Each year, there is a lot of pressure for hockey players to get the most out of their hockey training regimens.
From off-season to in-season training, every athlete has a unique set of strengths and limitations that require conscious attention to help them achieve their goals.
While no two athletes are designed the exact same way, there are also unique qualities to every sport requiring a focused set of strategies, considerations and demands for optimal success.
No matter the age, position or skill level, it is essential for athletes to have a clear understanding of their long-term training goals to ensure that their training programs are effectively growing their athletic performance as planned.
Although there are an infinite number of ways to train, here are the top 10 common mistakes to avoid when training for the hockey season ahead:
Mistake #1: Training Like Other Athletes
When implementing a training regimen, it’s important to consider your body’s positioning needs. Unlike other athletes, hockey players spend a lot of time in a bent-over position on skates, meaning they are pushing their legs out to the side and squatting much more than they might for any other type of sport.
With this in mind, it’s essential to adapt a programming approach that will tone the body and best serve them on the ice.
Mistake #2: Static vs Dynamic Stretching
While static stretching can be very effective after a hockey game or workout, there are several studies that have confirmed they might have a negative effect on performance when used before an intense workout.
Instead, opt for dynamic stretches that involve a full range of motion to activate and warm up the muscles needed to be on top of your game.
Mistake #3: Skipping Soft Tissue Recovery
It is no secret that hockey places a lot of strain on the adductor (inner) and abductor (outter) leg muscles. Unfortunately, many athletes have a misconception that stretching is all that is necessary to avoid the risk of muscle overuse and injury.
In addition to the importance of stretching, it is highly recommended that hockey players spend some time foam rolling their leg muscles before workouts, practices and games to ensure soft tissue recovery is always well-maintained.
Mistake #4: Favouring Back Squats Over Front Squats
While back squats are fantastic for the leg and glute muscles, they can also place a lot of strain on the body that is already in a bent-over position for the majority of gameplay.
Alternatively, front squats can reduce the pressure load on the spine by focusing on the center of gravity, providing relief and balance to the backside of the body.
Mistake #5: Avoiding Single-Leg Workouts
From lunges and Bulgarian split-squats to single-leg Romanian deadlifts, single-leg exercises are a key part of effective training for hockey players.
As skating involves pushing off of one leg at a time, these single-leg training routines are essential to improving lower-body stability, increasing stride power and preventing the risk of any in-game injuries.
Mistake #6: Overcompensating With Wrist Training
There is a common misconception amongst hockey players that slap shots rely solely on the strength of your wrists, when in reality there is a lot more to it.
With movements that begin at the feet, travel through the legs to the torso, shoulders, arms and wrists – a powerful shot requires the athlete’s full-body strength and core rotational power.
Mistake #7: Focusing Only On Your Strength
While it is natural for people to gravitate towards what they enjoy and away from what they find challenging, it is the challenging parts of hockey training that will give you the most effective growth on the ice.
By focusing on their limitations, hockey players have the opportunity to bridge the gaps in their game skills to make them stronger, more confident assets to their team.
Mistake #8: Neglecting Nutrition
In addition to your training routine, having a proper grasp of food and nutrition can play a colossal role in a hockey player’s overall athletic success.
With the help of in-house chefs and nutritionists, there are a number of hockey programs available to educate, encourage and provide athletes with the nutritional resources they need to support their long-term goals.
Mistake #9: Not Tracking Progress
Logically speaking, progress tracking can monitor the difference between seeing notable results and getting stuck in a performance plateau.
When working with experienced coaches, it is important to keep an ongoing log of your progress so that your training program can be tweaked and tailored to achieve your desired results.
Mistake #10: Forgetting to Have Fun
While finding the right hockey training program can seem a bit overwhelming at first, it’s important to make sure that you are still having fun.
Despite the hard work, sweat and strategy planning, make a point to work with trainers, coaches, nutritionists and physiotherapists who inspire you, as this will create an effective environment for you to thrive towards your long-term hockey performance goals!
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Interested in learning more about our hockey training programs?
Feel free to contact Kelly Gallant at firstname.lastname@example.org to book a complimentary athletic consultation.