Use Off Ice Hockey Drills to Gain a Huge Advantage Over Your Opponent

October 6, 2009


Hockey is a difficult game to learn and master. In order for a player to be effective on the ice, there are many components of athleticism that must work together in harmony. Even among top-caliber hockey teams, off-ice training is often neglected or overlooked completely. Players who perform a well-designed sequence of off ice hockey drills can gain a definitive “edge” over their opponents.

Here are a few pieces of advice when designing your training program:

  1. Select off ice hockey drills that mimic skills you’ll need in games. Some of these skills would include balance, and stamina, quick feet, leg strength, explosiveness, agility, and core strength, just to name a few.
  2. Simulate the work-to-rest ratio you’ll have in a game by using timed training. Since most youth teams have 3 forward lines, the work-to-rest ratio would be 1:2. In other words, you’ll be resting between sets for twice as long as the set itself. At older age groups, teams often use 4 forward lines, so your work-to-rest ratio would bump up to 1:3. Sprints and other explosive exercises are good applications for this tip.
  3. Utilize off ice skill development to supplement your strength and endurance training. Most players have a place they can stickhandle a ball somewhere at their house. Currently there are many cool stickhandling tools available. Some balls are extra light to work on quick hands, some are weighted to develop wrist strength, and some are built to act and feel like a real puck. Make up a stickhandling routine and perform it often. Also, try and find a way to shoot at least 50 pucks a day. You might have to get more creative with this one, but if you can make this happen, you’ll see big benefits from it!

Utilize these three tips when selecting your off ice hockey drills, and you’ll already be off to a good start. Just remember, most of the players you’ll be up against aren’t doing anything. So, stick with your exercise routine, even if it is still a “work in progress.” You will undoubtedly begin to see results, and you can always make tweaks along the way!

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