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Hone your skills at home

By Randy Jordan, 03/30/20, 9:00PM CDT


Video by Coach Zac at 247 Hockey

As this situation continues we all are looking for and finding new or additional ways to keep ourselves active and involved. A great time for self education and focusing on trying to remain not only healthy, but healthier than ever.

As passionate hockey players realize, with ice time limited (especially now) besides skating (although you can be working on Sumo posture, stride, crossover/under and explosive speed mechanics-inline) the stick skills can actually be more focused on and vastly improved off ice. Simply stick handling with a ball or disk (in Sumo position) randomly around objects trying different moves for 15 minutes a day can see amazing results in a short period of time.

Below is a great Live training video, courtesy of Coach Zac at 247 Hockey. It's a bit long…51 minutes…but done in full or in part, focused involved players will benefit immensely…he really “gets it”!

A few points:

· If using a tennis ball you may want to puncture it to reduce the bounce…although some bounce is great for hand eye

· This coach is one of the first to emphasize knee bend…if you are not practicing in Sumo you are actually practicing in a way that may be more detrimental…as it is not how you play…not with straight legs

· Set times for each exercise…much of what he does is 1 minute. This keeps you focused and working through fatigue, but not practicing too long where you start to reinforce bad habits. Do not compromise perfect mechanics

· Note using toilet paper rolls for stick handling (stick handling drills start at the 23 minute mark) to develop strong but soft hands

· Have someone video you so you can be sure you are doing exercises correctly…quality is MUCH more important than quantity

· There is a lot of info in this video. To use some down time wisely, go thru the video and take notes, do diagrams of the various exercises you like…so you can remember them when you want to do shorter work outs with selective focus

· Core exercises….I sure wish we were encouraged to do this when I was a young player….I am sure it would have prevented many injuries/surgeries. Get in a habit of doing some regularly and enjoy being a better athlete.

· Note – in the closing minutes of the video the coach uses a word that you would probably prefer young children avoiding

· Scoring goals…we all love scoring…although there are some that are simply gifted with timing, touch etc…there are some good rules of thumb in the link that can add goals to you season total…you can learn how to “manufacture” goals out of sheer desire and smarts. Read "5 Tips to Develop a Scorer's Mentality"

More important than anything else…please be smart and safe…hope to see you all soon!