There are many ways to practice for an upcoming hockey game. Many of those ways are done on the ice, however, there are a few drills that can be completed off the ice for extra training at home. Practicing at home can make sure that a player is on top of their game.
The first of these drills requires a medicine ball. It’s called a push-pass to push-up. Here, the player will use a rather large medicine ball and a firm walled surface, dry-wall isn’t recommended as the ball can easily crack the dry-wall or go through it completely. The player will roll the ball towards the wall from a kneeling position, and once the ball is on its way, the player will fall forward on their chest. The goal is to make a plyometric push-up, pushing hard enough to return to the kneeling position before the ball has a chance to make it back to the player.
Another issue to concentrate on is balance. A player can refine their balance by using a hopping technique with their eyes closed. By removing visual cues to let the body know if it is upright and stable, the payer then has to depend on their proprioceptors. Proprioceptors are nerve endings in the body that send cues to the brain for balance. So, in essence, the player would close their eyes and make a small leap forward. The room this is used to practice in would need to be clear of any obstruction so the player doesn’t injure themselves. The key is to take small hops, readjusting accordingly, and continue on.
Hand-eye coordination is important for most sports, and hockey is no different. A simple drill to maintain hand-eye coordination is to take a tennis ball and toss it toward a wall. By using alternate hands and positions, from kneeling, to standing, and a few leaning catches, the body’s ability to follow the ball, and ultimately the puck, is exercised.
These are just a few techniques to practice at home to make a player’s hockey game more successful. Being quicker to recover from falls, having better balance to prevent falls, and the use of hand-eye coordination will keep the player active and ready for anything the game throws at them.