Many sports, including hockey, require players to be able to move from side to side as quickly as possible, often and ideally without fully turning. This is a concept known as “lateral speed,” and, unfortunately, it is also something that many athletes are lacking in.
If that’s the case for your young hockey players, don’t worry. There are many things that you can do to work on improving lateral speed. And, in even better news, this tends to be an easy skill to develop quickly if you’re consistent in your training and do the right types of training.
Do the Right Stretches
To begin with, you can’t move well or have good lateral speed if you don’t have a good and full range of motion in your hips. By working on stretching this area and increasing range of motion within it, you can greatly improve and increase lateral speed.
While any kinds of stretches that work the hip and groin area are a good way to open up this area and thereby improve lateral speed, some stretches that often prove especially effective for this purpose include:
· Hip raises
· Bridge raises
· Lying on your bike and bicycling/kicking the legs
Get Strong and Powerful
Good lateral speed requires a lot of power and stamina. Fortunately, you can work on improving and increasing power in a multitude of ways. Hockey players can especially benefit by doing any explosive type exercises that increase power and performance. Some good examples include:
· Jumping lunges
· Squat jumps
· Ball tosses
· Jumping skiing movements
As you can see, there are all kinds of ways to work on improving lateral speed. These are really just a few of many. By following these tips and keeping up a good and regular fitness regimen in general, you can greatly improve lateral speed and enjoy all of the benefits that go along with it.