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Hits & Bits

The History of Lacrosse & The Olympics

A look at the history of lacrosse on the world's biggest stage

Boxla game certainly served Dudley well

Rick Dudley’s done pretty well in hockey for a guy who would rather have played lacrosse.

Anyone serious about hockey should play lacrosse

From Gretzky to Tavares, Shanahan to Stamkos, Canadian-born NHLers recommend playing lacrosse in the summer to improve hockey skills.

“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.” 
- John Tavares, two-time World Junior Hockey Champion

“I couldn’t wait for hockey season to end so I could pick up a lacrosse stick again.”
- 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.

Comparatively, lacrosse is a much less expensive sport than hockey and uses much of the same protective upper body equipment.

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
  • develop the use of both hands

Here is a short list of famous hockey players who benefited from playing lacrosse:

  • 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
  • Jonathan Toews
  • Cody Hodgson