How to Become a Better Hockey Player

5 things to do to become a better player, without training!

We agree, if you want to improve your stick handling, your skating or your shooting accuracy, you will necessarily have to go through training sessions. But sometimes, you just have to use your head to play better . I tried the exercise, and found 5 tips that do not require training. They should allow you to become a better teammate, very simply. Ready to change your habits? Let’s go!

1 – Never make a pass in the axis

This is one of the most basic mistakes! It’s often done when you start hockey, especially if you start defending. As we do not handle the puck very well, we want to quickly pass it and restart the game. But what is it? To put it simply, I will describe the game situation: you are defenders and have just recovered the puck in your corner of the rink. The pressure is strong enough and you do not really have time to breathe. You lift your head (that’s good!), And see one of your wingmen completely clear. But here it is, on the other side of the central corridor. Too bad, you still try the pass … Aie! Under pressure, your pass is not so fast. The time she crosses the rink, it is intercepted by the center. He finds himself alone, facing your guardian … Unless you are 200% sure that your pass will not be intercepted, never pass in the axis. Always prefer a puck guard and wait until you have a clear teammate behind the cage or on your side of the ice. In the worst case, if you are beaten, the opposing team will have to make a maneuver before reaching your cages. It’s always better than a full-axis shot …

2 – On the bench, do not look at the game …

Look at the teammates you are going to replace! This is an easy habit to take, which will save you a lot of confusion and time wasting. When you are on the bench and you are part of the next line to climb, absolutely avoid being absorbed by the intensity of the match in progress. Your job is to make sure at all times that you are ready to go on the ice. If you are looking at the current action, you will probably not be paying attention to your teammate who is asking for a change. Result: for a few seconds, your team will be outnumbered. If a turnaround occurs at that moment, and you take a goal, you can be sure that you will spend a bad quarter of an hour on your next bench run. You deserve it, it’s your responsibility. Remember: “the audience is in the stands, not on the bench!”

3 – Listen to the coach

For many amateur teams, it’s a simple player who volunteers as a coach. And it is not an easy task. On the one hand, the coach-player must ensure the preparation of trainings. But on the other hand, he also has to train while observing his team to make sure that it performs the exercises correctly. Coupled with a need for some form of charisma and leadership, it is easy to imagine that it is a role that is not easy to maintain. So think make it easier for your coach. It’s all about your attitude. For example, if he calls for grouping, do not be part of those players who only think about hitting the puck between two exercises. Not only will you wait for the rest of your team, but you will also tire your coach who will have to ask you to join the circle. In the same way, limit your jokes and other nonsense during explanations. Remember that :

  • 1: it cuts your coach and it is a lack of respect vis-à-vis his preparatory work. In addition, you will lose playing time, since it is highly likely that you will have to start over again so that the whole team understands the exercise.
  • 2: Your teammates may have already made one or two at the beginning of the training, it is useless to increase.
  • 3: the other players are above all there to play. Not to witness the result of your failed comedy career In short, we agree, it’s always better to train in a good mood. But keep in mind that each joke will lose a minute or two, and it’s always better to keep those minutes for ice time! Finally, if you have a real coach trained to teach hockey, enjoy this opportunity because other teams envy you!

4 – Stay focused and calm

In continuity with the previous point, stay focused and as calm as possible on the ice. Hockey is a fast and physically demanding sport, every second counts. So you have to use your brain every moment to make the best decision. Have you just suffered a foul that the referee did not whistle? I agree, the feeling of injustice is hard to swallow. But do not waste your time moaning and asking for a 2 minute penalty. You would risk a decisive turnaround that would put your team in a delicate situation. Ditto in case the tension rises with another player. Hockey is a contact sport, so it is normal that some situations are a bit “tense”. Accept it, stay factual and let the referee do his job. You are here to win your team, not to let go of your gloves and fight. If so, go for a combat sport, it will help you channel your energy. Reading these lines, you will certainly say “Ok Dorian, it’s all well and good, but concretely, how do you keep calm?”. I give you here two techniques that I use in match: the first is to focus on your breathing with each return to the bench. By doing this, you will reduce the action of adrenaline, a stress-related hormone. It is a technique that is very used in stress management because it allows you to regain control of your emotions. Do not underestimate it, it can greatly help you stay focused and calm during a game! The second technique is to reframe the situation in a more global context. What is the issue of the current match and the action that has just taken place? Are they really so important? What are the real issues? Simply your honor or the future of your team? Think twice, you will see that in most cases, it is useless to turn red

5 – Always think about rebound

The goalkeeper did not manage to freeze the puck and he lets you a rebound? Take your chance! This is one of the greatest opportunities to score. Indeed, he will certainly be in a worse position than his basic position, and you will have all your chances. It seems obvious, so why should we “think” of the rebound? Simply because it is very easy to let down by the disappointment of not having scored at the first shot. I describe the situation to you: following an error of the opposing team, your center manages to intercept the puck and it profits from the escape that your team hoped so much to be able to return to the score. He gets into the net and tries to beat the goalie. Unfortunately, the puck bounces on his shield. Luckily, one of the wingmen manages to take advantage of the rebound, but again the goalkeeper prevents him from scoring. In too many cases, the first shooter does not take the time to analyze what happens after firing. He just shows his frustration by tapping his stick on the ice (or others, depending on the degree of frustration). However, in this situation, if he had quickly returned to the cage, he could have taken advantage of the second rebound. Always keep in mind that a rebound may be good for you and if you fail, you must immediately return to the cage to retry your luck. With a good snap-shot, it could fit!