Better Hockey Shape
Did you know that playing video games before bed can actually prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep?
It’s true. While video games may be good for hand-eye coordination, they shouldn’t be played before bed because your brain is still racing through Grand Theft Auto and you’re not getting into the right R.E.M. cycle.
The shoot ’em up, blow ’em up video games with a lot of screen changes, and even action movies, have the same effect.
So the next time you want to play that last level in your video game, remember that even the Colorado College hockey players are not allowed to play video games the night before a game.
Building strength is not all about how much weight you can lift. You can be the smallest guy on the team and still be the hardest one to knock off the puck.
Resistance is the key to developing strength and power. Being able to pull or push through your own weight will teach your muscles how to compensate for that resistance so that once you step out on the ice, your stride is more powerful and you become a stronger force.
Building A Better Core
A Healthier Lifestyle
A healthier lifestyle is much more than just eating right. While it is still important to make sure you’re not eating fast food burgers everyday, you also need to make sure you are training right and getting enough sleep.
More is best to a certain extent, but taking time off to be just a kid is what most athletes miss out on.
For the younger kids, parents need to take an active role in making sure that players are developing good habits at home. There is not much you can control once your kid hits the ice, but at home, you can regulate what your kids eat, how much they train, when they go to sleep and when they need to focus on school. Habits formed now will follow them throughout their playing days.
Improving Your Hockey Sense
Most players in the past developed hockey sense – the ability to read the ice – by spending countless hours on a local pond or backyard rink. Since those days have pretty much gone the way of the wooden hockey stick, players must find different ways to develop their hockey sense.
Getting off the couch and stepping away from the Xbox is a great start. Any opportunity you have to have a stick and a puck (or ball) in your hands is a great start. Whether it’s putting together a game of street hockey with friends or playing knee hockey in your basement with your brother, playing without coach or parent interference will allow you to figure things out on your own, and that will then translate to the ice.
On the ice, small area games are great training methods because you have to learn to read and react quickly with the puck. And even with the high cost of ice time, coaches should still find time to dump a bunch of pucks in the center of the ice and let players play.
You should listen to music when you are working out on your own, in a safe environment. Make sure you’re not on the street near traffic or in a gym setting where things can go wrong if you can’t hear someone yell a warning.
Try to avoid bringing your iPod to a training session with a strength and conditioning coach. They are there to coach you, not babysit. If you’re tuned into your tunes, you’re probably tuning out your coach.
Be careful about what you listen to when you are in a recovery work out, like riding a stationary bike after a game. When the tempo picks
up in the song, then your tempo on the bike also picks up, defeating the purpose of a recovery ride.
Be A Better Teammate
A Better Shot
Like everything else in hockey, practice makes perfect. Find a technique that works for you and get outside with a makeshift net and shoot.
Repetition will make the motions seem natural, so when you do get on the ice, you won’t have to think about how to take the next shot. The key is repetition, repetition, repetition.
It’s also important to practice all types of shots, and from different angles. Joe Sakic of the Colorado Avalanche spends time at every practice shooting from various angles and positions, including off the wrong foot and from his knees, because you are seldom in the perfect position for a shot on goal.
Every one, at one point or another, wants a set of washboard abs. However, as hockey players, having six-pack abs means you’re giving up something more important – body fat.
In order to have visible abs, your body fat must be very low, but that means that your gas tank is low. You need the body fat to burn as fuel when you are active.
Six-pack abs are certainly nice to look at, but you could be sacrificing performance.
The Brain Game
Special thanks to Mark Stephenson, Jay Dawes and Greg Infantolino of the National Strength and Conditioning Association for their help with this feature.