Lacrosse is probably the best summer sport to play, as it is very similar to hockey. Wayne Gretzky, one of the best players of all time was known for also being great at Lacrosse. I read in Gretzky’s book that when he played in the minors a coach on the other team offered $5 for every hit laid on Gretzky in the game. The coach ended up paying $2.50 for half a hit, why? Gretzky said he had learned from Lacrosse to dodge hits, and roll off of them. That is not the only thing you will learn though, I have compiled a list below of skills that will help your hockey game that you can learn in Lacrosse.
Skills that will transfer to hockey from Lacrosse
- Lateral movement and foot speed
- Avoiding hits
- Dekes and fakes
- Positional play
- Explosive power
- Passing and setting up plays
- Hand eye coordination
- Sportsmanlike and team play
- Acceleration and speed
- Shooting and aim / accuracy
- Core strength, follow through and second efforts
- Checking and physical presence
Here is a great list of other hockey players who would play lacrosse during the summer when they were young
Wayne Gretzky, Brendan Shanahan, Doug Gilmour, Cliff Ronning, Joe Sakic, Steve Larmer, Collin Patterson, Tim Hunter, Paul Kariya, Don Cherry, Gary Roberts, Adam Oates, Paul Coffey, Joe Nieuwendyk. …and many more! – Thanks to Port Coquitlam Minor Lacrosse Association for the list.
It is best to enroll your child in team sports, but not every town has a local lacrosse team. When I was younger I bought a few lacrosse sticks from Canadian Tire and just tossed the ball around, or played mini games when my friends were over. Lacrosse is great at building all kinds of muscle memories that you can really use in hockey. So don’t just limit yourself, or your child to hockey, make sure they get to play a number of sports and become overall great athletes.
Photo credit Alex Cena