The Best Off-Season Sports for Hockey Players

Lacrosse - Paul Rabil

The following is a guest post from our friends over at Lacrosse Scoop.

Some athletes have hockey in their blood so much that you need a stick in your hands and a net to shoot at no matter the season. But what are you to do when the ice melts? Street hockey is nice, but you won’t be getting the same physical intensity that you could from a regular game of ice hockey. You don’t want to be soft when you come back to the ice, so it’s time to search for a sport that lets you throw your weight around.

Lacrosse is for guys who can’t skate. Or is it?

Enter the game of lacrosse. If you’ve got a hockey stick in your hands right now, this might be a good day to pick up a lacrosse stick for the off season. It’s not just a sport for hockey players who can’t skate. Known as the fastest game on two feet (not counting skates), lacrosse is a growing sport that has a lot of similarities to hockey.

The set up is almost exactly the same: One big playing area with two goals on each end. The side with more goals wins.

Much like hockey, lacrosse is a game about flow. The offense and defense are in constant rotation and the idea of the game is to move the ball around until there’s an opening to take advantage of. Vision is key, and understanding where the looks are for feeding passes can mimic what you need to be a successful hockey player.

It’s also a great way to stay in shape. You’ll have ample time to get your cardio in while running on the 110 x 60 yard field. Lacrosse earned its reputation as the fastest game on two feet partially because the ball is constantly moving up and down the field at all times. There’s no rest unless you’re standing on the sidelines.

It’s also known as the fastest game because of the speed of the shot. The current record for fastest shot clocked in at 116 mph. Goalies, take notice.

Love lowering a shoulder or dropping a hip? For men’s lacrosse, there are plenty of opportunities to get physical when fighting for ground balls. Rules state that anyone within 5 yards of the ball (when it’s on the ground) is fair game for a clean hit. Just make sure you pick up some good pads to keep you healthy for the real season.

Street or Field Hockey Rock too….

Another fantastic sport to pick up is ice hockey’s brother sport, field hockey. The aim is pretty similar. Get the ball past the defenders and into the goal. It’s another game where ball movement is king. Getting up the 100×60 yard field is imperative and it won’t happen without good looks and solid off-ball movement. The goals are a little bigger, but the ball is a little tougher to control as well.

The field hockey stick is oddly similar to the classic hockey stick. The difference being you’re only allowed to touch the ball with one side of the stick, so you can imagine how the benefits of getting good at field hockey could translate into better puck handling.

Come on, try em’ out!

If you’ve got hockey in your blood, maybe there’s some lacrosse or field hockey in there too. With all the similarities between lacrosse, field hockey, and ice hockey, they’re great offseason sports to keep you lean and fast for the next time the puck drops

Thanks from your friends over at Lacrosse Scoop and Field Hockey Review for this sweet post!

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