Written by: Jack Spallone, Illinois Box Lacrosse Director
Simply put, there is no faster version of the sport. Lacrosse finds its developmental roots in the physical and frenetic play style box occupies. The confined spaces and tighter windows develop your lacrosse skills and IQ at an exponential rate. A staggering percentage of the field lacrosse world and the most prolific scorers of all time owe their acumen and legacies to the box development at a young age. From legends of the past like the Gait twins and the Powell brothers to today’s athletes like Lyle Thompson and Jeff Teat, box lacrosse built their skill foundation to levels unmatched by those around them.
But to really understand why so many coaches at the next levels are pushing that kids play box lacrosse. This push ties directly to the evolution of the field lacrosse game at that level. The collegiate game is far faster and more physical than the high school game, and that’s a given. Players are bigger, faster, and stronger nowadays. However, what nobody really picks up on is the flow plays within the game. Passing windows are smaller, and shooting lanes disappear more quickly. Slides and recoveries occur faster, and all younger players moving to the next level go through an adjustment period when moving up. With the box experience, coaches see the adjustment period is far shorter. The ability to grasp the new concepts being delivered is higher.
Box lacrosse grows your IQ and potential as a player. This growth happens in a way your counterparts who don’t play it and can not match. In this coach’s opinion, it also helps the players develop a grit and physicality factor that is fading from the game at an alarming rate. So really, if you are playing lacrosse with a desire to get to the next level, you should play box lacrosse because it makes you tougher, smarter, and more adaptable in all aspects of lacrosse than any of your competition who doesn’t.