Lax Works: Why Lacrosse and Figure Skating Have More in Common Than You Think


This article appears in the January edition of USA Lacrosse Magazine. Join our momentum.

Molly Urbonas, 16, of Englewood, Colorado, plays goalie for 3d Colorado and Cherry Creek High School.

People often ask if I play another sport. Many of my teammates play field hockey in the fall and maybe basketball in the winter.

I say, “Yes, I am a figure skater.”

They pause for a second because they don’t often hear that answer from a lacrosse goalie. It is kind of fun to catch people off guard and see their reaction.

I figured out I liked lacrosse in sixth grade playing for my middle school and then jumped in the cage in seventh grade when our team needed a goalie. I quickly figured out I liked it and could track the ball successfully. I joined a rec team, started working with a great goalie coach in Hannah Hook (University of Denver, 2015) and continued to work on my development into the role of goalie. It was a nice addition to my extracurricular activities — I had the individual sport as a figure skater and then a fun, dynamic team sport in lacrosse.

People often think of the dresses and makeup when they think of figure skating. The sport is very athletic, as it takes muscle and practice to land double jumps and complicated spins.

These sports have more in common than most people think. For example:

Ice skating requires spatial awareness when jumping and spinning, which has translated well to my awareness in the cage. It helps me position myself to stop the shot.

They both require high pain tolerance — falling on solid ice, getting hit by a lacrosse ball.

Repetition is key when learning a new jump like a double lutz and the same applies to keeping goalie skills crisp.

Both make me happy — when I’m skating my program and when I’m defending the goal.

I am working hard with my goalie coach to continue playing into college. I am also working on my figure skating and hope to achieve a gold medal in moves in the field. I am just two tests away! I find it helpful to set goals and work toward achieving them.

I continue to skate three times a week in addition to lacrosse workouts. It’s important to have a variety of interests and these are memories I will have forever.


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