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Honing Your Hockey Proficiency

Mar 1, 2008
Athletes for any sport cannot perform with his or her best without appropriate training. No matter how naturally gifted an athlete is at any game or sport, there is still an indispensable need to hone or improve those innate skills and acquire even more. Athletes for hockey are no different.

All the greatest players in the world underwent extensive training and incorporated their acquired skills with the talents they were endowed with. Simply stated, training is of prime importance. It cannot be ignored because there is always room for improvement in sports-related skills.

Flexibility is important, though it is admittedly overlooked in the physical grounding aspect. Some players give little importance to flexibility and treat this crucial facet as half hearted stretching performances after practicing on speed, strength and endurance.

For quicker and speedier movements and for stamina to sustain the hard skating in hockey, there is a need to condition the cardiovascular system of the body. Muscles should be conditioned to assist in the building up of power, endurance and strength. Focusing on power and strength in training routines is as important as paying attention to flexibility. Particularly, the step-up routine is an excellent training because it targets glut-hamstring groups of muscles that are essential for development of a hockey player's speed. Additionally, the stick handling routine can improve speed greatly, just as it develops eye-and-stick coordination, timing, puck control, precision, and consistency.

Conditioning a hockey player's strength is not to be overlooked either. Strength conditioning has been treated as a core factor training routine in hockey. Most hockey athletes find that it is a component of the training program and never miss this out in their routines.

Conditioning can be done through the incorporation of various exercises in the training sessions. A hockey player needs to focus on core strength and stability of posture. Similarly, strengthened abs plays an important role in improving explosiveness and power. Abs strengthening can be done with the use of medicine balls.

If a player opts to use weights for strength conditioning sessions, trainers recommend starting off with some light weights from which initial strength can be built. The hockey player can then proceed upward. A hockey player's strengthened upper body allows him to shoot with greater power and do passes over greater distances.

While some body parts and specific results are aimed, playing hockey demands that players work their entire body. This calls for whole-body workouts to improving a player's core strength.

Perhaps to most people, the training routine for hockey and all other types of sports can be tedious. This is where creativity should come in to make the sessions fun. For starters, having other hockey enthusiasts join and involve in the actual routines will be a good idea. Also, a trainee should make sure that his or her goal is fixed to develop the body for hockey or any sport for that matter.

Basic practice routines are easily applicable, but doctors and trainers advise that more in-depth sessions should be seriously considered by hockey players to help them work their way toward better and effective performance in the field.
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