Editor’s Note: Please welcome Brian Potter to LaxAllStars! Brian is coaching, and playing, both box and field lacrosse in Europe right now, with his focus on Germany. BP will be sharing his experiences with us through his blogs, and he’s kicking things off with an intro to box lacrosse for members of the German Military!
This past weekend I had the honor of training the German Military University’s indoor lacrosse team along with fellow expat and old Jr. Shamrock (Victoria, BC) teammate, Jamie Plunkett. For some reason unbeknownst to me, the young military boys prefer the contact of the indoor game to the field game. This is an oddity in Germany, where outdoor lacrosse is definitely the favorite.
There has been a sudden indoor revolution that has shown its face in recent months, with the addition of the Deutschland Adler to Europe’s indoor lacrosse scene, which is primarily concentrated in Eastern European States such as the Czech Republic and Slovakia. However, I can also acknowledge that there has been a lot interest from players everywhere. The roadblock has been finding suitable venues to play in. So many facility managers think that lacrosse balls are too hard and will break windows or worse off, hit spectators. I assume they calculate that the risk is not worth the reward. But regardless of the rest of Germany, the Bundeswehr Indoor lacrosse team is going really strong.
The camp lasted two days and culminated with a intersquad scrimmage on Sunday afternoon. Saturday’s sessions included three two-hour practices combined with a rookie practice for players who had only been playing for 2 months or less. The focus of the weekend was on transition, reverse transition, man-up, man-down, and finishing. The guys really were able to learn and understand everything really quickly.
On the Saturday night we were lucky enough to visit Forschungs Brauerei, a local Bavarian watering hole which translates to Research Brewery. The beer was phenomenal, especially the Weisse Bock Bier, a strong wheat beer.
Sunday started out a little slow partly due to to the previous evening’s festivities, but after a couple quick 2-on-1 continuous drills, the German Military boys were good as new. Sunday focused mainly on full field play and understanding the strategic differences between indoor and outdoor lacrosse. To conclude the weekend there was an intersquad scrimmage which ended as a tie and went into an old fashioned shoot-out. The result was the white team winning with their goaltender Tilo Fuchs not letting in a single goal.
Next up for the Bundeswehr is their annual indoor lacrosse tournament in February, which will include 10 men’s team and 12 women’s teams. The men’s division includes teams from Germany, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Austria, and Denmark. On the women’s side there are 3 Austrian teams, 7 German teams, a Swiss team, and a team from Paris, France.
When you think about the future of indoor lacrosse in Germany, and western Europe in general, the Bundeswehr indoor lacrosse program will continue to be a breeding ground for lovers of the indoor game. It will be a revolving door of players who will spend four years studying and playing, and once graduated, they will bring the passion to play indoor lacrosse to whatever city, or country they end up stationed in.
KEEP IT UP, BOYS!
For more on the Bundeswehr Indoor Team check them out at http://www.bundeswehr-lacrosse.de/