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Ice Hockey Training – How to Be the Best

How does a hockey player nowadays make the NHL (National Hockey League)? This is a very important question as hockey players are entering the NHL at such a young age in this 21st century. In other words, how does a hockey player rise above the rest? The answer is actually quite simple.

The better hockey player:

  • Learns faster
  • Trains smarter
  • Improves tremendously each year
  • Trains to improve as quick as he can
  • Is more competitive and wants to win more than anyone else
  • Loves the game and is willing to do what it takes to be great
  • Studies the best players in the world
  • Is exposed to proper training equipment
  • Is passionate about the game and continually wants to learn more

These are only some of the attributes of a great player. We can put these attributes into categories. One category could be the uncontrollable qualities. Being passionate, and loving the game are uncontrollable. Too bad that if you are not born with these feelings than you are not going to the NHL. However, if you are born with them, there are many things you can do to feed your “fire” and improve at a faster rate than the rest.

One thing you can do is work on the mental game. A great way to do this is to watch what the pros do. When I say watch, I mean study and analyze, rewind and watch in slow motion. Do what the pros do and have what the pros have.

Another way to improve faster than the rest is to use old and new training tools to tune up your skills. One of the best hockey training tools out there right now is the Tape-2-Tape. Tape-2-Tape allows you to work on your passing, stickhandling, and one-timers without needing a partner.

The Hockey Training Programs

From Visually.

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Ice Hockey Goalies Playing Out of Your Mind

When a professional athlete has an incredible performance, he is often referred to as playing “out of his mind.” There is a lot of truth to this statement. In his phenomenally successfully book, “The Inner Game of Tennis,” W. Timothy Gallwey suggests that we really have 2 “selfs”. Self 1 is the ego– the critical, judgmental and analytical self that never stops thinking, and is continually giving instructions to self 2. Self 2 is the self that takes the action– plays the sport.

For the purpose of discussion, I will refer to Self 1 as “The Ego”, and Self 2 as “The Player.” What we need to realize is that when an athlete is “in the zone” or “playing out of his mind” he has achieved a state where he completely transcends The Ego. The Player is 100% in the moment, focused on the situation at hand, with no concern about the past or the future. The Player just plays and The Ego is quiet.

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You have likely heard the statement, “we are our own worst enemy.” One way to look at this statement is to realize that The Ego only gets in the way of optimal performance. When The Ego begins to give instructions to The Player, it causes stress, nervousness and over-thinking. Muscles will tighten when they shouldn’t. There will be much second guessing and a delay in response time.

Can we learn to transcend The Ego and get ourselves into a state of relaxed concentration– a state that allows us to be at our best? It takes a lot of practice and the right attitude, but I believe we can. A shift in mind needs to take place, where The Ego has 100% confidence in The Player’s ability to execute and successfully take the required action. That is step 1. The way you get there begins with practice– continual repetition of the situations that one will face in a game. Practice is the time you should be thinking, identifying errors and making adjustments. Practice is where the majority of the learning needs to happen.

Step 2: After enough repetition and learning takes place, the goal is to get The Ego to completely trust The Player. The mind needs to become quiet– free of criticism, instructions, judgment and emotion. Let The Player take over and play. When you get to this point, you’ll be playing “in the zone.” Ideally, you want to get to a point where, instead of The Ego continually “beating up” The Player, The Ego looks up to The Player in awe, with humility.

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I just gave you a lot to digest. Here is a simple breakdown of what I am talking about:

1) Consider the idea that you have 2 “selfs,” The Ego and The Player. The Ego analyzes, judges, criticizes and constantly barks instructions to The Player. This only gets in the way of The Player achieving optimal performance.

2) You must practice your physical game so much that you finally get to the point where The Ego completely trusts The Player to “get the job done” without any instructions or thinking about how you will do it.

3) The time to think, judge and make adjustments is in practice. Allow yourself to do this as necessary, but you should get to a point where, even in practice, The Player takes over and The Ego just watches in awe.

4) At game time, no matter how far you have come with your physical game, quiet your mind and focus 100% on the play at hand. Take emotion out of the equation. When you make a mistake, don’t get upset. View it as a “learning event,” take a moment to picture how you could have played it better, then let it go. At the same time, when you do something great, don’t get emotional. View it with humility, take a breath, and get ready for the next play.

5) Remember, the less you “think” when playing, the better you will perform. Hockey is a game of reading and reacting. Allow yourself to read and react, read and react. Trust yourself to let go of “trying to figure it out.” Just play.

Humans have an incredible natural ability to learn how to do new things very quickly. Learning happens very fast when The Ego stays quiet. The best way to learn is by watching someone who is very proficient at doing that which you want to learn how to do, then picturing yourself doing the action a few times in your mind. You then should try doing the action over and over, continually making adjustments until you master the action.

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Most of us learn the slow way. We have a coach or instructor telling us the steps we should be take, we try following the instructions, and then the coach or instructor continually criticizes us and tells us what we are doing wrong; keep your stick on the ice, lower your stance, raise your glove, turn you body, push off with your back foot, keep your shoulders level etc. When we focus on one thing, say keeping your glove higher, we forget to keep our shoulders even. Frustration sets in and our critical Ego starts telling us we can’t do it correctly. We end up doing too much thinking, which in turn gets in the way of natural learning.

A better, more natural way to learn is by watching a professional or highly skilled goalie perform the action a few times. Then, you should try doing it yourself over and over until you begin to do it better and better. A great tool to help you learn this way is video. Have someone videotape you doing the action. Watch the video and get an idea of how you need to adjust your movements, then go out and practice it some more. Keep making adjustments until you master the action.

For those of you who want to learn more about these strategies, I highly recommend the book, “The Inner Game of Tennis” by W. Timothy Gallwey. Yes, I did say Tennis. I don’t play Tennis. Personally, I am not very interested in Tennis. It doesn’t matter. This book contains the hidden gems, the secrets if you will, of how to perform at your best- regardless of the sport or activity.

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Speed Training Drills For Ice Hockey Players – How to Become a Faster Skater and Dominate the Game

Speed training drills are one of the absolute most important things that hockey players can focus on. Speed, along with power and agility, is one of the cornerstones of what makes a great hockey player, yet so many players simply ignore speed specific training. In this article we’ll look at exactly what you can do to train yourself to be faster and more explosive on the ice.

On-Ice Speed Training

On ice training is a great place to train for speed using certain drills to help maximize speed and acceleration. When doing your on ice speed training remember, that form and technique are the two places to focus on. Small changes in your form can have huge impacts on your overall speed, which is why power skating is so important.

Likewise, technique is huge. Watch the top skaters in the NHL skills competition and you’ll notice their technique. They don’t take a lot of fast, choppy strides to try and get down the ice as quickly as possible. Instead, they take two or three very quick powerful strides, get up to top speed almost immediately, and then use long smooth strides to maintain that speed. The key to this is “first stride speed” or “first stride acceleration”.

Off-Ice Speed Training

On-ice speed training is important, but the fact of the matter is, if you want to be able to skate your fastest, you absolutely need to focus on your hockey fitness. The gym is where the fastest players are made, and if you want to skate faster and dominate the competition, you absolutely need to be heading to the gym and doing exercises designed specifically to make you a faster, better hockey player.

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Volleyball Videos: Top Volleyball Videos

It is almost impossible to learn about the game of volleyball without volleyball videos. If you want to learn volleyball electronically, there is no other way to do it than watching videos.

Take it from me a volleyball coach, that it is impossible to read a bunch of articles about volleyball techniques and then try and implement them. Games are won and lost based on the small differences between technique, and the only way to make sure you or your team are doing it correctly is to watch the process for yourself by viewing volleyball videos.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, just imagine what volleyball videos are worth.

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There is no way I will force you to read a thousand words on how to do a specific technique, which is a reason why you should trust me and look up some videos online.

Featuring volleyball videos with top volleyball players, it becomes easier to understand the fundamentals of the game.

When picking an instructional video, make sure you find one that focuses on techniques and new ways of approaching the game. Everyone knows how to spike a volleyball, but the difference in video content occurs when you can view top players from around the world showing you their specialties.

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There are several options to find good instructional volleyball videos online, but most of them do not focus on the intricacies of the game, and instead are just promotional videos. When choosing the right instructional video, make sure you find one with the top players in the world.

My personal favorite features Andor Guylai and 3 Time Olympian Jeff Nygaard performing the “Bic and Pipe.” For all you avid volleyball fans out there, you understand what a fundamental and great play this is. I never realized that Jeff Nygaard is the inventor of this move!

If you have no idea what I am talking about, that probably means you should be looking up how to do this great move now. I mean when else can you easily access content related to top volleyball players divulging their secrets.

I use volleyball videos to assist myself in learning more about the fundamentals of the game, and it is also a great tool in helping my kids get better at the game. I force the team I coach to watch instructional volleyball videos all the time, and it has become a part of our weekly practice routine.

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