The hockey season is all wrapped up and taking a break from the sport keeps you fresh mentally and physically for when it’s time to head back to the rink. With the summer months right around the corner there are many ways you can stay active while doing other fun activities and improve on your skills through other physical games.
Many summer sports offer transferrable skills to hockey while also taking advantage of warmer weather and a more relaxed schedule. Playing other sports uses different muscles than hockey and can teach other body movements to build a stronger overall athlete. It also gives another opportunity to meet a new group of people and teammates and try something new.
Here are some fun activities to try out this summer:
Canada’s other national sport, lacrosse offers many similar traits as hockey. Players are constantly moving and needing to be aware of where the ball is as well as where other teammates are. There is a familiar positional aspect to hockey. Passing and shooting require arm strength as well as accuracy.
Spacing is very important in many sports and soccer is no different. With feet being the main point of contact for ball movement, soccer requires a different muscle focus than hockey. On defence, teams play either man or zone coverage, learning new techniques depending on what works best. Soccer can boost a player’s speed and leg power. The footwork required can help players become craftier on the ice.
Often a game of pin-point accuracy, tennis can boost a player’s hand-eye coordination and there is a lot of stop-and-start as well as back-and-forth, teaching players directional movements. Players need to anticipate where the ball will land in their court as well as where it will be after a bounce and which shot is best to return it. There is quick decision making necessary along with incorporating and reading different spins on the ball.
Sometimes the simplest activities are the most fun. Running around in a park or playing low structure games you’d find with any group in a playground can be the most rewarding. Grab a group of friends, head outside and use your creativity.
The 5-on-5 team game is similar to hockey and requires a commitment on both offence and defence. There is jumping required which isn't a typical movement in hockey. Players learn to read defences and communicate with teammates to take high efficiency shots.
No activity offers more use of the number of muscles that swimming requires. The sport is great exercise for building overall strength and is a great way to stay cool while being outside. Make sure you have permission and supervision before going into any water.
The OMHA Players Club offers multiple challenges aimed at improving specific hockey skills. Participants can work at their own pace and can complete the challenges all without needing to leave the house. Plus, those who send in a completed tracking sheet are eligible to win prizes from Gongshow Gear.
What are you going to try this summer?
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