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01-06-2014, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by manictech View Post
Be willing to play D. I'm always stuck on D because in one of the better players on the team. It's just a beer league I don't think there's need to have designated positions.
Being D, is the way that I can get a better position on my team (e.g. 1st. or 2nd. line instead of 3rd./4th.) because no-one wants to play D. I also improve my skating and get WAY more ice time because 9 v 9 is a common number for our scrimmages and it is always 2 lines of F and 3 rotating Ds.

Very interesting answers. I was looking for insight into maximizing my training time because I want to improve. So here are my answers:

1. On ice: Skating (I've went as far as to get the Laura Stamm powerskating book and am following the drills). While my top speed hasn't gone up much my agility and edge control has vastly improved. I'm not the fastest but I am becoming one of the most agile on my team (at least among those who learned to skate as an adult).

2. Off ice: If you're not in good shape it's got to be cardio (HIIT is better but not being dead by the third period is key so anything that can get you through 3 periods is OK). Otherwise it's stickhandling (at least until you hit the point where you can keep your head up the whole time at a good speed in open ice and can keep your head up sometimes in traffic), I miss the opportunity to make a lot of plays because my head is down making sure I still have the puck. I have a sneaky suspicion as I improve so will my shooting because puck awareness/feel will go up as well.

3. Excercise: I thought about this a lot and squats are probably best if your knees can handle them OR it might be balance on one foot sort of things. So much of hockey is balance not just skating (which everyone agrees is the most important thing) ...if you want to shoot hard you have to balance yourself to load your stick and transfer your weight. Honorable mention Zottoman Curls, want to shoot harder or stick check hard...these are your friends.

Extra credit: Have reasonably functional protective equipment. As a beer leaguer you don't need pro everything BUT since our average ages are much higher than pros, our condition is much lower, and we have to show up to work the next day having the correct level of protection/support is definitely worth it. A nice stick is just that "nice" but having supportive skates, and adequate protection is a hedge vs. injury.

Lastly, as I lay in my bed with my leg propped up and an ice pack on my the best you can to stay healthy and recover properly. You can't get better if you can't practice.

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