Categories for Pro Tip
April 2, 2021 4:31 pm
The end of the season can put our minds in an odd place where we are feeling many mixed emotions. We’re exhausted from all the hard work we’ve put in; we’ve either succeeded in goals we’ve set and are now feeling satisfied with our work, or we’ve narrowly missed our goals and are feeling discouraged.
It’s not uncommon to want to move on and leave the season in the past, and that’s okay! When making the transition from the intense season we’ve just endured to the initial calm of the off-season we have the perfect opportunity to reset our mind. Rather than focusing on winning games, scoring goals, and making big saves we are now able to shift our focus towards improving ourselves both mentally, and physically!
As we transition into the off-season be sure to take the time to reset your mind and refocus on new goals. The grind of off-season training will be here before you know it! In the meantime, reset your mind…
March 15, 2021 1:00 pm
As the season has come to a close and the spring is upon us, many hockey stores will begin to roll out their big spring equipment sales. For many, this is a great time to find a good bargain on a new pair of skates! Let’s take a look at some things we should look for when searching for our next pair of skates:
Skate size: the most important component when buying new skates is obviously the size of the skate. For those who are still growing, it is important to leave enough room to grow when sizing up your skate. After all, skates are expensive! A little extra toe room is a smart call for comfortability and growth reasons.
Comfort: this is a major component when choosing the right pair of skates. You must ensure that your feet are comfortable in the skate boot. It’s okay if your feet feel a little pinched, as that will go away after a few uses. If the skate feels as if it fits like a shoe, that’s the perfect feeling you’re looking for!
Pricing: top of the line skates can cost upwards of $1,000 at your typical retail hockey store. The secret these hockey stores won’t tell you is that unless you’re an elite-level player, you don’t need the top-of-the-line skates! The pair that is $300 to $400 will treat you just as nice as the pair that is $1,000.
Skates are absolutely an investment and an important one! Make sure you take the time to do your research before purchasing. And remember, it’s okay to try skates on at the store and not buy them that day!
March 14, 2021 8:35 pm
With the season wrapping up and tryouts being right around the corner it is important to maintain a high level of self-confidence. Maintaining the proper level of self-confidence can make or break a player. With self-confidence, a player has the ability to make plays and try different things that they might not have done otherwise. Here are a few ways you can help boost your self-confidence and make you a better player:
1.) Let go of Fear – Most of our failures in sports are rooted in fear of failing. Once you are able to understand that fear is simply a mindset, you will be able to make plays that you thought you may never be able to make
2.) Make no comparisons – If you maintain focus on yourself, rather than what others are doing, you will find yourself more comfortable than you’ve ever felt before.
3.) Play for yourself, not others – There is a great value in doing things for you, and only you. When you are focused on pleasing others you are left in a difficult position. Focus on making yourself happy, then the rest will fall into place!
4.) Strive towards progress, not perfection – When we focus on taking our game step by step we will feel much more gratitude and appreciation for our work. If we are constantly focused on perfecting our game, we will never be satisfied with our effort and progress!
These are a few of the many tips and tricks to maintain confidence within ourselves. If you had a season that didn’t necessarily live up to your expectations, that’s okay! Time to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and be confident in your abilities!
February 15, 2021 1:00 pm
We are here! The final phase of the season is finally right in front of us. The upcoming weeks is when many of us will fulfill our team goals and achieve what we set out to do at the beginning of the season: win the big trophy!
We must maintain focus during this final push. It can be easy for us to get excited and lose touch with the habits which got us to this point. Remember, just because you are at the end of the season does not mean you should stop doing the right things that put you in this position! In fact, this is the most important time to make sure you are taking care of the details, and the little things.
In the final couple of weeks, give it everything you’ve got! Leave everything you have in the tank on the ice, and be sure to skate with no regrets!
February 12, 2021 4:43 pm
I think a lot of us would’ve agreed months back, this may be a season without hockey… Somehow, someway we found a way to keep the game in our lives! Keeping perspective and staying in the moment is one of the most important things we can do. The self-reflection on what you have learned throughout your journey this season, and what you’ve done to improve thus far will help give you the final push you need to reach your goals.
As we move into the spring and summer, remember those lessons! Savor the moment of the final stretch of the season, and use this momentum to push you towards setting your new goals! And above all, enjoy the ride!
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!
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!