Anyone serious about hockey should play lacrosse

NHLers recommend playing lacrosse in the off season to improve hockey skills!  Here is a short list of famous hockey players who benefited from playing lacrosse and WHY Hockey Coaches Should Coach Lacrosse.  It’s a great way to keep your hockey team together all year round. Hockey coaches teach similar strategies of team play and special teams. Hockey coaches and players only have to look at players such as:

  • Wayne Gretzky
  • Steven Stamkos
  • John Tavares
  • Brendan Shanahan
  • Gary Roberts
  • Paul Kariya
  • Kyle Turris
  • Gordie Howe
  • Bobby Orr
  • Jason York
  • Joe Nieuwendyk
  • Joe Sakic
  • Doug Gilmour
  • Paul Coffey
  • Adam Oates
  • Cody Hodgson
  • Jonathan Toews

greenjersey_medium“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. The hand-eye coordination, is just one of the little things that helps you in hockey.” “The toughness and physical aspect of lacrosse has definitely had an influence on my playing ability in hockey.” “Lacrosse was a great thing for me because it let me get away from hockey for the summer as a kid,” he says. “My mom never really believed in summer hockey. I needed a break and I always looked forward to the lacrosse season. And when hockey season came around I was really looking forward to that. It was good both ways to help myself in both sports.”
– John Tavares
The first pick of NHL Entry Draft 2009
Two-time World Junior Hockey Champion
Ontario Lacrosse Magazine, Summer 2009, written by Roger Lajoie

 

 

gretzy_medium“If 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 warmer weather. I could hardly wait to get my lacrosse stick out and start throwing the ball around. It didn’t matter how cold or rainy it would be, we’d be out firing the ball against 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 games they play when they are young.”
– Wayne Gretzky

 

 

Hockey and lacrosse are very similar sports.  Both hockey and lacrosse are high tempo, physical team sports that have similar elements to the game. Both sports utilize 5 players and a goalie, three periods and strategy of developing odd-man situations to create scoring opportunities. Hockey players excel in Lacrosse. And, in turn, they become markedly better hockey players.

Hockey players benefit from lacrosse by developing:

  • develops stick handling creativity
  • develops creativity in tight areas
  • reading the play offensively
  • develops strong, dynamic defensive tactics
  • builds up strength and endurance
  • helps prevent sport burn-out by playing a new, fast-paced sport
  • increases hand-eye coordination
  • teaches players to play with their head up and to be more aware of their surroundings
  • reinforces the importance of quickness and agility around the net
  • builds self esteem, respect, integrity and fairness
  • teaches leadership skills
  • learn to play both offensive and defensive positions and make a quick transition from defense to offence and vice versa
  • scoring skills are honed by shooting at smaller targets and picking corners
  • teaches the creativity of fakes, back passes and shots

References
Gloucester Minor Lacrosse Association website
http://www.knightslacrosse.ca/serious.php