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How Box Lacrosse Translates Towards Development in the Field Game

By Don Green, 11/20/17, 10:30AM EST

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Those who supplement their lacrosse field experience with box lacrosse will have a distinct advantage over those who do not. Here's why!

The common denominator between the success in both environments is proper fundamentals and great stick skills. Canadian Box Lacrosse in its own right reinforces skills that will make you thrive as a field player, but the way that Canadian coaches teach the game is also a piece of the recipe.


Box Mini Camp was a huge success this weekend! Professional Box Lacrosse Coach, Brad McArthur, came down to work with Blue Star Box Lacrosse players and taught the fundamental components of the game. Players had the opportunity to learn from one of the top coaches in Canada the secrets that have made his players so successful at all levels of lacrosse. 

The common denominator between the success in both environments is proper fundamentals and great stick skills. Canadian Box Lacrosse in its own right reinforces skills that will make you thrive as a field player, but the way that Canadian coaches teach the game is also a piece of the recipe. Canadian coaches focus on skill development first, then tactics and strategy. They focus on proper passing, shooting, communication, body position/technique and hammer that home before moving to the larger team-oriented concepts. 

The emphasis on skill development combined with the close quarters fast paced play of box lacrosse, provides an unmatched training tool for players offensively and defensively. The need for clear communication and decisive decision making are magnified with the pace and constant action. Those who supplement their lacrosse field experience with box lacrosse will have a distinct advantage over those who do not. 



Case Study From Other Sports

Don't just take my word for it, below  is part of an article from the English National Soccer Program recommending Futsal as a training method to be adopted. South American's ball skills had passed that of the traditionally powerful English. So they are now using Futsal to catch back up. Link to full PDF

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF PLAYING FUTSAL? 

Although Futsal is very much a game in its own right, there are also a number of benefits for football by encouraging young people to play Futsal as part of a balanced training programme to improve their overall technical development. The game of Futsal creates an environment that allows young people to simulate and develop many skills and proficiencies that are transferrable to the 11-a-side game. The nature of Futsal with the smaller confines of the pitch that makes it harder to find space, the line markings that prevents easy escape from tight situations (such as in traditional 5-a-side where players can play the ball off the wall), and the smaller heavier ball which supports closer ball control and manipulation supports the technical development of young players in a multitude of ways. Research indicates that individual’s playing Futsal receive the ball six times more often than they would do when they are playing 11-a-side football, allowing players to perform more individual techniques such as passes, controls, fakes, feints, dribbles and runs with the ball (Liverpool John Moores University, 2001). As well as touching the ball more often, players will often receive the ball under pressure from opponents developing their confidence on the ball particularly in pressurised environments. Futsal as a game naturally brings players into regular one-on-one situations with their opponent, encouraging players into quick decision making as to how they overcome these scenarios; this could be through beating the opponent with a skill, or through clever passing to a team-mate. But one of the core attributes Futsal teaches young players is the importance of ball retention due to the threat of an immediate counter-attack. Confidence on the ball, receiving a pass under pressure, decision-making in 1v1 situations, and ball retention are all important fundamental skills that we look to develop in young football players that are practiced regularly within a game environment in Futsal. 2

 

Futsal also supports young player development in other ways. The speed and fluidity of the game supports players in understanding and improving their skills in the transition (counter-attacking) phase. In Futsal, teams are often either defending a counter-attack or in the process of launching one after breaking down their opponents. This is recognised in modern football as a vital component for young players to understand and apply. This ebbing and flowing of the game also results in all players being required to feel comfortable in both a defending and attacking situation. Due to the limited space on a Futsal court, the game intrinsically encourages movement and rotation from players as well as a sense of innovation and creativity to unlock defences and to create some space for yourself or team-mates. In many ways it replicates what is required from attacking midfielders and forwards in the 11-a-side game when trying to break through opposition in and around the 18 yard box. The emphasis in Futsal is very much on skill and technique over physicality, and this is particularly reinforced by the 5 foul rule (committing 6 fouls results in a penalty). But Futsal is also fun for young players who get to touch the ball with greater frequency in a variety of different positions. The fact it is played indoors means that it is a perfect alternative in the winter months when outdoor matches are regularly cancelled due to inclement weather. Futsal is by no means the magic cure for developing a more technically competent football player, but as illustrated above Futsal can support and play an important role in improving the technical qualities of the future generation of 11-a-side players. Futsal aligns closely to The FA Future Game Coaching Strategy which provides a blueprint for how The FA would like to see young English players being developed in England in order to succeed at the highest level. The Future Game outlines the need to embrace more small sided games at younger age groups for many of the reasons as mentioned in this document. Futsal can play an integral part in helping to realise the aims and ambitions of developing more proficient young football players through the delivery of the FA Future Game Strategy.