Hockey is a sport that is enjoyed by millions of people all over the world. Some play it competitively, some for fun, and others play it for the physical benefits. However, like every sport, playing hockey is more fun and rewarding the better you are.
It is a much better time to score goals or play amazing defense than it is to consistently get outplayed by opponents and struggle on the ice. But how can you go about getting better and improving your skills?
While it isn’t always easy and won’t happen overnight, there are some ways to improve your skills. With that in mind, this guide is going to go over several things you can do (on and off the ice) to get better at hockey.
Practice, Practice, and More Practice
The first tip to improve at hockey is simply to practice. The more work you put into your shooting, skating, stickhandling, shooting, and various other skills, the better you will be. You should practice wherever you get the chance, and make an effort to set goals for yourself.
There is no secret here, as you simply need to put in the work in order to improve. But with enough hard work and dedication, you will see measurable differences in how well you are able to play. Practice with your team, but also don’t be afraid to practice on your own.
Of course, focus your practice sessions on the skills that you want to improve, or the areas where you feel you are weakest. Even professionals practice often, so there is no excuse to put the work in if you want to get better.
Hit the Gym
With hockey being a very physically demanding game, you need to be in good shape if you want to be competitive. As a result, hitting the gym a couple of times a week can help you become stronger, and be better capable of taking hits and maintaining possession of the puck.
But in addition to strength training, there are other things you should work on in the gym. You should work on your cardio to improve your stamina, work on your flexibility, and do agility exercises to be more agile on your skates.
The exact exercises or workouts you do will depend solely on your role on the ice, and the parts of your body that you want to become stronger.
Watch the Pros
Another way to improve your skill is to watch the pros. NHL players are the best of the best, and watching them will surely give you some insight on the right techniques, moves, and other things that you should be working on.
You may learn unique ways to protect or stickhandle the puck, how to play better defense, and so much more. Of course, after watching them play, it’s a good idea to try and practice or work on the types of skills that they did, so you can become proficient with them yourself.
Ensure You’re Using Proper Equipment
This is an underrated tip, but one that can have a significant impact on how well you play. If you are playing with equipment that is too large or too small, it can negatively impact how well you can showcase your skills on the ice. All of your equipment should fit well, and be the right size.
This goes for your helmet, your stick, your protective gear, your skates, and your gloves. Having the wrong size can be dangerous, uncomfortable, and hurt your ability to play well and improve. For example, a wrongly-sized stick can make everything from your shot to passes feel off.
Some people don’t even know how good they can play if they have never had the right gear, so it is well worth picking some up. Sure, buying new gear comes with a cost, but it can help you play better than ever, and do things in a way you never have been able to before.
Eat a Healthy Diet and Get Plenty of Rest
Last, but certainly not least, you need to ensure you are living a healthy lifestyle if you want to play your best on the ice. Two big aspects of this healthy lifestyle are your diet and how much you sleep.
When it comes to diet, you should be eating a balanced diet full of proteins, veggies, fruits, and grains. Your diet should be rich in vitamins and minerals, and you should do your best to avoid overly processed foods when possible.
You should also aim to get around eight hours of sleep every night so that you can feel physically and mentally rested, and capable of putting the time into improving your skills.
If you eat poorly and never sleep, you simply won’t have the energy or motivation to hone your craft and see much improvement on the ice at all.
By doing these aforementioned things and being consistent when it comes to working on your skills, you should be well on your way to playing better hockey than ever before. It can take some hard work and dedication, but is well worth it for the results on the ice.About Kale