Canadians celebrating a gold medal win over USA at FIL Wold Championships 2014
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Why Can’t Canadians Shoot Off-Hand?

Lacrosse all-stars and proud Canadians, Jeremy Noble and Mark Matthews joined the Encore Brand crew for a pretty comical episode of Lacrosse Skool. Here in the States, we preach using both hands and becoming an ambidextrous lacrosse player. We attribute success to being able to play fluidly with both hands and many field lacrosse dodges incorporate switching the dominant hand to beat a defender.

Is this idea of being able to switch from righty to lefty, and vice versa, really necessary to be great, or even good, lacrosse player? Field lacrosse gold medalists and box lacrosse superstars Mark Matthews and Jeremy Noble do a good job of debunking the myth in the video.

Canada Lacrosse Mark Matthews 2014 FIL World Lacrosse Championships
Strong Lefty, Always Lefty

Both players had excellent NCAA careers with the Denver Pioneers and both have gone on to have excellent starts to their professional careers in the MLL and NLL. Americans boast about their talent in field lacrosse, but this past summer proved that there’s something to be learned from the Canadian style of play.

The pair try shooting with what they call the “wrong hand” and they even have trouble catching with their off-hand, let alone shooting the ball with and force or accuracy.

Canada vs United States 2014 World Lacrosse Championship Gold Medal Game
You only need one hand to win Gold

The one-handed style comes from box lacrosse, where you choose a dominant hand and stick with it just like hockey. The floor is much smaller and compact and switching hands and wide dodging is not encouraged. Players rely on passing and the movement of their teammates to move the ball across the floor, rather than spreading out the defense and dodging from distance like field lacrosse. This almost eliminates the need for “two hands” in box lacrosse, the game most Canadians grow up accustomed to.

They have NCAA Final Four appearances, FIL gold medals and a long list of stats accumulated throughout their young pro careers, but they don’t have off-hands.

So why can’t Canadians shoot with their off-hands? They simply don’t need to.