especially if it means carrying a product that keeps the business one step ahead in the ever evolving market for lacrosse equipment. Because of Max’s YouTube following, Inman says, “We had kids come from as far as Chantilly to get his product.” His parents are thrilled with his success, saying, “We are very proud of Max and his ability to grow a business from the ground up. He’s a natural innovator. He is constantly working on how to make his products better.”
Max, who is just starting his third season of lacrosse this year, says he enjoys the sport because “in lacrosse there is a little bit of contact but you still get to have finesse with your stick skills.” His former coach Dan Poncin, one of the directors for Western Loudoun
Lacrosse, calls Max an “excellent lacrosse player and an even better kid… He is a coach’s dream.” Poncin has been very supportive of Max as a lacrosse player and as an entrepreneur, giving him the opportunity to sell his products at a number of Western Loudoun Lacrosse events. “We want to do everything we can do support him.”
Max’s business is growing, and we are sure to see good things in the future from this innovative and driven teenager. If you would like more information about MaxLax, visit his website at maxlaxstrings.com or check out his YouTube Channel, maxlaxstrings.