Hockey Players should Play Lacrosse

It’s lacrosse that helped teach me to spin off checks, take shots and protect the puck under pressure. My stick skills, the way to read the play quickly comes from lacrosse.

John Tavares, two-time World Junior Hockey Champion

If you are serious about playing Hockey, there are many reasons to consider playing Lacrosse in the off season. The games are similar in principal, but there are certain skills which Lacrosse will really help a young Athlete hone. There is maybe no better Sport to practice the art of Dodges and Fakes, as well as avoiding hits. Also, with the way Offensive Lacrosse is played, an Athlete learns very quickly the importance of Positional Play and Movement.

Many Greats in the world of Hockey atribute Lacrosse in part to their success. Hockey players excel in Lacrosse, and, in turn, they become markedly better hockey players.

If a sport has a high point of the year, it must be the first week of spring. When I was growing up, I used to love this time of year. It was when I put my hockey equipment away and I was absolutely ecstatic to see the end of the hockey season. One of the worst things to happen to the game, in my opinion, has been year-round hockey and, in particular, summer hockey. All it does for kids, as far as I can tell, is keep them out of sports they should be doing in the warmer weather. I could hardly wait to get my lacrosse stick out and start throwing the ball against the walls and working on our moves as we played the lacrosse equivalent to road hockey. All the good hockey players seemed to play lacrosse in those days and everyone of them learned something from the game to carry over to the other - things athletes can only learn by mixing up the games they play when they are young.

Wayne Gretzky, National Post, March 2000

Why Hockey Players should Play Lacrosse

From the BC Lacrosse Assn. Development

  • Lacrosse and hockey are very similar sports
  • U.S. College scholarship opportunities in lacrosse are available
  • Hockey players excel in lacrosse
  • It’s a great method to increase physical fitness in hockey’s offseason
  • Team sports build self esteem, respect, integrity, & fairness
  • Lacrosse teaches leadership skills
  • It helps prevent sport burn-out by playing a new, fast-paced sport
  • Players of all fitness levels and abilities can compete in lacrosse
  • A player can learn basic plays and strategies
  • A player can learn to play both offensive and defensive positions and make a quick transition from defense to offence and vice versa
  • It reinforces the importance of quickness and agility around the net
  • Lacrosse increases hand-eye co-ordination when stick handling
  • It teaches players to play with their head up and to be more aware of their surroundings
  • Offensive scoring skills are honed by shooting at smaller targets and picking corners
  • Defensive skills are taught with individual and team concepts
  • Lacrosse teaches the creativity of fakes, back passes, & shots
  • Lacrosse is run in 5-player units and helps the hockey player practice playing a team concept
  • It is inexpensive to equip lacrosse players as most hockey equipment can be used in lacrosse

Why Hockey Coaches Should Coach Lacrosse...

  • Hockey coaches teach similar strategies of team play and special teams.
  • Hockey coaches and players only have to look at players such as Gretzky, Sakic, Shanahan, Ronning, Kariya, Nieuwendyk and Oates as these great hockey players have one thing in common...they have all played lacrosse and have used the experience to enhance their hockey skills. You can share in their experience by playing lacrosse!
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