New hockey player needing fitness / skills development / food advice
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01-09-2013, 09:08 PM
Deus Ex Machina
Join Date: Feb 2012
Cardio is obviously important, but it's also probably the easiest and most straightforward aspect of your conditioning to improve. Run a few times a week and you'll be an "average player" in no time.
If you want to get better/keep up with better competition, it's core, core, core. And lower body. But a lot of core.
Buy an exercise ball and work out on that, work on your abs and obliques. That's going to make you really tough on the puck and hard to knock over. You'll be powering through guys like nothing.
As far as skating, just do it all the time. Go out and skate once a day if you can. Work on keeping your edges and shifting your weight -- that's a huge part of playing well. I don't know if you're planning on playing offense or defense, but you'll obviously have to focus on your backwards skating a lot if you plan on being a D. I always tell people to start by making a ^ with their skates (toes together), getting on your inside edge, and shifting your weight and letting your edges carry you backwards as you make an elipse. Gives you the feel and also helps your edges.
For finesse, you can do dryland. I'm in the same boat as you -- sticktime is hard to come by at rinks, so I used to just practice in my driveway before I started playing really competitively and getting regular practices. I like working with weighted hockey balls -- gives you a feel for the weight of an actual puck. But really the only way to really develop your skills is to play pick up with guys, so just keep doing that.
Other than that, just remember to think actively. I was a late bloomer myself because I used to just go through the motions out there and make the easy play. Never just throw the puck away -- there's always a play, you just have to find it. And never be standing still -- if you're standing still, you're out of position
Just go out there and enjoy the best game on earth
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