What Is A Braveheart In Lacrosse?

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Lacrosse is a game that has quite a few adaptations to it. From box to field, there several different ways to play the game. One of those ways is called braveheart.

What is braveheart in lacrosse? A braveheart is, essentially a one-on-one version of lacrosse. It is a fun, mini-style way to play, involving one field player and a goalie on each team. The two field players face-off, then fight for possession of the ball. Whoever is able to score first is determined to be the winner.

Today, we’ll be taking a look at why braveheart is played, how fun it actually is, and the origin of the name as well.

Read Also: What Gear Do You Need For Lacrosse?

Braveheart: Why and Where it is Played

Braveheart is played for a variety of different reasons, but one of the biggest reasons you’ll see that it is used as a tie-breaker in many tournaments that are played. Also, there are actual braveheart tournaments as well, which are always fun to be involved in.

It is also run at various practices as well, where coaches will use it as either a fun activity or to practice one-on-ones in a different type of setting. 

No matter the setting, it is always a fun game to play. Also, it is a high-stakes game as well, and certainly brings on the pressure to the players involved.

Why is it Popular?

As I mentioned, it is a truly nerve-wracking game to play, considering it is not only just two players involved on each end but also because it is first goal wins, which adds another layer of pressure. 

Also, the games go by rather quickly, and can even wrap up in just seconds.

Combined with how fun and intense it be, as well as the short time period in which the game usually lasts, it has become one of the most fun lacrosse alterations to play at tournaments, practice, and so on.

Braveheart: Why and Where it is Played

Braveheart is played for a variety of different reasons, but one of the biggest reasons you’ll see that it is used as a tie-breaker in many tournaments that are played. Also, there are actual braveheart tournaments as well, which are always fun to be involved in.

It is also run at various practices as well, where coaches will use it as either a fun activity or to practice one-on-ones in a different type of setting. 

No matter the setting, it is always a fun game to play. Also, it is a high-stakes game as well, and certainly brings on the pressure to the players involved.

Why is it Popular?

As I mentioned, it is a truly nerve-wracking game to play, considering it is not only just two players involved on each end but also because it is first goal wins, which adds another layer of pressure. 

Also, the games go by rather quickly, and can even wrap up in just seconds.

Combined with how fun and intense it be, as well as the short time period in which the game usually lasts, it has become one of the most fun lacrosse alterations to play at tournaments, practice, and so on.

Braveheart Meaning

The word “Braveheart” has many meanings to it. The word refers to someone who is courageous and is up for battle at any given moment, which is why you typically send your “best player” out for the braveheart games.

It is unknown the direct origins of why the name braveheart was coined for the game of one-on-one, but this is most likely the best reason.

Strategies to Win Braveheart

Since it’s rise in popularity, there have been many strategies that have come forth. Honestly, there are countless strategies that you can do to help, but it really comes down to the player themselves. However, there are some strategies that we can discuss that may help you with playing the game.

  • If you know you are not good at face-offs or are going against someone who is quite skilled at them, many will give the face-off to them so that they can drop back and have a solid chance of playing defense.

    Of course, though, this comes with some risks, as it means you have given up the ball, and are gambling on you either playing good enough defense to win the ball back, or your goalie to come up with a save.
  • Constantly fight for possession of the ball so that you try and get the ball as quickly downfield as possible.

    This is also risky, as if you are unsuccessful at doing this, then you are giving the other player an advantage to go down and score quickly, as it will be hard to set back up for defense.
  • Give your goalie a down the alley shot, or the shot they are most comfortable with saving.

    Not only will this bring life and energy to the game but having the goalie with the ball is quite an advantage. Some tournaments do not allow the goalie to full field, but most do, which means you essentially have a 2-1 situation, making your chances of scoring much higher.

Is Braveheart Good for Practices?

If you are a coach reading this and are wondering if this is actually a beneficial drill to do for your team, then you aren’t alone. Personally, I can say that aside from being fun, this drill also brings on many benefits as well.

For one, your players can work on one-on-one defense, which is a crucial part of the sport. 

Also, the goalies get to work on their communication in a new way, and it forces them to be vocal if your goalies have trouble communicating on the net.

Also, I’d say that on the offensive side of things, players can work on their dodges, and also try new things and be creative, something they may not feel comfortable with doing in other drills, such as 6v6.

Overall, braveheart is not only a fun drill, but I do believe there are many benefits to it as well, and it certainly is a great way to mix up a practice. If you are a coach, never be afraid to try new things and mix it up, as it brings a new level of excitement not only for yourself but also for all of your players as well.

What Positions Can Play Braveheart?

Another great thing about braveheart is that any position can play it, so whether you are an attackman or a d-pole, you can play it. Also, there are even tournaments and events that do an all-goalie braveheart as well, which is always fun to watch.

Also, if you are new to the sport of lacrosse, don’t be intimidated by braveheart, as it can be played at all levels, and I highly encourage new players to try it out, so they can get a new view on everything.

Other Lacrosse Variations

There are quite a few variations to the game of lacrosse, such as:

    • Mini-lacrosse is fun to play, as it is usually a relaxed game, and involves mini sticks, a mini-goal, and a mini ball. Essentially, its lacrosse, but shrunk, and can be played anywhere. Whether it be on a field as a serious game or at a family BBQ, it is all up to you.
    • Box lacrosse is also referred to as indoor lacrosse and is played with smaller goals, a smaller field/turf, and there are no long-sticks. Also, the goalies play much differently as well, similar to hockey goalies.
    • Field lacrosse is what you are most likely familiar with, with it being the outdoor version of the game, 6x6 goals, and is considered the “standard” for modern lacrosse. I would also say that this is the most popular version of the game as well, considering that it is growing at a rapid pace, and is considered now the fastest growing sport in the United States, and has a new pro league in the PLL.
    • Finally, the native game, otherwise known as stickball, was and is still played by Native Americans, and even took place over several miles, and doesn’t resemble much as what we see as modern lacrosse today. There were no goals, goalies, long sticks, and so on, just a ball and sticks.

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