Our Men’s & Women’s squads trained together on 30 January 2022, breaking new ground for British Lacrosse. The rules for the new World Lacrosse Sixes format are very similar for men and women, so there’s a lot to learn from each other and together.
We were thrilled to be joined by GB Hockey captain and two-time Olympic medallist Hollie Pearne-Webb. She gave an inspirational talk on what it takes to succeed on the international stage and then had a throw around with the players afterwards.
We caught up with a few of our players to find out what it’s like to be part of the British Lacrosse squads and what they are learning from each other.
How are you enjoying being part of the BL sixes squad?
Resh Panesar: To be at the beginning of a journey that will hopefully take our sport to the Olympics is incredibly exciting. I’ve played lacrosse internationally for a long time and to be included in this team is an absolute honour. The sessions are physically and mentally tough, but they are a ton of fun. Our coaches have done a fantastic job bringing in speakers and guests to motivate us to perform at the highest level we can.
Alex Russell: We have a great group across both teams. The new format makes everything a learning process with lots of different problems and scenarios to work out, which I’m loving. Working with the women’s team has brought more knowledge to the table and has helped both teams in different ways. It also makes us feel like we’re one British Lacrosse team which I haven’t felt before with my home nation.
Hannah Grant: Playing alongside members of the English and Welsh teams is an amazing opportunity and experience. Having competed against each other for years, it’s exciting to bring together the skillsets and knowledge from the different nations into one team.
Hal Dwobeng: It’s the most competitive squad I’ve ever been a part of, and we’re all learning and adapting to a new game.
How are you benefiting?
team culture and vision
British Lacrosse … legacy
Chloe Chan: I think both teams benefited from the weekend together. Everyone was sharing tactics and giving feedback. The games are similar, but I did notice that the men like to operate behind goal more than we do and they take more risks during play. That’s made me consider situations differently and adapt my game.
Resh: We were all really impressed with the women’s footwork, conditioning, and stick skills.
Hal: As goalkeepers, the women are more used to the inside and closer range shots that happen in the Sixes format. We’re learning from their techniques and seeing how to add it to our game.
Iona Dryden: We spoke a lot about learning from the men’s attacking style of play in our Zoom sessions. The women’s Sixes can feel quite a bit more physical, so closer to the men’s game. Their footwork is rapid and they’re willing to rip shots as soon as their hands become free.
What were your takeaways from Hollie Pearne-Webb?
Hal: Listening to her journey from being a new player to the squad to transitioning to a leader as captain was really interesting. She spoke a lot about team culture and how this must come from within and be something that everyone gets on board with.
Resh: The biggest takeaway for me was to be process driven rather than results focused. This helps to build team culture and vision. Seeing the Olympic medals was also really cool!
Hannah: She was so focused and passionate. It was interesting to learn how the hockey team set out their vision, values, and behaviours at the start of each season and then use these, not only to drive them in their training, but to hold themselves and each other accountable to be the best they can be.
Chloe: It really makes you put into perspective the time and effort it takes to be successful and how hard work pays off.
Iona: To leave the sport and the team in a better place than she found it. The reason she continues to play is to give back to the sport to help continue its growth for future talent coming into the system. For me, this is one of my major motivations for being part of British Lacrosse and the legacy we want to leave. We hope our vision of medalling at The World Games will grow lacrosse throughout the UK and worldwide, and to move it closer to being chosen as an Olympic sport in 2028. Whether I’ll still be competing, or whether future talent will have taken over, only time will tell… but I know we’re playing (quite literally) our part in taking the sport to a better place than when I discovered it back in 2010!