Ice hockey is a sport played with teams and on ice in a hockey rink where skaters need to direct a disk or puck towards the goal of the opposing team with the use of hockey sticks. It is more frequently played in areas that are cold enough to develop natural ice coverings although more recently, indoor rinks are able to produce artificial ice grounds to play on. This is a very physical contact sport and does carry an amount of injury risks, which is why protective gear is a requirement. This would include helmets, elbow and shoulder pads, gloves, mouth guards, hockey pants that are actually padded shorts, and shin pads, among others.
Because it is quite fast-paced, ice hockey players need a great amount of stamina to last through a game. This is not an easy sport to get into and being physically fit is a basic requirement to even get started. There are several exercises and drills you could practice to obtain sufficient amount of energy to play a good game of ice hockey. Here are some tips:
- Learn power skating. One very important step you can take to build up your endurance in ice hockey is taking up a course on power skating. An important element of skating is developing a good form. When a hockey player is able to make some changes to his form, no matter how small these changes may be, it can make a lot of difference on his speed. Go to an indoor training place where you can work on your form by making use of skate treadmills. This will help you improve on your stride and your speed.
- Use long, smooth strides. Avoid wasting good energy when you use small and uneven strides when traveling through the ice to run after a puck. Use longer and smoother strides just like the best hockey players do and you will be conserving a lot of that energy you can use throughout the game. At the same time, try to maintain your swiftness after doing some fast strides to increase your speed.
- Do the resisted push drill. Find another player who will work with you on this one, preferably someone who is just about the same size as you are. On the goal line, stand facing in each other’s direction. The person who will be facing the boards will do the working while the other person gives out the resistance. Both players must hold a stick right in between them just about the height of both their chests. The player who is doing the resisting must dig in his skates moderately while the working player tries to push him backward and towards the goal line. Once this is accomplished both players reverse roles. The process should be repeated twice.
Getting advice on other drills from the pros will help you make the most
of these exercises and get you to build up your skating endurance in
ice hockey. Needless to say, it is very important to keep yourself
healthy and fit to play the game. A lot of energy is needed to play and
you must be prepared to give your best in the sport. This can only be
achieved with practice and a physically fit body.