If your season ended and you’re ready to kick back, here are 5 off-season tips for hockey players
By Chris Ramirez
These off-season tips will help get you on the right track
Unless you are a diehard year-round hockey player like we are, your season has come to an end. Even if you stretched your playing time with some spring hockey, you’re now facing a few months with no ice to skate on. These off-season tips for hockey players will help get you on the right track, and ready for the coming season.
Taking some time off from playing hockey is not such a bad thing. Maybe you need a bit of time to heal some nagging injuries. Or there may be some trips you’d like to take that just aren’t possible with a full hockey schedule. Whatever the reason, if you’re serious about playing your best when your next season comes around, you need to prepare for it now.
#1: A Time to Heal
Generally, youth hockey players take a lot less time to heal. As you get older, your body needs more time to recuperate. Some of the more common hockey injuries involve the shoulders, knees, and groin (personally, I’ve had to deal with all of the above). If you’ve been putting off tending to that shoulder or knee surgery, now is the time to see your doctor and get that done as soon as possible.
Everyone knows that even in the best of situations, hockey is a rough sport. Regardless of whether you play in a checking or non-checking league, you’re bound to get hit by someone, intentionally or not (it could even be your own teammate). And sooner or later a slap shot or errant hockey stick will leave its mark on your poor body. Also, those nasty groin pulls—a common condition among hockey players—requires a decent amount of recovery time off the ice.
#2: Keep Active
Sure, a bit of R&R is a good thing. But too much lazing around and you’ll soon find yourself packing on the pounds. It’s hard enough dragging yourself around the ice with the equipment alone, which could weigh up to 20 lbs if you factor in the sweat. Now imagine what that extra weight can do to your game. In my humble opinion, I’m slow enough as it is on the ice; which is why I choose to watch the calories.
Many hockey players enjoy playing golf in the off-season, which can be beneficial as swinging a golf club works on many of the same muscles used in shooting a puck. Maintaining your cardio fitness is important. Running or bike riding not only provide an awesome cardio workout, they’re great for keeping your leg muscles in shape. Playing tennis helps with hand-eye coordination. What’s more, you can do either of these with your friends or family.
#3: Strength & Conditioning
Weightlifting helps build muscle, which in turn increases stamina. There are a number of things you can do with weights that will help you get ready for the new hockey season. Our “Weight Training for Hockey Players” article breaks it all down for you, detailing specific types of weight training and its benefits for hockey players.
#4: Off-Season Stickhandling
Stickhandling is a skill that is great to work on off the ice. Ice Hockey Systems has put together a series of off-ice stickhandling drills. You’ll find their videos helpful because all that’s needed is a ball and a couple of pucks and you can work on your stickhandling skills at home.
If you’re really serious about working on your off-ice stickhandling skills, consider the Marsblade roller frame. This article explains what it can do for your game.
#5: Cool Off at the Rink
Finally, many rinks remain open all year long, providing the perfect opportunity for you to keep your legs moving and get a good cardio workout in at the same time. And if you’re up for it, there are usually open hockey sessions that you can suit up for. There’s no better way to cool off on a hot summer day!
As always, check with your doctor before undertaking any diet or fitness regimen