Photo Credit: Kevin Sousa Photography
Can you believe that another hockey season is already here? It's getting easier to think about now that the temperature outside is inching ever closer to the one inside the rink. With school underway, don't fall behind on getting in the swing of hockey.
A lot can change in the off-season. Players grow over the summer and acquire new skills playing different sports. While everyone’s schedules are a bit less compact in the off-season, you don’t want to find yourself scrambling just before the first practice or game and realize that you aren’t prepared for the upcoming season.
Being organized off the ice helps limit the headaches that last minute surprises may cause. Put your mind at ease by going through this checklist and making sure you are ready for hockey.
Parents know all too well how fast their children grow. This isn’t just limited to clothes and shoes. As players age, they will need to be fitted for new equipment. Make sure that they can still fit comfortably into their skates and that their stick is the proper size. In running shoes, the end of the stick should reach between a player’s chin and nose. Double check other equipment like shoulder pads, helmets and shin pads. These often come with adjustable sizing to increase the lifespan of the gear. Get fitted for a new mouthguard if necessary as well. Playing in ill-fitting equipment is not only uncomfortable but unsafe.
This can wait until closer to the first time on the ice but getting your skates sharpened is a must before the season. After months of not being in use, the blades will likely have become dull. Having sharpened skates helps to increase stability and ease mobility on the ice, especially while making turns. This is also a good time to check on the overall condition of the skates, most importantly the sizing as mentioned above.
Photo Credit: Ted Woo/Picture Day Photography
Try and plan your outside schedule around the season as best as possible to avoid any conflicting dates. The season is long and hockey can take up a lot of evenings and weekends, but it’s recommended to try to get ahead of the calendar to work around any double bookings that might pop up. Everyone will understand if you will need to miss a game or practice on occasion, just try not to make it a last minute thing or a habit.
Try to plan your meals ahead of time and make sure they pack a healthy punch. Get your body on a normal sleep schedule by going to bed at regular hours - this often takes a few days for your body to get used to. Factor in the time it takes to get to and from school and the rink as well as dedicating time to finishing homework. All of this will help you get ahead of the group before the first set of games.
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