Helpful Links and Drills
Remembering the Importance of Water (before, during & after the game)
As coaches, we see players coming to the bench out of breath after just one shift; and they reach for the water or sports drink. If you wait until you’re thirsty to drink, it’s too late…’damage’ at the cellular level may already be occurring and ‘thirst’ may have already settled in. The detrimental effects of dehydration on performance include
Loss of coordination
Impaired ability to decide
Increased rate of perceived exertion and
Increased risk of heat stress.
That is lots of serious stuff that sets in ‘later’. The point though: the first, less obvious effect is decreased muscle performance. You are just NOT at your best when your body doesn’t have the energy it needs. The process of hydration and conversion is complicated; and the good news is you can easily be better prepared by actively addressing these few steps. We promise you will notice a difference.
It starts well before game time. Get water into your system right when you wake up. Your body worked hard keeping you healthy during the night and it deserves rewarded right off the bat. Also drink at least two glasses of water (16 oz) - even if you are not ‘thirsty’ - an hour BEFORE game time. Your body needs time to grab the oxygen from the H2O and get it to your cells. (Many of our teams have started to drink water in the locker room, well before we even go out for the warmup).
During the game, you need to replace sweat. It is crucial to helping you maintain your body temperature. It’s been said a 5% drop in hydration corresponds to a 20% feeling of increased thirst. So, take in another 4-6 oz. of water during each period. Aim to match your sweat rate with fluid intake If you are sweating more, then remember to drink more. Plus, drink at a rate that is consistent and comfortable. (Meaning, take in a little at a time, frequently (without waiting, then gulping). Gulping may make you feel full and require time for your body to process and ‘feel right’.
Water will also help after the game as you recover. Note we highlight plain water, not sugary/caffeinated sports drinks. They can make things worse, messing with your blood/sugar levels and concentrating blood/energy to the stomach and other digestive functions. We will all be playing doubleheaders this year. Lots of water in-between games is critical.
A quick note about breakfast, please DO eat one. Make it a small amount, with some fruit and a small amount of lean protein. (Eggs seem to work well). Avoid high-fat foods like sausage, or high-sugar cereals.
Hockey is an exciting sport that is demanding to play. These small suggestions will certainly translate into big results when implemented. Here’s to the continued success of our players!
Here is a good way to start the break out in practice. Disclaimer this takes time don’t expect them to be doing this well the first couple practices or the first half of the year. Even if it takes them a while to pick it up at least you are giving them the tools to be a better team. Here is a link to see it in action.
The first thing is to draw the breakout out so they can first see it.
Then have them get into position a guy behind the net, a guy on the left and right wall then the 4th guy in the neutral zone center. Here is a link to see the player positioning
Walk each guy through their position one at a time. Without the puck at half speed.
Have them get back in position and do it with a puck at half speed
Then start them all at the blue line. Have the coach dump the puck in on net and see if they can set up in the right position and then breakout pass the blue line with no pressure at game speed.
No need to do this full rink yet
Eventually, you can start adding forecheckers to get them out of their comfort zones forcing them to make a hockey play.
3 Man Weave
A good drill to do once you start having them breakout using the full rink is the 3 man weave. Here a link to see it in action. But for anyone that has played basketball, it’s the same concepts of making a pass then moving through the line.
Links to other practice drills