Every player who wants to excel is working hard on the ice. But it’s your off-ice training hat’s a great opportunity to get an edge over other players. If you want to get ahead and not fall behind the competition, here are three keys to your off-ice training.
Off-ice is the place to get strong. With general physical growth young players get stronger and practicing hard will build some strength, but it’s a lot tougher. If you can get in the gym 2-4 days a week for you’ll see incredible gains.
Strength has a correlation with reduced injury risk, lower-body power, and on-ice speed. To get these benefits, a hockey player needs to increase his or her athletic strength. This means your strength training must be ground based, use multi-muscle/joint exercises, and include elements of both force production and rapid muscle contraction.
While it may seem to be counterintuitive, training to improve your hockey game doesn’t always mean more hockey drills. When you increase your overall athleticism through dynamic movement training or even playing another sport, you challenge your coordination, functional strength, and have fun at the same time.
Building a broad base of athletic skills can help reduce the risk of overuse injuries and increase your long-term potential. When an NHL team has a choice between two equal players, they typically pick the one who is more athletic across a broad spectrum.
Hopefully you worked hard in the off-season to get fit. When you are in-season, don’t lose your fitness. No one wants to go into the new season fit, only to lose some of it if practices are running slow or there’s limited ice time.
Keeping up your base of aerobic and anaerobic fitness is key even if you’re not on the ice. In-season, one day of longer aerobic work helps maintain or build a good base and help you recover from the strength and power work. Another 1-2 days can be used for higher intensity intervals and circuit style workouts.
Use the your off-ice to get an edge. If you’re fast now, you can get faster. The strong can be stronger, and the fit can be fitter. Imagine where you want to be at the start of next season and get to work!