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07-11-2011, 07:09 PM
  #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prustqvist24 View Post
One thing that's become more and more evident to me over the years is that, if you're a serious hockey player who skates 3+ times a week and is looking to really, consistently get better... take a break.

Sounds odd? For most of my life, I played 3+ times a week, year round, each year. The odd moments where, for some reason I was off the ice for an extended period of time - and I mean 1-3 months, not a couple of weeks - I always saw a big improvement in my overall game and the maturity/thought level at which I was playing.

Sure, when you stay off the ice for a couple of months and come back, it takes a couple hours to get your hands up to par again or get your legs back (should be doing conditioning off ice anyways though) but I always find that an aspect of my game is greatly improved by taking some time off. During the time away from hockey, I usually find myself watching lots of games, playing a lot of NHL, watching highlight reels and youtube clips, reading about hockey, and basically thinking about hockey all the time. When I come back to the game, rather than sinking into any old habits I may be in when I'm playing every day, I'm a little more like a blank slate and I can incorporate a new aspect into my game - something that I've noticed from watching and thinking so much hockey but never had the consciousness to adapt when I was playing regularly because I was so intent on playing "my game". Each time I take a break from hockey and come back to it, the game seems a little slower, I seem to see the play better, my vision seems better, my poise seems better and I find that something like my playmaking, or my anticipation, or my positioning on the breakout, or my patience one on one has improved. I think it's all about having time away from the game to let your brain absorb new ideas without being on the ice staying stuck in old routines.
Interesting that you say that. Since I started playing, I've only ever really taken one significant break, which lasted one beer league season (about a few months or so). I never really put much thought into it but I think my biggest improvement actually came during that time. The game just seemed easier, for lack of a better word, when I started up again (and got my hands and legs going after a few skates). WEIRD, MAN.

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