During these unprecedented and uncertain times, everyone in the world has a responsibility to do their part to get past this global pandemic. For most of us, that means self-quarantining and exercising social distancing to prevent the spread of this virus. While this is what we all need to do to help out, it is not easy. Keeping mentally and physically healthy during this period can be difficult. Here are 4 things hockey players can do to get through these tough times.
1) Turn a Negative into a Positive
In trying times, focusing on things you love and that will keep you happy is important. With all levels of hockey shut down, from the NHL to Learn to Skate programs, the sport that so many of us turn to for solace is not there on an organized level. Although this is not ideal, it does give hockey players the time to focus on your craft, develop your skills, and work on many things they might not otherwise have time for normally. Turning these negatives into positives through training is a great way to get through this period of isolation.
2) Clean Your Equipment
This is a perfect time to clean, disinfect, and sanitize all your equipment from your gloves to your sticks to your training equipment. This is something we rarely think about and do even less. Now that preventing the spread of germs is so important, it is a great time to do these things. The bonus is that it will help get any germs off your equipment and help it last longer and smell better as well!
3) Get Outside and Snipe Pucks
Even though you have to stay home, it doesn’t mean you can’t go outside by yourself or with a family member. Off-ice, at-home training is allowed during this time of self-isolation and doing this will not only help you stay physically and mentally sharp but also help you be a better player when you get back on the ice. Here are some things to work on at home and the equipment you need to do it.
Accuracy – You need to have a quick release on your shot and be able to pick the corners to become a great goal scorer. To work on these skills at home, check out products like a hockey goalie tarp or a hockey shooter tutor to make shooting more difficult and beneficial than shooting on an empty net.
Dangling – Polish your moves and learn to deke and dangle like a pro. Using dedicated stickhandling devices will help you gain those silky-smooth mitts while learning to keep the puck glued to their stick. Don’t have access to a device, grab a tennis ball and folding chairs and make an at-home obstacle course!
Passing – Get those apples! There are many passing devices that exist on that market that can help improve your game. Look for a device that has a bounce-back feature and you may give and receive passes and even work on one-timers. Another passing accuracy option is to find household objects both large and small that you could pass into. For example, take a larger box or bucket that has a 20 – 30” opening. From there work towards objects with smaller openings all the way down to 5 – 10” wide and see how many pucks you can get in, challenge yourself.
Hustle – Get up every day with a smile on your face and be ready to work hard and progress! The way the best players in the world get to the next level is they simply outwork the competition. It doesn’t matter what level or age group you belong to. Set reachable goals for yourself, then work hard to beat those goals. Once you do, set even loftier goals and keep going! You’ll be amazed with the results. Remember, off-ice training leads to on-ice dominance.
4) Connect with Others
Everyone is in the same boat here so even though you can’t be together in person, that doesn’t mean you and your friends and teammates can’t train “together”. Reach out on social media, use video chat services, create at-home training groups. Show off your sniper skills and challenge your buddies to see how they measure up. Use the hashtag #sniperintraining to go beyond your hockey circle and join with hockey players all over the world doing the same thing as you.
At Snipers Edge Hockey, we know how hard these times are and are doing our best to get through it just like you. We hope we can do a small part to help hockey players get through this by providing great at-home hockey training equipment and a forum for players to share their training and connect with others. Stay safe and use this time to be creative and find a way to strengthen and build your hockey relationships with people across the globe!