January 15, 2021 10:00 am
Understanding skate sharpening and skate hallows can be confusing to understand. In the most simple terms: the sharper the blade the easier it is to turn and accelerate, while the duller the blade the easier it is to glide and stride. The standard skate hallow is 1/2”, but let’s breakdown different types of hallows to understand the difference between them, and what might be best for you!
Some players prefer a sharper hallow, at either 3/8” or even 1/4”. This hallow makes it easier for the skate two to cut into the ice in turn making accelerating and moving in tight spaces easier. While a sharper hallow does make turning and accelerating easier, your blade is digging deeper into the ice, making gliding and striding more difficult and require more energy.
Some players prefer a more dull hallow at 5/8”, 3/4”, or even 1”. With the blade cutting less into the ice it is easier for a player to push off their blade in order to reach top speed. But, the duller the blade the more difficult it will be for your edges to hold while making those tight turns!
Skate hallow is definitely something worth experimenting with. If you’re a forward who needs to gain the extra step out of a turn, try a sharper hallow. If you’re a defenseman who needs to make sure they’re getting all they can out of their stride, try a more dull hallow!
January 1, 2021 4:52 pm
When looking for a new stick one of the most important features of the stick to be considered is the curve of the blade. The curve of the blade is what helps a player control the puck while stickhandling, and shooting according to their playing style. There are many varieties of curves, but the three most common curve types are the heal curve, toe curve, and the mid-heal curve. Each type of curve helps a player within different aspects of puck handling and shooting. If a player’s curve does not align with their playing style, it can be more difficult for them to handle the puck where they need to and when they need to. Let’s talk through some of the most popular stick curves and understand how they work:
A blade with a heal curve is a blade in which the curve begins near the base of the blade on the heal. With the curve starting at the base of the heal of the blade, the curve will begin to flatten out towards the middle of the blade and be completely flat at the toe. This curve mainly helps out defensive players who need to have more powerful and accurate snapshots and slap shots, as well as control bouncing pucks.
A blade with a toe curve is a blade which the curve is very prominent at the toe of the blade. This type of curve is completely flat at the heal, with the curve beginning towards the middle of the blade, and being very prominent towards the toe of the blade. This curve is mainly for forwards who need to shot the puck quickly, and control the puck in very tight spaces.
A blade with a mid-heal curve is the most general and popular curve type. This curve type is the most balanced of the three main curve types, as the largest depth of the curve is right in the middle of the blade. This type of curve is used by players who tend to stickhandle and pass the puck more. This curve is also great for backhand shots as well!
Now when you go and buy a stick, make sure you check out what kind of curve the blade has and which type of curve is best for YOUR game!
December 15, 2020 10:00 am
Embracing the uncertainty, and adapting as we go has been the theme of 2020! Unfortunately, it has become a regular experience for athletes to go through a quarantine period due to the current situation of the pandemic. All we can do is control the controllable when it comes to taking some time off. Own the following three points and we’re certain you’re going to be A-OK!
- Have a Plan
- Daily routines are critical. No rink, no problem! Besides focusing on your schoolwork, what else are doing to better yourself each day? What’s your hockey skill plan, also what’s your fitness plan?
- Stay Positive
- The time off is an opportunity, not a setback! Don’t squander the opportunity!
- Stay Social
- Even though you’ll be in isolation doesn’t mean you can fire up some zoom and face time calls and stay connected to your people!
- Think Big Picture
- No single two weeks will ever define your career. Take the time away knowing you’re doing the right thing to protect yourself and others. Knowing you’ve positively crushed your plan, rest assured you’re going to come out the other side of the quarantine in better shape than you were in when you entered it!
With the right perspective and plan, working through a quarantine can be a blessing and not a curse!
December 1, 2020 4:30 pm
We can all agree that hockey is by far the best sport in the world, there is no doubt about it. While hockey is the best sport in the world, there are plenty of other sports and activities which can help us improve at the best sport in the world! It is important to remember that while hockey is the most fun sport, it is not the only sport, and those other sports can help us be better hockey players!
Here are some other sports (but not the only sports) which can help us improve our general athleticism and refine our on-ice skills:
- Some of the best hockey players in the world also grew up playing lacrosse! Lacrosse requires great hand-eye coordination, superior conditioning, and an understanding of body positioning and ball protection. All three skills directly translate to hockey!
- Football is a great sport to learn all about grit and competition! Football is one of the most physical sports you can play. By playing football athletes learn a great deal about body positioning, taking and giving physical contact, as well as understanding the importance of teamwork. Sounds a lot like hockey, to me!
- Soccer is a fantastic sport to improve one’s athleticism! Constant movement is required in order to be successful. While players on offense are moving around looking for open space, players on defense are focused on closing down those open spaces. Running while dribbling the ball around defenders is also great for balance and coordination, two skills very important in hockey!
- Basketball and hockey are two peas in a pod! Both games are played 5 on 5; both games are very fast and are filled with transitions; both games require players to jockey for body positioning. There’s a reason many coaches use hockey and basketball as interchangeable examples of each other!
Being an athlete is one of the most important skills you can have in hockey. The only way you can be an athlete is if you try other sports while you can when you’re young! Not only will you develop other skills that you will be able to apply to hockey, but the psychological and social aspect of trying other sports is more important than you think!
November 9, 2020 3:24 pm
As we all have said and heard many times over the past six months, these are certainly crazy times we are living in. All of the uncertainty has put many of us in a position where we are unsure when things will be back to normal, and if we get to continue to do our favorite things with our favorite people. One of the most important things we can do for ourselves is to maintain a positive perspective. It is on YOU as a human being to take all of the negativity and in turn, create a positive perspective on things going on around us!
While some of us may not be able to go into school, hang out with our friends, or even not be able to play in hockey games, it is very important that we remember to stay positive and look at the situation from a different, and positive perspective! If you are participating in online school think about all of the time you get to spend at home with your family. If you’re not able to hang out with your friends in your free time, take that time to learn about something you’re interested in or help your family around the house. If you are not able to play games with your regular-season team, think about all the practice time you will have to improve your skills.
As athletes, and as human beings, it is our job to maintain a positive perspective. While it may be easy to look at a situation that doesn’t go your way with a negative attitude, it does you no good to do so. Understand the negatives, but make everything a positive!
October 16, 2020 2:48 pm
As athletes, it is important to remember to not only take care of the body but to also take care of the mind! Maintaining a healthy mindset can help propel your athlete’s development to a whole new level! Here are a few awesome tips to maintain a healthy mindset through the year:
Choose and maintain a positive attitude.
Maintain a high level of self-motivation.
Set high, realistic goals.
Use positive self-talk + mental imagery.
Stay focused on the goals in front of you
Many athletes forget to take care of their minds, as well as their bodies. If your mental state isn’t where it needs to be, your development as an athlete and as a person could suffer. Remember to take care of YOU!
Keep staying healthy and positive amidst these challenging times!
April 6, 2020 6:38 pm
Things work out best, for those who make the best out of the way things turn out.
This was the first quote you would read when you walk into the Portland Pirates [AHL] locker room. Now, years removed from that time in my life, that quote has a greater meaning than I would’ve ever thought! Translation: Positivity needs to be your best friend when you deal with adversity.
This is a time of unprecedented adversity we’re all managing through. While working through this COVID challenge why not frame it with a positive lens… The time off can be more beneficial than you know – IF you use it wisely! Look at this time off as an opportunity! An opportunity to buckle down on school work, spend quality time with family, lock in on your nutrition, make at-home fitness a daily priority.
Now more than ever a routine is critical! We hope everyone is staying healthy during the time off!
March 19, 2020 3:10 pm
Within the current state of slowing down and staying in, we’re finding ourselves with a lot of idle time. Stay accountable and use the off time to your advantage! Lock in on your nutrition and physical activity! Here’s some simple aspects to work into your home training regimen!
- Agility foot speed ladder
- Sprinting – focus on short bursts
- Agility cone drills – focused on aggressive, cutting patterns.
- Jump rope
- Body weight pushups, squats
- Any type of jumping exercises
- Squat jumps, tuck jumps, single leg jumps, lateral jumping
- Single leg balance exercises
- Hill or Stair running
- Band resistance exercises.
- Jogging for distance +/or time
- Burpees + Jump Rope
- Core Strength
- Countless number of ab and core exercises.
Outside of the physical activity, be sure you’re matching your efforts in the kitchen – focusing on your nutrition too! Keep up to date on all our Instagram and Facebook Stories! We’re having fun with the #CoachRussChallenge! Our goal is to keep our OHP Families mentally and physically healthy during this time
March 12, 2020 1:36 am
Having a plan in place is paramount to maximizing your off-season. Just as every player is unique, so should each player’s plan for development! Here’s a few key factors to work into your game plan as you’re mapping it out!
- Targeted Areas of Improvement
- Be critical and assess your deficiencies.
- Action Plan
- Once you’ve identified areas in your game you need to improve – now what’s your plan? From home workouts, to shooting/stick handling in the basement, to getting on the ice. Have a plan, and stick to it!
- Set Goals
- Once your plan is in place, SET GOALS. Time your mile run, shoot “X” number of pucks per week, workout “X” times per week, the list is endless. Make the effort of recording tangible results. This will go further than you can imagine – the numbers don’t lie!
- Strategic Breaks
- This is the X-factor that separates good off-seasons from great off-seasons! Take breaks, enjoy time away from the sport. Your body and your mind NEED these breaks! Be strategic in planning; perhaps right after tryouts for a few weeks, or maybe at the end of the summer before the school and hockey year starts back up again.
We can’t wait to have an awesome spring and off-season with everyone!
February 20, 2020 7:08 pm
It’s easy to overlook the value and impact that a player’s confidence has on their performance. Unlike other tangible skills – you can’t see it, touch it, measure it… The positive (or negative) affects your confidence can have on your game is undeniable! Confidence ultimately comes from within, although there’s are a few guidelines that can help boost that confidence and help take your game to the next level!
Put in the work!!!
If you’ve put in the work, then know you’re prepared! Hard work + preparation are key in your foundation for success!
“One shift at a time” Mentality
Nothing is ever done overnight. Your growth is all a part of your process. Take one shift at a time, one period, one game, one weekend. Never too high, never too low.
Criticism can be positive if you choose to accept it from that perspective. Never the less, you’ve got to be tough! Filter the negative and stay in YOUR lane!
Have a great finish to the season, and best of luck heading into the spring! We can’t wait to see everyone soon!