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Building Hockey Sense in the Off-Season

By Hockey IntelliGym, 05/15/18, 11:30AM EDT


Translating off-ice training into skill improvement

Photo Credit: Ted Woo/Picture Day Photography

The summer months are here and for many the skates, sticks and ice have given way to bats, balls and blades of grass. And while young athletes may yearn for the start of hockey season in a few months, concentrating on other sports and off-ice activities during the offseason may be the best way to prepare for the drop of the puck next fall.

Mentally recharging should not be overlooked, as “burnout” due to extreme focus on just one sport can force great hockey players out of the game.

Players can learn lessons from other sports that translate into key hockey concepts as well. For hockey players especially, there has been evidence of carry-over between ‘invasion’ sports such as soccer and lacrosse in tactics and reading the play.

Additionally, off-ice hockey sense has been scientifically shown to be trainable. One approach is using a software-based training tool called Hockey IntelliGym. It’s designed to help develop players’ cognitive abilities, can be a perfect fit in the summer when kids may not be facing the additional important time constraints from school.

A player needs to only train two times per week to see gains with IntelliGym. The off-season and being out of school means that young athletes can easily complete their training and see big gains when they return to the ice.

Photo Credit: Kevin Sousa Photography

Adapted from a program originally designed to help develop Israeli fighter pilots, the IntelliGym focuses on developing “hockey I.Q.” or hockey sense. Players should view the IntelliGym like a workout for the brain.

Training hockey sense in the off-season has a strong impact when a player returns to the ice. Indeed, hockey sense is a great equalizer that helps give players an edge - even if they are undersized or weren’t born with Patrick Kane’s ability to stickhandle.

Most importantly during the off-season, kids should continue to have fun with family and friends no matter what the activity, so that when the weather turns this fall, they are ready to hit the ice flying.


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Hockey IntelliGym is a breakthrough cognitive training technology that hones hockey sense and has been scientifically proven to improve player safety. IntelliGym has been used by thousands of players - from OHL teams to last year's OMHA Minor Midget champions - to heighten spatial awareness and foster better anticipation of the play. Recent research from the University of Delaware suggests training with IntelliGym is a great way to reduce concussions and other on ice injuries. The software, which can be used on any computer, can be purchased here.

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