Hockey Canada’s lead strength and conditioning coach shares tips and tricks to help players stay active at home and start preparations for next season
While the 2019-20 hockey season was forced to an early end due to the
COVID-19 pandemic, there is no reason why the focus cannot begin to shift
to next season.
One positive of social distancing is the opportunity for players of all
ages and abilities to focus on improving away from the rink.
Off-ice training is just as important for hockey development as being on the ice. It allows for athletes to focus on other ways to enhance their on-ice skills.
Let’s break down the ways to improve at home to make sure players are ready
to lace up the skates in the fall.
PART 8: MULTI-SPORT
While it can be tough being away from the rink and off the ice for such a
long period of time, this forced time out of your skates will allow you to
turn your attention to the participation of other sports.
The term multi-sport athlete means that through the developmental
years or stages of long-term athlete development (active start,
FUNdamentals, learn to train), athletes are exposed to many different
sports instead of focusing all of their time on a single sport.
There are numerous benefits to multi-sport exposure for athletes,
— improved movement abilities (physical literacy)
— increased physical fitness
— skill transfer across sports (hand-eye coordination)
— less chance of developing an over-use injury, which requires time away
from their specific sport
— less likely to develop burn-out, which causes an athlete to quit their
sport later in life
A great way to develop physical literacy is to challenge yourself in
different ways, using different methods. Challenge your hand-eye
coordination with a tennis racket or lacrosse stick next time you want to
play catch or shoot pucks. Increase the intensity of your agility and speed
sessions while playing tag with a sibling or parent. Multi-sport
participation can also include learning new physical skills like juggling
with your hands or feet (like a soccer player).
Learning and engaging in new and challenging sports are an excellent way to
pass the time indoors – and to add some fun new activities into your daily