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Building Your Strength in the Off-Season

By Ontario Minor Hockey Association, 06/22/23, 4:00PM EDT


Self-improvement that players can work on at home

With the middle of the off-season here and the warm weather, it is a perfect combination to spend time outside and be physically active with different activities. The outdoors have many health benefits and many sports like basketball and tennis offer skills that are transferrable to hockey. It’s important to stay active throughout the year and there are many ways to stay involved in getting ready for the next hockey season without ever lacing up skates or picking up a stick.

Daily routines aim to improve a player’s agility, balance, coordination and speed and is a great development opportunity to grow physical literacy skills and at-home dry-land training. They can require minimal equipment and can be done almost anywhere, like in a basement or backyard. All you need is a dedicated space and some sort of timer and pylons. Players should wear comfortable athletic clothing and footwear and work with a partner and have supervision. It’s important to start slow by practicing each movement before increasing speed and intensity.

Taking advantage of being outside in the summer is something that you will look back during the cold winter months and be thankful you did. Use the off-season as a time to enjoy nature and explore local hikes and trails around you without being distracted by screens. Playing other sports and building your coordination combined with healthy eating helps to create a better overall athlete and reduces muscle overuse.

Age-appropriate movement is key in properly developing an athlete. When kids play it doesn’t necessarily have to be structured. Playing games like tag or hopscotch with a group of friends, throwing a ball around or going on a trampoline all use different muscle groups and get kids moving. As kids get older, creating an exercise plan that can be done a few times a week focuses on building core power and stamina. This also adds the responsibility for the athlete to make sure they are staying healthy and following their routine as days go by.

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