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As the regular hockey season winds down, there will be plenty of trips & activities that will keep players busy, but don’t forget the importance of ‘down time’! Here are 7 important steps for players to follow so that they can be prepared for the next season ahead.
1. Rehabilitate : The game requires an intensity that can result in burn – out if maintained 24/7, 365 days a year. Mental health is just as important as physical health. Off – season provides the opportunity for players to rehabilitate and re-focus. Nagging injuries such as pulled tendons and bruises need time to heal. Taking a break from exercise in order to focus on thorough rehab treatments will help players’ bodies be 100 percent for the upcoming season. Focus on exercises that emphasize on stretching. If you don’t have one, consider investing in a foam – roller.
2. Identify your Weakness : The off-season is a great time to evaluate areas of improvement. Knowing where you can improve will make players stronger in the new season. Mistakes and setbacks happen. It’s important to not hold onto shortcomings and try to look ahead to the new season with positivity. Getting advice from coaches that you are familiar with or having a personalized Video-Analysis done can help to identify areas of weakness and make you aware of specific changes you need to make.
3. Goal-Setting: In the off – season, players can keep a personal agenda, planner or calendar for being accountable. This includes goal – setting. What do players hope to achieve in their off – season ? The regular season ? This will help players remember their goals and players can track their progress over extended periods of time. Players can hang their goals in a visible place such a fridge door or mirror.
4. Relax : This is the time to visit friends and families who were neglected during the regular season. Go to cottage country, out of province or even out of this country ! Spend some time creating memories, and document those experiences with a camera or journal. Try to avoid anything hockey related for a bit.
5. Read Inspirational Books : Read books from successful players, teams and others who endured hardships in their life. Players can implement tips from books like this in their own life.
6. Exercise : After taking some time off from physical exercise, players can start a light exercise regime. Try different exercises such as swimming, golf and soccer. Being strategic in workouts that target the whole body is an example of working smarter. Try creating a strength – training routine that focuses on different muscle groups. As the end of summer approaches, intensify your workouts and focus on workouts that will build endurance such as long – distance running.
7. Train: As the next season approaches, slowly start training! You can sign up for a few sessions & clinics or refresh skills online for shooting, skating, stickhandling & Goalie Training . This will help make players feel more confident and prepared in the season ahead.