Many hockey specialists and coaches profess that before anything else, a good hockey player should be an athletic player. What this means is that in order to achieve their full potential, young hockey players should develop skills beyond hockey and practice other sports.
The A,B,C’s of physical literacy (agility, balance, and coordination) come from playing a variety of sports, builds a solid foundation for athletic success, physical fitness and more importantly, staying active for life.
Hockey greats such as Bobby Orr and Steven Stamkos and professional coaches profess that complete athletes make better hockey players and that specializing too early is not the best for kid’s development.
When you say somebody is a good athlete, you usually mean that person has good agility, balance and coordination. But it is not just sports which require athletic agility. Every active game, such as tag or leap frog, requires agility, balance and coordination. Thus, by playing enjoyable games, you can improve your fitness and getting fit can be fun. Look for things in your training area you can incorporate in to the training such as playground equipment, rocks, curbs, and even lines in the sidewalk or empty parking lot slots.
Co-ordination is important to be able to move your body parts in the correct sequence of motion to move from balanced to unbalanced positions and then bring yourself back in balance again. It’s about being in control of your body while you are out of balance. Balance, agility and co-ordination training, besides being fun to do, can train you to become more aware of balance and how to effectively control being off balance. It can be done off ice, on ice, in the form of drills, or even by participating in another sport. Gymnastics, soccer, badminton, tennis, lacrosse, and martial arts are all great sports for promoting co-ordination, balance and agility.
So, if you want to ensure your son or daughter achieves their potential in hockey or other sports, and if you want them to develop to their potential physically and mentally, make sure that they develop their athletic abilities and physical literacy by being involved in other sports and activities.