How to Take Care of Your Ice Hockey Skates

It is supposed that taking care for ice skates is not important at all. However, one must give proper care to a pair of skates for them to last long. It is possible that your skates get cleaned out within months or weeks if they are not taken proper care of.

When you are off the ice and still wearing skates, ensure that you wear rubber or plastic skate guards over skate blades without fail. Skate guards help to protect the blades from grit and hard surfaces that quickly ruin a well-sharpened blade. Also, it keeps the skate guards at the border of the ice and places them on your skate blades even if you are off the ice for a while. A very important point to remember is that when you are not using skates; do not leave skate guards on the blades as they may catch moisture even when you are not near the ice.

Experts are of the opinion that skate blades should be manually dried just after skating. Make use of one or two very porous golf size terry cloth towels to clean down the metal plate, the boot, and the blades. It is important that you concentrate on the metal parts of the skate. One should never leave skates to be wiped later. When the moisture is removed from them, completely cover the blades with fabric blade covers.

Do not store skates in a travel bag at home. Make sure that they are removed from the bag instantly so that both the metal and the leather parts can air dry. It is also advised that you release the laces and pull the tongue of each boot slightly forward. You can also lay the skates on their sides on a dry towel so that they do not touch. Allow them to air dry in a place where they are exposed to light. But ensure that they are not placed away from any heat source and are under the direct sunlight. If they are placed below direct sunlight, they may possibly dry out and the leather will crack. Thus, taking care of your hockey equipment is as significant as training for the sport.

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Fun Volleyball Drills to Teach Essential Skills

Volleyball is a game that people play to have fun. While there is the competition of two opposing teams, neither team would be on the court unless they thought volleyball was a fun sport. Because they can be a lot of hard work, the best way to get your team to learn new skills with success is to try to use some fun volleyball drills. Drills by definition are hard. They are designed to teach the team certain skills, which can become very dull, leading to the team not really putting forth the effort to do them. Use some of these fun volleyball drills and you will see your team’s skills improve while they are having fun.


The three man weave drill is one of the fun volleyball drills that can really encourage teamwork. A set of 3 players are set up in a triangular formation, with the two players in front, players A and B, standing close to each other, while the third player, C, stands about 10 feet behind them. Player A then sets the ball high in the air, where C will position themselves under the ball to set it to player B. Player A then takes the place of player C, C moves to position B, and position A rotates back to position C. This is continued in a circle with each member setting the ball, then rotating to the next position. To make this a bit more interesting, have the whole team practice this drill together in small groups. Have the members of any site that drop the ball run suicides. The last team standing doesn’t have to do them.


Another one of the great fun volleyball drills is the Queen of the Court drill. The queen of the court pits teams of 2, 3 and 4 players against each other in free ball play. The first team to drop the ball or cause it to touch the ground is the losing team. If you pit up teams together so that everyone has a chance to play each other, then the last team standing would be considered the queen of the court. All other teams must then run lines or do suicides. This gives a sense of pride to the winners, while establishing teamwork for those who are facing the punishments.

Volleyball players really do sometimes find drills fun, depending on what they consist of. Players can definitely benefit from fun volleyball drills that help with diving to the floor. Diving to the floor can be an intimidating experience the first few times a deep dig is called for. By borrowing from the football team, you can help your team overcome this fear. Have the players run in place, then point to a direction. Without stopping, the team must all turn and continue running in place, facing the direction you pointed to. After a few turns, blow the whistle. This is the cue for the team to dive to the ground. After a couple of times of doing this, diving to the ground won’t be scary at all. Once the team is used to doing it, start making the last player who hits the deck run lines or do some other form of penalty. This will cause the team to start hitting the deck faster, and generally harder, thus removing any fear whatsoever for big digs during the game.


Fun volleyball drills, with the right amount of competition and penalties, can make practices a lot easier to enjoy for your team. Drilling them using enjoyable aspects can be rewarding in ways that you hadn’t thought possible before. Keeping leader boards will remind the team of who they need to beat in the next set of competitions, while the leader will have a sense of pride that comes with seeing their name on top. All of these tips for fun volleyball drills can be used in different ways around the court. Make these drills your own, change them up as needed, and remind your team that they are training because they enjoy the game they are playing.

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Distilling Trust With Volleyball Drills

As a volleyball coach, you are going to run into many different types of players, each with their own personalities. This can make it difficult for a group of individuals to come together as a team, rather than a bunch of individuals hitting a ball. Fortunately, that is where you and your volleyball drills come in. With the right set of volleyball drills by your side, you can mold a group of people with different play styles and personalities into a well-oiled volleyball machine. There are several potential problems that can be avoided with the right drill work.

One potential problem is a clash of personalities. When a new person joins the team, you will often find that the new player and one of the returning players have a personality conflict. This will make it hard for these two players to work together as a team. Using a good set of teamwork building volleyball drills, you can offset the detrimental effects of those differences. A good way to accomplish this is to run drills that force the two players to work together. As they are drilled together, they will see that in various ways, they depend upon each other during game play. Gradually, they will begin to trust each other, at least on the court, and be able to set their differences aside. Volleyball drills likely won’t solve problems off of the court, but they will be a strong start.

Another problem can be the inclusion of a new player onto an existing team. This can be especially true if most of the team is returning members. Each member of the team already knows the strengths and weaknesses of the other players, and already knows that they can trust each other to do what needs to be done. A new player is an unknown. No one knows yet if that player can be trusted to be where they need to be, or even if they can fit into the playing style of the team. By using the same volleyball drills you have used before, you ensure that the new player is indoctrinated into the team dynamics the same way as everyone else was. This makes the transition that much easier, as the team sees the skills and reliability of the new player emerge. The new player, at the same time, begins to feel a part of the team. Your volleyball drills enable each member of the team, both new and returning, to trust each other no matter what the circumstances.

Styles of play are often different for new members of a volleyball team. Using your volleyball drills, you enforce a more common type of play style that everyone starts to use. Someone who has been playing beach volleyball will have the basic set of skills needed to play in a gym, but the styles themselves will vary quite a bit. Your drills help train the team to work together, yet trust in each other’s playing style. Even the most diverse of styles can work together when drilled enough.

You may have noticed that each of the scenarios presented features a common theme. That is trust and respect. Your volleyball drills will help your team learn to trust and respect each other. By showing them that they can trust in each other, you are building a solid team, no matter what the initial difficulties may be. As the team becomes a cohesive unit, and their overall skills begin to grow, the team will also respect your coaching styles. So remember that when you are preparing your volleyball drills, you are fostering a sense of trust in each member of the team, as well as in the team as a whole.

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Common USAV Volleyball Recruiting Tournaments

For anyone who is hoping to be recruited to play volleyball on the collegiate level, attending volleyball recruiting tournaments is an important part of the overall process. These tournaments not only give you more insight into the world of college volleyball, a world that can be extensive and intimidating, but they also give you the following:

Exposure, exposure, exposure: In a nutshell, a college can’t recruit you if they don’t know you exist. Yep, it’s that simple. This is why attending volleyball recruiting tournaments is a must do for anyone who is hoping to be noticed. The more volleyball you play the more likely you are to be noticed by someone with influence, someone looking to add to his or her team. But, don’t limit yourself to just playing in tournaments, also play for your high school as well as competitive club teams. In short, play as often as you can.

Networking Possibilities: When it comes to college volleyball, networking is the name of the game. As mentioned above, coaches have to know who you are before they can actively seek you out. Volleyball recruiting tournaments are a great place to network, to get your name in circulation. You just never know who might hear it.

A Giant Stage to Show off Skills: Of course, volleyball tournaments are also an ideal place to show off your skills. These tournaments are crawling with college volleyball recruiting officials. This makes them a great stage to show the coaches and recruiters why you are a must have. You can go into a tournament being unknown, and leave being the talk of the gym.

But Keep in Mind: The volleyball rules that apply in general also apply at tournaments. During volleyball recruiting tournaments, coaches can not speak with you. The NCAA maintains recruiting rules that limit coaches’ ability to communicate during these times. Coaches are allowed to sit down and discuss you with a parent or legal guardian, but they are not allowed to speak with you, other than a simple nod or a hello. Thus, don’t feel bad if a coach seems to ignore you: they are watching, they are just not talking.

Volleyball tournaments are a great venue for both known and unknown players to show universities what they can do on the court. For anyone hoping to play at the collegiate level, playing at the tournament level is a step in the right direction.

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Ice Hockey 101

If you dream of attaining glory on the hockey rink, it is time to give your PS3 a rest, get off the couch and get to business. Fitness, skills and strategy are vital to your gameplay. So get into shape and start honing your strengths.

Get the Basics Right

Eating healthy will go a long way in aiding your hockey career. Give up the fries and coke and start munching on greens. A good night’s sleep is also vital to any player’s health. Don’t lose out on your REM sleep and ditch the habit of watching movies or playing video games before sleeping. The action packed visuals keep your mind racing long after you’ve drifted off to sleep. Extracting yourself from Halo might be a monumental task but in hockey, you win some and you lose some.

The key to a good physique is the right training schedule. Follow the rest and recovery routine and instead of sprints, run shuttles or suicides. Mix it up; get ample rest between exercises so that your body can easily adapt to extreme situations.

Train to Win

Quickness is an important trait in hockey. The rink isn’t big enough for long movements so you need to be excellent at short, quick manoeuvres. Practice short sprints and diagonal movements to increase your quickness in the rink.

Strength is not about how beefed up you are, it is about how much you can endure. Develop your resistance, it will add to your stride and forcefulness during the game.

As a hockey player, you need to pay extra attention to your femur muscles. Performing overhead squats will loosen up your hip flexors and improve your bending posture. Inculcate static and dynamic stretching exercises in your training schedule as they will open up your muscles and give them a wider range of action.

A six pack might be pleasing to the eyes but having a set of washboard abs means low body fat. Thus your body has less fuel to burn and you risk running out of gas in the middle of a game. So don’t sacrifice your performance for an aesthetically appealing physique.

You must cool off after a heated training session. Riding a stationary bike helps regulate your blood flow and prevents cramping. Wrap up your training with simple stretching exercises.

Sharpen Your Skills

Reading the ice correctly and understanding the game is as important as playing it. Play the game as much as you can, with friends, family, coaches, teammates and even alone. This will help you tune in to the intricacies of hockey and speed up your reaction time.

Shooting is a skill that you simply must possess, how else will you win those games? Practice shots from different angles and positions; see what works best for you. The trick is to practice and practice so much that shooting comes naturally when you are being hounded by the opponents in the middle of a nerve-wracking game.

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