Photo Credit: Picture Day Photography
As we head toward the holidays and get ready to (hopefully) find some shiny new Hockey gear under the Christmas tree, and find time to watch the World Junior Championships, it’s great time to reflect on the initial phase of the season, look forward, and set goals.
Here are a few New Years resolutions for the Hockey player in your life, aimed at making the next phase of the season as good as it can be:
Where do you want to be in a month? 6 weeks? A year? Reflect on how far you’ve come and where you want the next year to take you. Make sure to write down these goals and keep them nearby for reference, to track them, and to amend them depending on how the next phase of this season and the next year evolve. You’ll be shocked to see how far you can come. Make them SMART - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant/rewarding, and Time-bound/trackable.
While it’s tempting to spend all your time on the ice, investing some time in a sport that complements your skill training can have huge benefits, physically and mentally. Yoga is fantastic for flexibility, balance, and strength while swimming builds endurance, boosts circulation, and is great cardio training. Both these sports also challenge and build your ability to focus and be mindful. Not into these? Martial arts, soccer, lacrosse, and tennis are also great options for hockey players.
It’s no secret that eating right and properly fueling your body are a huge part of performance. This year, make a commitment to fueling your body properly not just before and after a game, but all week long. This includes lots of whole, fuel-boosting carbohydrates, protein to build and repair tissues, fruits/veggies, healthy fat, and lots of hydration. There are tons of thorough resources available online or consider consulting your family doctor or a nutritionist.
Having a routine is a perfect way not just to make sure you have your hockey bag full of everything you need, but that your mind is prepared. Think about what best prepares you physically and mentally for a game, make a list, and before each game or practice, channel your inner Santa and check it twice (or just once).
Take advantage of off-ice time to work on your hockey sense. The Hockey Intelligym is a computer-based hockey sense training technology that improves awareness and on-ice decision making. Using technology originally designed to train fighter pilots, the program helps athletes improve their awareness, anticipation, decision making, concentration, and execution, which in turn improves their performance and reduces their chances of injury. Thousands of players of all levels have used it to get a leg up on the competition.
Bring on 2019!
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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.