Hockey is a physically demanding sport, even and perhaps especially for young players And, while hockey was once thought of as a “boy sport,” it is now becoming popular among girls and young women as well. This recent surge in feminine popularity has left many coaches and trainers wondering whether or not they should vary the training and exercise routines they require based on gender. The answer is a big no! The goal should always be to find a suitable workout, training, and diet program that works for the individual players regardless of sex.
With that said, however, there do tend to be some key differences between male and female athletes. Female athletes, for example, are typically more flexible and have better mobility, so they don’t
On the flip side, females are typically more prone to ACL injuries so extra care should be taken to avoid these painful injuries. Gentler leg exercises are usually recommended for women.
As you can see, with only a couple of exceptions, training really shouldn’t vary that much based on the player’s gender. The important thing is for coaches to teach proper form and safety when stretching and exercising. Many injuries occur because of improper form. Plus, not exercising correctly can lead to not getting the maximum benefit possible, or any benefit, from the workout.
Coaches should also evaluate the current fitness and ability levels of their players on a one-on-one basis and develop an exercise plan specifically for each player and what he or she needs to work on. That’s asking a lot, but a good coach knows the value of not having just a “one size fits all” exercise program. Every player absolutely needs to be doing exercises to help remedy weaknesses and improve strengths, and the best person to evaluate strengths and weaknesses is the coach.
However, some coaches are busy and overworked, and many are volunteers who just don’t have the time to develop exercise programs for their players. If that’s the case, and a hockey player is serious about getting the right exercise and training, hiring a personal trainer, one who is familiar with the sport, to evaluate and work with the athlete is a good idea. Regardless of gender, all hockey players need to be doing the right training if they want good results.