5 Ways to Improve Your Hockey Skill off the Ice

Off season training is incredibly important. To be an elite hockey player, you have to train nearly year round, with a few months to rest. Unless you have your own personal rink, or a lot of money for a personal trainer that comes with a rink, you likely will do the majority of your training off the ice. There are many options available to you to continue to develop your skills, even if you don’t have ice available to you.

 

  1. Hit the driveway

We likely all played hockey in the driveway, or in the street as a kid, and that doesn’t have to stop now! Pick up a net, grab a stick and some pucks and get to work! There are many websites and sports stores that offer full sets that would include things like a net, a goalie buddy, pucks, and a shooting pad. If you use your actual stick, and your actual glove, it’ll feel a lot more like a real game as well.

What’s paramount here, to get the correct feel, and to save your stick, is the shooting pad. It’s a pad that you have on the ground that feels a lot like ice, and acts like ice. Your pucks, and stick, will react as if they are on the ice, which can give simulate the feeling of being back on the pond.

  1. Bike

I know, I know. We all hate the idea of cardio, including hitting the bike. We’d rather lift weights, or just straight up play shinny. However, there’s a reason that NHL players are fitness tested on bikes. There’s a reason that they cool down after games on bikes. Stationary or not, the bike is a great place to build up the muscles in your legs that you use most when you skate. Running is fine, but its not great for your shins. Biking will give you the leg strength that you need to power through the defense, or keep up with a speedy forward.

 

  1. Throw around a ball

This can be done in a lot of ways, but throwing a ball around can actually help your hand eye coordination. Not necessarily throwing a baseball across a diamond, but focus more on short tosses with a tennis ball. The best part is, all you need is a tennis ball, and a wall. If you focus on making really short tosses against a wall, and catching the ball with the same hand, you begin to train your eyes to know what’s coming next. This is especially good for goalies, as many NHL goalies do this before games to connect their eyes and their hands. However, for skaters, hand eye coordination is just as important. How many times during a game do you reach for the puck with a hand, either off a deflection, or a clearing attempt? It happens more than you think, and you need to be ready for it.

 

  1. Play soccer

While goalies throw a tennis ball against a wall, the rest of the skaters are usually playing soccer (or keep it up) in the hall way to loosen up. While keeping up hand eye (or, maybe foot eye) coordination, it also loosens, and strengthens, your leg and groin muscles. While it won’t increase your cardio like riding a bike will, it will give you the necessary flexibility to play a more well rounded game.

 

  1. Watch instructional videos

Let’s be honest, as much as we think we know what works best for us, there are plenty of people out there who are much more experienced, and are smarter than we are when it comes to skill development. With an endless amount of internet out there, it might seem intimidating, and it’s very easy to get lost. CoachTube has a comprehensive website, full of hockey instructional videos across all sports, including hockey. If you haven’t lurked around the site yet to find some of our best videos, please do! You’ll find all sorts of videos, from trained professionals, that can show you what’s necessary (and helpful) for you in your off ice training.

 

As much as we’d all like to be on the ice year round, it’s just not possible for many of us. Hopefully you can find some off ice training that gives you what you need, while still being enjoyable.

USA Hockey Jersey

Formerly known as the Amateur Hockey Association of the United States, USA Hockey is currently ranked 4th on International Ice Hockey Federation rankings for men.

It was founded back in 1937 and ever since its foundation, this organization has been headed by 5 different presidents. In addition to supporting players to turn them into better athletes, the USA Hockey offers certification programs for the match officials as well as coaches for providing them a better knowledge of the game of Ice Hockey. At the moment, more than 1 million people are members of this federation which include players from the different youth leagues as well.

You might not be familiar with the fact but Ice Hockey used to be a part of Summer Olympics. It made its debut in this competition in 1920 and it was none other than the USA national team which won the Silver medal that year in a rather plain blue jersey. It was the only time when Ice Hockey was played in Summer Olympics before being transferred permanently to Winter Olympics from 1924.

Penn State Hockey Jersey

Previously known as the Penn State Icers, Penn State Hockey – which represents the Pennsylvania State University – is one of the most popular college hockey teams in the entire U.S. They were inaugurated in 1938 only to be dropped 7 years later due to the shortage of facilities. It was then restarted in 1971 and interestingly, Penn State is the first Ice Hockey team which played in Europe during the 1975-76 campaign. At that time, the there home arena was Greenberg Ice Pavilion which is also known as Penn State Ice Pavilion.

The Pegula Ice Arena is the new home of Penn State hockey which can accommodate no less than 5782 fans. It was opened in 2013 and was named after Jim and Terry Pegula who donated $100 Million Dollars to the Penn State Hockey. This is a multi-purpose arena as in addition to Ice Hockey, it is used for various other activities.

Penn State is currently the reigning champion of the Big Ten Conference after defeating Wisconsin in the final. In front of a fully packed Joe Louis Arena, Guy Gadowsky’s men defeated the 2014 champions with a 2-1 score line.

You can find more reviews about hockey at sportsambassadors.org

Ohio State Hockey Jersey

Another member of the Big Ten conference, the Buckeyes represents one of the US’ top universities, the Ohio State University. Currently headed by Steve Rohlik who is in his fourth season with the team, he became the 9th coach in the history of this side after replacing Mark Osiecki in 2013. They play at the Value City Arena which can accommodate no less than 17,500 people.

When the Central Collegiate Hockey Association was established in 1971, the Ohio State Hockey was one of the founding members of this conference. In fact, it was none other than this team which won the first-ever CCHA men’s tournament after defeating Saint Louis University in 1972. After CCHA was dissolved in 2013, the Ohio State joined Big Ten Conference.

Michigan Hockey Jersey

As evident from the name, the Michigan Ice Hockey team represents Michigan State University. After the resignation of former coach Tom Anastos, the Spartans are now headed by Danton Cole who took over the responsibilities in April 2017. Interestingly, Cole used to play for the Spartans before going on to play at the professional level. He represented the likes of Winnipeg Jets, New York Islanders, and Chicago Blackhawks along with a handful of other famous clubs before announcing his retirement in 2000.

The Spartans play in a famous green and white jersey and just like Ohio State Hockey, the Michigan State Ice Hockey team is an integral part of the Big Ten Conference. As per their record in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association, they have 11 CCHA tournament titles to their name. They play at the Munn Ice Arena which has a capacity of 6,470 fans.

Kids Hockey Jersey

While you’re here, we’ve decided to give you a bonus ball. When Ice Hockey is all about speed, finesse, and accuracy, it isn’t easy for a newbie to learn this sport without proper knowledge. Especially for the kids, playing this sport for the very first time can get a bit tricky. Combine it with the risk of unwanted injuries and it certainly becomes an uphill task for the newcomers.

So here’s the deal.

We’ve prepared this guide – incorporating some of the useful tips regarding Ice Hockey – to help all those kids who want to enjoy this sport without getting themselves injured.

Learn the Rules

Ice Hockey is a sport which is played two teams featuring 6 players each. It includes 5 skaters and 1 goaltender. When the skaters are there to score points, it is the up to the goaltender to prevent the opposing team from doing so. Two nets are integrated on each side while puck – a rubber ball – is used to play this game.

Generally, every team has a roster of 20 players while an unlimited number of substitutions are allowed in Ice Hockey. A typical game consists of three different periods, with each of them lasting up to 20 minutes each. If the game is still tied after the regular interval, it goes to overtime and then a shootout.

Necessary Equipment

For playing hockey in a structured manner, players are required to wear a series of safety equipment for their own good. It includes skates, helmets, mouth guard, shoulder pads, elbow pads and other such accessories.

Apart from the above-said accessories, additional safety equipment is required for the goaltenders such as chest protectors, shoulder protectors, goalie pads, sticks, and skates. So depending on the position on which a kid wants to play, it is imperative to purchase all the necessary equipment before setting foot in a hockey arena.

Learn to Skate

When it comes to skating in hockey, it isn’t an easy process. Even for the most experienced of Ice-skaters, it requires a greater degree of skills as compared to regular skating. From taking sharp turns to stopping just at the right time, one has to have a considerable experience.

Before learning how to play hockey, kids should spend a considerable amount of time on developing their skating skills. They should practice it for a regular interval of time until it becomes as natural as regular walking.

Difference between Major and Minor Penalties

When it comes to Ice Hockey, the major difference between the major and minor penalties is the length of the time a player has to spend in the penalty box after committing a foul. When minor penalty lasts up to 2 minutes, a major penalty results in 5 minutes of penalty box time. For that time, the team isn’t allowed to substitute a new player as they have to play one man down for the entire length of the time.

Here are some scenarios which might lead you to a major or a minor penalty.

  • Using the stick in a dangerous manner
  • Checking other players from behind
  • Targeting a player’s head

 

How to choose inline hockey skates?

Inline hockey is an exciting contact sport. This game is an adaptation of roller hockey that is almost the same with ice hockey. It is played by having two teams consisted of four skaters and a goalie. It is played on a dry rink.

Inline hockey equipment is almost the same with ice hockey. It comes in different names depending on the country where it is played. Ball hockey, inline hockey, long stick hockey, Dek hockey, road hockey, skater hockey are a few of its names.

Inline hockey skates are used for this game. This game is becoming popular in Britain because you can play it on any dry surface.

In choosing inline hockey skates, you must look for the ones that you are most comfortable with wearing. The inline hockey skates should be fit perfectly on your feet as it will affect your performance in the game.

See more information here.

Usually, inline hockey skates sizes are about one or 1 1/2 sizes smaller than your shoe size. There is also this process which is called skate baking, where it softens your skates and molds it perfectly around your foot.

You should also consider the bearings and wheels when choosing your inline skates. For indoor use, wheels are softer while harder wheels are for outdoors. When buying wheels for your skates, you should know the correct size because some skates have the Hi-Lo set-up where wheels are the heels are bigger and on the toes are smaller wheels.

Choose the bearings which have better grades as it will make you skate faster. You can test the skates first before buying.

 

Where to buy Inline Hockey Skates?

When buying inline roller skates, there are a few things to bear in mind. Here are a few tips that can help you.

You can buy inline hockey skates on an on-site store of a recreational center. It can be an expensive choice but considering that you will be assisted or advised by professionals, it could be worthy.

If you have a smaller budget in mind, you can check out some sporting good stores in your local area. You can also look into sporting good stores which sell used sports equipment. Almost all the items that are sold in these stores are almost brand new. It means they were used for a few weeks or days and is completely in a good, working condition.

You can also buy in thrift shop or a sporting warehouse. If you are keen in looking for good inline skates and in a budget, you may want to give it a try. You can also look for inline skates on online shops, but you have to know your exact size, the brand, and model of the skates.

You may want to go to a store for an actual fitting of the skates before ordering it online. Make sure that they have a return policy in case there are some problems or defects. You can buy the right protective gears as well.