Although it is vitally important to have good hockey skills such as skating, puck control, passing/receiving and shooting, athleticism developed off the ice is just as important. Things to work on: strength, speed, balance, coordination, agility and explosiveness. There is no doubt about it?when you become a better athlete, you become a better hockey player.
Most of the general athletic improvements necessary to become a better player can begin off ice, and some areas, like general strength, are enhanced more when training off-ice in a well supervised strength-training program. A couple of key off ice training reminders: 1) Prior to any practice session or training session, always warm-up before beginning the activity. 2) Make sure any work/training is done gradually and in increments your body can handle. Develop your off-ice program with the help of your coach and a certified strength and conditioning specialist. 3) Finally, at the end of each session always include a proper cool down. This is important to adequately recover from the training.
As hockey players, we all love the feeling of getting to the rink and out on the ice. But remember, to truly improve as a hockey athlete there is a lot to do off the ice.