Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Off Ice Practice Tips

Hockey is a sport that requires a lot of practice. Unfortunately, it’s also a sport that requires ice, or at least that’s what you might think. In spite of the fact that hockey definitely is a “rink sport,” you can still practice your moves off the ice.

As long as you have a good surface to work on- anything from a tennis court to a patch of open grass will do- you can still get some good work in! In fact, here are some awesome drills you can try when you can’t make it to the rink.                  

Try a Little “Target Practice”

When you think “target practice,” you probably think of shooting guns or archery, but the concept can actually work quite well for hockey practice.

If you have a net that you can place a target on, this is your best bet. You can get a good distance away from it and practice shooting pucks at the target.

If you don’t have a net, you can fashion a makeshift goal out of rope and an old bed sheet and affix a target to it, but be careful not to break anything in the process!

No matter what you end up doing, a little target practice can help you to perfect your aim and your puck shooting technique.

Practice Passing

Believe it or not, you can even work on passing away from the rink! If you have a garage door or other surface that you can hit without breaking it, mark spots along the object using tape. An old bookshelf turned on its side, a tree log, or just about anything else can work for this exercise, so use your imagination!

Then, wearing inline skates, skate up and down the length of the object, attempting to pass to the marks as you go. Use both your forehand and backhand to get a well-rounded practice. As an added bonus, you’ll also give your arms a nice workout!

Hone Your Handling

If you want to become a pro at puck handling, all you need is a hard boiled egg, your puck, and an old chair.

Once you’ve got your objects assembled, try handling the egg through the legs of the chair as quickly and as gently as you can.

You’ll know you’ve done a great job when there are no or very few cracks in the egg. This is a surefire sign that you didn’t handle the puck or the stick too roughly and that you kept a gentle enough grip on the stick.

There’s Always the Gym

Finally, never underestimate the benefit of just plain hitting the gym. While you might not be practicing hockey skills directly, when you exercise, you build strength and stamina, both things that are required to be a star on (and off!) the ice.

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