We’d all play lacrosse year-round if we could. That’s a given. But in high school, many of us are multi-sport athletes. Most college coaches see playing a second and even third sport as an asset, as players get to spend all year developing teamwork and leadership skills, while becoming more well-rounded individuals. Dom Starsia used to go as far as to say he wouldn’t look at a kid if lacrosse was his only sport. If you’re looking to stretch your legs until spring rolls back around, here are the best sports for getting the most out of your offseason.
10. Cross Country
Across the country, thousands of kids sign up to run 5k’s day in and day out for fun. As a club guy, I can’t relate. But it is a great way to work on endurance in the offseason, to make sure your legs are still there in the fourth quarter come springtime. The drawback is distance running can hurt your explosiveness. If you run CC, work in some lifts and sprints in your free time to keep those muscles quick twitchin’.
9. Water Polo
A sleeper pick that not many schools offer, but a great game. Water polo isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s intense, physical and brutally tiring. It offers the conditioning of cross country plus some physicality. A great outlet for aggression in the offseason.
8. Indoor Track
At my high school, this was a cop-out to excuse oneself from winter conditioning, but it can actually be really good for straight line speed. If you don’t have a winter sport, winter track can be a great way to show off the wheels.
Popular among private school players filling their sports requirements, footy can make a good fall sport for laxers. It provides an opportunity to work on foot speed and conditioning while smelling that sweet smell of turf.
Many of the best faceoff specialists in the NCAA were wrestlers in high school. It’s a great way to learn leverage and physicality, as well as moves and counter-moves. If you don’t mind your face ending up in a sweaty crotch from time to time, wrestling is a great way to spend your winter.
Their are two types of hitters on the lacrosse field: those who have and those who haven’t played football. In addition to making you a physical force, football teaches anticipation and reading defenses. Plus you get to tell sick glory days stories long after high school. The downside: injuries can spill over into lacrosse season.
Not as physical as others on this list but the mechanics of a golf swing are similar to those of shooting. Quick wrists, core strength, hand-eye coordination, you name it. If you can stripe it on the course, you can sling it on the field.
Obligatory video for any time lacrosse and golf are mentioned together:
Defensemen should all hoop. The footwork of defense in basketball translates directly to lacrosse. Plus, it teaches you to go after loose balls with reckless abandon.
A shoe-in for this list, lacrosse’s cousin from the north is one of the best replacements for the Creator’s game. It’ll soften your hands and harden your spirit, all the while offering practice in stickhandling, speed and defensive positioning. Plus some of the slang holds up.
Is this cheating? Oh well. Even if you play with a pole in the spring, box is the best way to work on your stick skills and conditioning when the weather outside is frightful. Learn to throw slick fakes and sharp passes while working in confined spaces. PLAY. BOX.