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The shaft's natural frequency dictates how quickly the shaft will get to the steady-state condition wherein the force applied by the shooter matches the force of the shaft's springing back. The natural frequencies of Stiff shafts (100 flex) are higher than those of whippier shafts (80 flex), but is this discernible to a goalie (in a situation with none of those pesky defending skaters)? Once the stick is released, though, if the shaft is doing the work (the shot that I'm working on right now), the shaft's natural frequency also dictates how quickly it springs back. This is independent of how much it is loaded. Cantilevered beams are most similar to the shaft's behaviour, but another way to look at this is to compare it to guitar strings. Once the string's natural frequency is set, strumming the string farther doesn't change its frequency; it just changes its volume. To play louder, more force is put on the strings. Once the string is released, only its frequency affects how quickly it unloads. The loading onto the string for a lower frequency string is not discernibly longer than for a higher frequency string (or else guitar solid chords would sound like broken arpeggio chords).
Contributed by Jedidiah Price