5 Hockey Tips That Made Me a Better Player

 

Hockey Coach Tips

 

5 Hockey Tips From My Coaches

Everyone who has grown up playing the game of hockey knows of the universal strategies that people use to better themselves on the ice. These are strategies that all players partake in, including things like weight-lifting, conditioning, or fine tuning your skills through on-ice and off-ice drills. What is not universal about growing up as a hockey player is the specific advice that your coaches have given you. Everyone has been pulled aside by their coach and been schooled on a part of their game that needs help, or just to point out something that you are doing right. These small tips can often have a bigger impact on your game than hours in the gym or on the track. Here are 5 hockey tips that made me a better player over the years. These tips all came from various coaches over the years and all of them really landed with me and helped me to understand the game.

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Off Ice Benefits of Playing Hockey

You can probably find a trillion articles out there about the physical benefits of playing hockey (or any sport, for that matter). Hockey specifically allows you to sharpen your ability to think quickly, offers myriad cardiovascular benefits, increases your strength across the board and provides you with one of the most versatile workouts you can find on the planet.

But what about the off ice benefits of playing hockey? Of course, the physical improvements and gains you accrue for your body can translate to other sports, but how does hockey benefit a player off the ice? What are the tools you can collect from years of playing hockey to utilize in your every day, non-sports life? Let’s explore.

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Don’t Call It A Comeback

I have this distinct memory of youth hockey. I must have been 11 or 12 years old, so this was pee-wee level and I was playing for a select-travel team out of Central Massachusetts. It was a Sunday afternoon and the year was…….well, nevermind. Let’s just say it started with a 19, ok?

I can’t remember who we were playing, but I do remember lining up to take a face-off about halfway through the game and looking up at the clock. We were down 7-1. Now, I don’t believe myself to be a cocky person in general, but I knew deep down that we may have deserved to be losing the game, but we didn’t deserve to be losing by that margin.

I went in to get ready to take the draw and a few seconds later the referee came to the face-off circle. I looked up at him and he looked at me, likely feeling sorry for what seemed like a game that was going nowhere. I decided to make my statement right there, so I did.

“We’re going to win this game.” I said. That was it.

The referee looked at me and laughed a little bit. It’s likely he had seen it all already and was just trying to get through another day with the whistle at the rink.

“I’m serious,” I said, “we’re going to win.” He dropped the puck.

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Not actual picture of me telling the ref. Sadly.

I don’t remember much about the last half of the game, but I do remember lining up towards the end of the game after we had scored to make it 9-8 in our favor. The referee looked at me again, this time in slight disbelief and said “you called it, kid. I never thought that would happen.”

I don’t even remember how many I got or how it happened. But I remember we won 9-8 and the elation of winning a game like that, of working together as a team to overcome what seemed like a mountain-and-a-half to climb. I’m sure we had other comebacks in those years, but this is one I will never forget.

That is one of the beauties of hockey or any team sport, for that matter. For every dumb locker prank, funny joke or horrendous day at the rink, there’s ten more moments that teach you about character, teamwork and the rewards of working hard.

You don’t get that same feeling in men’s league, but it lingers there sometimes. It definitely carried with me through college and on through my professional life. You can rarely do it alone. We overcome all kinds of obstacles working here (or anywhere) and the same themes repeat themselves over and over again – it’s takes a team.

Hey, we’d love to hear stories about YOUR biggest comeback! Leave your story in our comments section!

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OK, here we are before every day starts at the office. Or not.


Easton Mako Hockey Skate Review

So a couple of us in the office have been wearing the Easton Mako skates for a while now. Jeff for about 3 weeks and myself for couple months.As with many people considering new skates, it took me some time to even convince Jeff to test the Mako’s out, but once they are ready for the ice, they have a way of making their own case.

Being how different a skate they are in style, design and performance it came up as the subject of an email chain and we ended up discussing our multiple first impressions of the skate. the impression we got upon first being shown the skate, first trying it on, after baking the skate and finally when stepping out on to the ice.

Easton Mako Skates: Out of the Box Impressions

EASTON MAKO HOCKEY SKATE

JC: When I first saw them my gut reaction was “what? Are they serious? This is going to come in other colors, right?”

KS: Yeah, when I first saw them, they were really out there. They were just so different looking from anything in production. Not just style-wise, but the shape and cut of the boot. It was clearly something different. I wasn’t a huge fan of the look, as far as the orange flashes and the silver heel, but they definitely stand out, which isn’t a bad thing.

JC: Then after I looked them over in detail, I really had no idea what motivations were behind the whole removable tendon guard and the elevated height on the backend of the holder. It was just visibly…very different and when you get something that is so much different than what you’re used to, I think its just instinctual to have the adverse reaction I did. Remember how different the iPhone was when it was first introduced?

KS: Are you comparing the Mako Skates to the IPhone?

JC: Hah. No. It won’t be that revolutionary! But in terms of how different it was. Kind of a shock to the system.

KS: I know. You can tell when someone on the ice is wearing them! My dislike of their orange, coupled with extreme boredom one night, actually led me to take it upon myself to do a little color redesign on my pair, as pictured here…

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