Steven Stamkos is a bit of a household name around Ontario and the entire hockey world. He is one of the most proficient goal scorers of our generation, and do you know what he credits with being the reason for this, no it is not summer hockey, it is lacrosse. Time and again, NHL players have credited playing another Spring sport for their skills as a hockey player, and here at Roster Point, we thought we would point out the top five sports for hockey cross training.
Now lacrosse is the Official Summer Sport of Canada, and for good reason it is amazing. You have a few options these days, you can either play box lacrosse which is either played outside in a lacrosse box, or in an arena, or you can play field lacrosse. Both offer different variations of the sport, but the main focus is you will improve your hand-eye coordination, your balance and of course your speed and agility.
Soccer (or Football)
Soccer, as it is commonly called around these parts, is often overlooked as a great offseason sport. Not only will you improve your kick up skills, but you will be improving your overall fitness, all while having a tonne of fun. You will see improved stamina, foot speed and if you are playing at a competitive level, an ability to read team play that will translate to hockey with ease.
The great American past time is one of the best past times for hockey players. Many Ontario and BC born players in the NHL have spent their summers swinging a bat. This sport not only allows you to take a bit of a rest from the high pace of hockey but will also allow you to work on that tan. You will see improvements in hand-eye coordination, athleticism, focus and lateral movement.
Squash, racquet ball, or even tennis are all the rage today, and for good reason. They are extremely competitive and are one heck of a workout. Until you play a competitive squash game, you will not understand how tired you will get. These sports work on your lateral movement, your agility, your hand-eye coordination and of course your stamina.
Much like the other sports, rugby is a full contact sport, but if you are a fast player, I would encourage you to check out Rugby Sevens. This sport allows you to work on your agility, team play, hands, and of course your speed. Sevens is now an Olympic sport, and if you YouTube a couple of games from the Sevens World Series you will quickly see why the sport has taken off.
No one sport is perfect, and it will depend on your area, and your personal interests to select one. Multi-sport athletes generally produce well-rounded hockey players, and an off-season sport may make the difference when you are chatting with a team on Roster Point.