As the hockey season winds down and off season kicks into high gear, this is the time to plan out the coming months to allow for rest, recovery, proper training on and off the ice and preparation for the upcoming season. This can be an overwhelming task as the season ends and there is already pressure to prepare for next year. One way to plan for this hectic time is to print a calendar out from now until September when the season starts to kick into full swing. There will be events that need to be inputted right away that need to be addressed such as try outs, camps, showcases, vacations. Once these events are on the calendar, you can start to plan the off season. The events inputted will allow you to design a regiment throughout the offseason. For example, you may need to increase ice time and decrease other activities in the weeks prior to tryouts or limit ice time and increase your time in the gym when there are no important events in the near future.
Here are some key points that need to be addressed in your off season program.
- Define aspects of your game on and off the ice that need to be improved
- Highlight major events during the off season where you have to play at your best. These need to be top events such as try outs or showcases where you will be seriously evaluated.
- Plan out time to improve off the ice with such aspects as strength and power development. These are time that are less important on the ice so that the focus can be on specific gains.
- Plan some time away from the rink. This is important in maintaining your health and avoiding burnout.
The off season can be hectic so don’t let it get out of control with too many things on your plate. Remember, this is the time to improve specific aspects of your game and get some rest and time away from the rink so you are rejuvenated and excited to start next season.
Chris Phillips is an Athletic Trainer and Strength and Conditioning Specialist with over 25 years of experience in professional sports including eight seasons in the NHL with the Ducks and Capitals. Chris is the owner of Compete Sports Performance and Rehab in Orange County, CA.