Hey HFBoards! Im 16 and i play Major Midget AAA hockey with the best team in the league. Although I only get called up on replacements when someone gets injured/cant play.
I really want to make the jump to become a top defenseman on the team next year and hopefully get signed to play in the QMJHL. (The Q scouts our league a nice bit)
Whats holding me back is my physical conditioning. I havent worked out/trained a day in my life because i dont know what to do for it! Where i live also gets the ice taken off every summer and there are no legit training places (We have a gym but thats it, no trainers)
I'm a smart player, which is probably my best skillset. Im probably the weakest skater,shooter and hitter on our team.
What I'm trying to say is that... Can I go from barely playing any games, to being the best defenseman on the team just by training hard? Or will I need to do on-ice drills.
Your goal of becoming the best defenseman can be achieved but it isn't going to be a cakewalk. Getting to the Q at your age and scenario is pretty difficult, to be honest.
I would shoot to be the best defenseman or in the Top 2/3 first.
There are exercises you can do to increase core and strength on YouTube and specifically Hockey Training videos. You can buy training pucks and what not on Total Hockey and other websites to help off-ice stickhandling. I highly recommend the training pucks that force you to keep your head up as they are mostly white with a small black DOT in the center.
There are also "blindings" you can attach to your helmet to focus on stickhandling without looking at the puck, which defenseman need to be fluent at. You don't want to be looking down and have the puck stolen from you for a breakaway.
You should know how to skate backwards and do backwards cross-overs fluently so I highly recommend getting alot of ice time and possibly an instructor if you are serious about it. This could be done in the summer if you want. You can improve your leg strength by doing squats, running/jogging, and other activities.
There are other threads about nutrition and exercise on here if you scroll down the page a bit. They can give you better advice on the individual exercises and nutrition methods that are best for you. I use my own but it's kind of a bore and hard to explain haha.
Skating is a big reason that players wont make it further. If you cant skate you will be deked out, or driven around. Plus as a defenseman, you'll have do it backwards. When you skate, you need to be strong, which is where conditioning comes in. You need to have strong legs so you can skate well, and fast.
Another reason you need conditioning is so that you dont tire out. Its self explanatory.
A third reason would be so you can check hard, and take hits. Youll need to be able to take and keep the puck, either by knocking someone over, or by keeping it from not getting knocked over.
One last reason would be so you can have a hard slap shot. Youll need it.
Heres a good drill: http://www.hockeyshare.com/drills/drill.php?id=42846
For conditioning. Ride the bike, Jog, lift weights etc.
Best of luck.
Skating is everything at that level of hockey. If you can't skate, you won't have a future! Get on the ice as much as you can, and work on form, sharp turns, and edgework. Hitting is mostly mental, in knowing when the right time to play the body is, and when you would be caught out of position. I am also a 16 year old, and noticed a big improvement on my hitting game when I started lifting, and getting bigger. Hits are easier to throw, and receive when you are bulked up a bit.
you want to get serious about playing high level hockey, then get serious about everything
start talking to higher level coaches and get their imput on what you need to work on, how to improve and tips. they are a big resource, use them
where do you live, i would starting finding a place you could go with ice and practice practice practice, skating and shooting, again see a high level coach for drill and things you can do
fitness, do research in your area and get in touch with trainers, and nutritionists, those will take you a long way and will help you get in prime hockey condition.
most importantly, take it seriously, to get to major junior take alot of skill, hard work ethic and complete dedication. there are hundreds of kids who want what you want so be prepared to put the work in
As above talk to your coaches and if you can talk to coaches in the Q.
They will know everything you will need to do to get better and will be able to tell how to do it!
Also try and get some hockey conditioning books, I have a few and they are really good!
They include everything from on ice workouts, off ice workouts, nutrition guides and how to tailor your training for off season, camp, mid season, etc
One of the biggest factors that will affect your training and performance is diet so it's quite important to get it right, too much or too little of something can really be quite detrimental and cause everything to fall down.