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 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!
January 30, 2020 3:52 pm
Good question! Over the years you would be amazed with some of the stuff we’ve seen smuggled in our athlete’s hockey bags! What should be in my hockey bag? Besides your equipment – the necessities! Here’s my go-to traveling set up:
- Equipment Bag [A MUST]
- This is the home of your tape, wax, mouth guard, scissors, extra laces, healthy snack. A few nice additional items could be extra helmet pieces, band aids, and a few quarters for bubble hockey.
- Athletic Apparel
- You warm up before you take the ice… RIGHT???
- Shoes, shorts, and of course a locker lid to keep the flow out of your face.
- 1 set for practice
- 1 set for games
- When pre-packing your gear, plan accordingly for your next on ice event.
Best of luck in the final month of the season! We can’t wait to hear about all the amazing achievements!
January 21, 2020 12:56 am
Just because you’re in the heart of your season doesn’t mean your stretching and mobility should be put on the bench. Hopefully, you’re lucky enough to have a team or coach that prioritizes time for pre-practice/game warmups. Regardless if you’re doing a quick warmup with your teammates or on your own, here’s a few simple movements to key in on your hip mobility (aka, stretches that will help your skating)!
- Sprinter Squat Sequence
- Take a “hockey knee”, roll hips forward and backwards stretching your hip flexors. Then take front leg and extend forward, while trying to bring your head down facing that knee. Great for all our skating muscles, hip flexors, hamstrings, glutes.
- Laying on your chest, bend one leg up, and reach it up and over across your body. Perform slowly and under control. You’ll feel a great stretch in your lower back and hip flexors.
- Squat Reaches
- Shoulder width stance, deep squat and hold :10seconds. Grab feet, straighten legs first, stretching hamstrings, then raise hips. Perform 8-12 consecutive movements.
Keep it going during the heart of the season! Can’t wait to hear from everyone soon!
December 31, 2019 10:45 pm
We hope everyone has had a great, refreshing holiday break. Friends, family, time off for the holidays – it’s the best! With the break, there’s no better time than NOW to reset, reevaluate, and focus on making your goals a reality heading into the new year! Take a hard look at 2019 – celebrate the positive, embrace the negative, and grow through the hard lessons learned along the way. Most importantly establish your plan to make 2020 your year! It’s about the game plan, and the ACTION! Set your game plan, and get after it this year!
We can’t wait to watch you make it happen in 2020!
December 12, 2019 6:11 pm
So often we let our tunneled focus on goals, achievements, and expectations cloud our perspective of what truly matters. Without a doubt, having goals and an action plan to achieve those goals is critical to long term success. However, never at the cost of losing your perspective.
I vividly remember having chapters in my career where I would be so obsessed on the goals and expectations I set for myself that I would forget why I even played the game. I would take my health (mentally and physically) for granted, I would underestimate accomplishments, I would look at “issues” in my hockey world and over dramatize them, and worst of all I lost sight of my reasons why I loved the game so much. Remember, your hockey issues are not the end of the world – your lows are never as low as you think they are!
The first step out of every low point I ever experienced was digging deep and finding my gratitude for so many wonderful things in my life and career. I would mindfully re align my focus to all of the aspects of the game that I cherished so much. Like clockwork, the anxiety and stressors that ate at me would disappear and I would be back on my way chasing my dream.
Keep your goals in sight, but never lose your perspective, gratitude, and passion for the game!
October 29, 2019 4:54 pm
When one of the most exciting parts of the game presents itself – “the breakaway”, don’t waste this one on one opportunity to light the lamp! Whether you’re watching a game on TV, or a youth practice or game, here’s some next level secrets that will make all the difference!
- Your attack speed is a vital element on your side. Understanding when you should be skating at full speed to push a goalie back in their crease, or when to slow down (time permitting) to allow you to out wait the goalie. The speed and timing of your approach is crucial!
- This features your stick handling ability, as well as your lateral (side to side) movement with your head and shoulders. The sneakier the better! Remember, when stick handling, its the top hand that drives each cradle of the puck!
- If possible, take an angle in your approach to the net. This will challenge the goalies positioning in net. The more you’re able to get a goalie moving side to side, the more holes will open.
Have a safe and fun Halloween!
October 14, 2019 1:21 pm
As a player, you work your tail off to put yourself in a position to get a shot on net. Be sure to make each and every shot count! Here’s a few pro tips that should be racing through your head just before you take that picturesque shot:
- Use Key Fundamentals
- Flex. Let the flex of your stick do the work. This is what adds speed and power. Your top hand “pulls” at the same time your bottom hand “pushes”.
- Blade Positioning. Your blade needs to ALWAYS stay closed (and cupped) over the puck. The second the face of the blade opens; a bad shot will follow.
- Follow Through. Turn your wrists over at the end of your shot allowing an accurate, powerful follow through.
- Total Body. Its not just your arms. Engage your legs and core muscles to add power to your shot!
- Heads up – Placement Matters!
- The hardest shot in the game still won’t go through a goalie! Take that split second and pick up your head to lock in your sights on where you’re shooting! When in doubt, keep the puck low to allow a rebound for a teammate driving the net!!!
- Release Speed
- You shouldn’t be counting out “Mississippi’s” during your shot release. Get the puck to your loaded position at the back of your stance ASAP, then trust your fundamentals to drive that shot from the loaded position to the final point of the release as quickly as humanly possible!
We can’t wait to watch the goals pour in this season!
October 1, 2019 3:43 pm
As physical as the game of hockey is, so much more is mental than you’ll ever believe! Resilient, mentally tough athletes (and people) always find a way to succeed! I believe there are 3 different scenarios that will test your mental toughness as a hockey player:
- Managing uncontrollabes.
- Your favorite stick broke, the ice sucks, the ref made a bad call, the coach changed the lines… Acknowledge them, see them as challenges and realign your efforts.
- Self-inflicted mistakes – Have a short memory!
- Being properly prepared to perform will eliminate a lot of mistakes right out of the gate. With the self-inflicted mistakes of poor play, develop an in-game routine of controlled breathing and visualization to calm down while re-focusing to get your mind back in the game.
- Safely playing through pain + discomfort.
- This is not regarding serious injuries. More so, when you feel that burn in your legs, or your trying to catch your breath, or knowing that blister is killing you – Dig deep and find a way to persevere!
Be the best warrior version of yourself you can be this season!