Congratulations to all the players, coaches, and parents on the completion of another hockey season! As we head into the off-season, how are you feeling?
It might be a sense of relief (a break from early mornings!), or disappointment, or, if you’re like us, you might already be missing the hockey season and vowing to make the next season your best one yet.
Luckily, the off-season is an ideal time to prepare for another season ahead.
Now is a great time to keep up your commitments to physical exercise and also a good time to diversify your activities a bit (think: swimming, volleyball, yoga, soccer, and any other Spring/Summertime ways to get your blood pumping). Investing some time in a sport that complements your skill training can have huge benefits, physically and mentally. Yoga is fantastic for flexibility, balance, and strength while swimming builds endurance, boosts circulation, and is great cardio training. Both these sports also challenge and build your ability to focus and be mindful. Not into these? Martial arts, soccer, lacrosse, and tennis are also great options for hockey players. If you want to keep on the hockey train, warmer seasons are the perfect time to join a roller or ball hockey league.
It’s also a perfect time to evaluate your player profile - where you excel and where you can improve - and make a plan for taking your game to the next level. A fantastic way to achieve this and make the most of the stretch of off-time ahead is to add a cognitive training program to your training regimen to help train your whole hockey self.
Stanley Cup winner Shjon Podein agrees.
“As a former NHL player and Stanley Cup recipient, I got to be on the ice with the best players in the game of hockey. I learned one main thing from being around these great hockey players and that was you must have a great mind to excel at the highest level,” he says.
Improving hockey IQ, also referred to as hockey sense, might seem like an elusive skill to build. It refers to the ability to predict game flow, set-up plays, find space, and overall have the ability to understand the ice. A strong cognitive game not only improves performance, but it’s also a valuable skill for safety thanks to increased understanding of the ice. But how does a player improve this element of their game?
This is where The Hockey Intelligym comes in.
The scientifically-backed program uses tech originally designed to train the brains of fighter pilots for combat. The result? Athletes see improved awareness, anticipation, decision-making ability, concentration, and execution, in turn improving their performance and reducing their chances of injury. Thousands of players of all levels have used it to get a leg up on the competition.
The software program focuses on improving hockey I.Q. through 30-minute computer training sessions of a gamified program, ideally used 2 times a week during the season. Hockey IntelliGym is currently used by over 25,000 hockey players aged 10 to 25. If a player trains twice a week, results show up on ice after about 6 to 8 weeks. It’s also the official cognitive trainer of the USA Hockey National Team Development Program.
“When I first took on coaching a Minnesota high school team, I wanted to provide the players with the best training possible and give them the extra edge that it takes to help win games,” explains Podein. “For this, I’ve implemented the Hockey IntelliGym into our regular training regimen. So far, our guys are completely into it and I personally know that the numbers on the ice will follow.”
So as you look toward the off-season, it could be the ideal time to sign on with IntelliGym to raise your game to the next level. For more information and to sign up visit www.usahockeyintelligym.com.