Friday, November 24, 2017

The Importance of Recovery in Youth Hockey

Sometimes, a hockey team just doesn’t perform well. Despite all the best coaching and hours of practice, sometimes a team just falls flat, leaving the coach and the players wondering what went wrong.   

The answer to this question isn’t always simple to determine. But, a lot of the time, the problem lies in the fact that the players just aren’t “feeling it” that day. On some days, the energy seems to be down, those perfectly-practiced moves aren’t executed smoothly, and everything seems to go wrong. There are many reasons why this happens, but one of the big ones is not having fully recovered from the last game or practice.

When players are still exhausted, physically and/or emotionally, from the last game or ice time, nothing in the world is going to get them hyped up and ready to play well in the game at hand. This is why proper recovery and “down time” after a big game or practice is necessary before young players dive into the next big hockey event.

The Secret to Real Recovery
So, how should young players properly recover from a big game or practice?

While it might be tempting to just sit around relaxing and icing sore muscles, there should be more to it than that.

The key- the secret if you will- to real recovery for young players is individualized recovery. Coaches need to figure out what it is that each player requires to recharge.

For some, it could be a simple fun hockey game, something they can play with no pressure to get back into the fun of hockey and carry that with them as they head out onto the ice again. For others, it’s time to recharge emotionally- time to forgive themselves for past errors and build themselves up for strong performances in the future.

In short, if you get to know your players and understand their needs, you can then come up with effective, individualized strategies to help them recharge and recover so that the right energy will always be there when it’s time to step out on the ice again.

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