These days, it’s seems like there’s constantly a new trend in how or where to train. In recent years, for example, many have advocated for hockey players training on unstable surfaces, such as physioballs, Bosu balls, and more. And, while unstable surface training can have its benefits, it’s not really the best choice for hockey players.
Unstable Surfaces are Nothing Like the Ice
One of the main reasons training on unstable surfaces isn’t effective for hockey players is because, plain and simple, hockey players don’t play the game on an unstable surface. Instead, they play it on flat, smooth ice. So, when you choose to practice and train on a totally different surface than you play on, it’s hard to translate the skills you learn to the ice. That’s not to say that training on an unstable surface is useless. Indeed, it is still better than no training at all, but it’s simply not as helpful and effective as other types of training.
Unstable Surface Training Wasn’t Designed for Athletes
Another big issue with unstable surface training is that it wasn’t even designed with athletes in mind. Instead, this training was actually designed for rehabilitation exercises. These types of movements were created for people recovering from injuries and other problems. Because of this fact, these exercises can be great if a hockey player IS recovering from an injury, temporarily has mobility issues, or needs to avoid putting excess pressure on the joints. However, in terms of normal, everyday training, these exercises tend to be too gentle to provide the high-level, intensive training that athletes need.
Unstable Surface Training is Just too Slow
Finally, it is important to note that unstable surface training typically focuses on slow, steady movements, which is the opposite of what hockey players want. They need speed and power, so they can sometimes learn bad habits that reduce their speed if they do too much unstable surface training.
The bottom line is that this type of training may be trendy, and it may even be helpful in some situations. However, that does not make it an ideal training type for the average hockey player.