The off-season is a time in which hockey players finally get a break. No longer are they forced to practice daily or to play games regularly. Instead, they can relax and unwind, at least a little, as they prepare for the upcoming season.
However, some people don’t realize that, in some ways, the off-season is just as important as the “on season,” and, thus, they make big mistakes. If you’re worried about these mistakes affecting your young player, educate yourself on what they are and how to prevent them.
Mistake #1: Eating Poorly
First things first, many hockey players see the off-season as a chance to gorge themselves on all of the food they couldn’t eat during the hockey season. When you combine this fact with reduced exercise, it’s easy to see that weight and fat gain are inevitable.
Encourage athletes to mostly keep up with their regular routines during the off-season. Yes, they can allow a few extra treats here and there- those are easy to burn off- but all-out gorging on decadent foods for the whole off-season is a recipe for disaster.
Mistake #2: Not Exercising
Just as healthy eating often falls by the wayside during the off-season, the same is true for exercise.
Hockey players don’t have to keep up the intensity of an on-season workout regime during their break, but they still should focus on maintaining the strength and skills that they already have. In other words, cutting out one or two workouts per week or dialing back the intensity is okay, but no more than that
Too much slack and players will find themselves vastly unprepared for the oncoming season.
Mistake #3: Not Working Through Problems
Finally, athletes should view the off-season not just as a chance to relax, but also as an opportunity to reflect on mistakes they made in the past season and how best to correct them.
During the playing season, so much is going on that it’s hard to really focus on correcting mistakes and strengthening weak points. The off-season, however, provides the perfect opportunity to do just that.
And, if players don’t work on their weaknesses during this time, they may find themselves facing even more problems in the future, creating a vicious cycle.
Encourage the athlete in your life to improve during the off-season, not to grow stagnant. That, plus following these tips, should make for an off-season that is both relaxing and beneficial.