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Improve Ice Hockey Speed – Off-Ice Tips and Advice

The Road to Speed
It’s not an easy road by any means. Like anything else, if you want something, you will have to work for it; it will not just be simply handed to you. Many people have this misconception that there is a program out there that can make you into an all-star over night. Sorry to burst those bubbles, but there is no such thing.

The Ingredients
There are three main ingredients to improving your hockey speed:

  1. Strength – Power in your legs will give you a stronger stride and ultimately make you a faster skater.
  2. Technique – Without proper technique, you will never be able to use your strength to its full potential.
  3. Motivation – without motivation and dedication, you will never be able to improve either of the above categories.

Applying These Methods
It is important that you stay focused on the goal you have at hand. If it is speed you are looking for, make sure you take all the right steps to achieve that goal. You need to stay committed and honest with your off-ice programs if you are going to see any signs of success.

When doing an off-ice program, hockey players should focus on the aspect of plyometrics. Plyometrics are the exercise of choice for almost every hockey player because of the benefits it can bring to the individual. This form of exercise will emphasize explosive power and target the muscles that hockey players use when making a stride on the ice.

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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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Volleyball Play Overview

Volleyball can be a fun sport, but some of the volleyball plays can be pretty intense. Players who have been practicing these plays for a while, however, can make them look easy. Don’t be fooled, though. It takes a lot of practice with the entire team to get the timing of some of these plays down.

A quick review of some basic rules about volleyball in general might be helpful. There are two teams, separated by a net in the middle of the court. Each team has six players, three playing on the front row close to the net and three on the back row, toward the outside of the court. The server steps out of the court to serve the ball, hitting it over the net to the opposing team. From that point, the maximum number of hits that can be done by a team when the ball is on their side of the net is three. There are many more rules to volleyball, but those are the most basic rules to keep in mind.

Much like most other team sports, there are offensive and defensive plays. There are virtually an unlimited number of plays that can be done, based on the skill and imagination of the team and coaches. There are, however, some commonly known plays that many teams practice.

Offensive volleyball plays are plays made by the team that has the ball on their side of the net. The main thrust of these plays is to get the ball over the net, and not have it returned, either by it hitting the court before it is touched by a defensive player, hit out of bounds by the defenders, or hit more than three times by the defenders. Some commonly known plays are the slide, where the attacking player runs to the ball leaping off of one foot, the isolation play, where one attacker is used as a distraction in order for another attacker to press the attack, and the cross, when two players cross each others path to hit the ball, giving the defenders two targets to watch instead of one. Teamwork is essential for any of these plays to be successful.

When the ball is hit to the other side of the net, the defensive plays are used to ensure the ball remains in play so as not to give up the point. Many times, the offensive team will spike the ball, or try to place the ball in a position that is hard for the defending team to save. These defensive plays are known as blocking. Blocking can be done in several different ways, including the double block, which is when two players jump together to complete a successful block, the dig, where the player often dives for the ball to prevent it from hitting the court, and the basic block, which is stopping the ball right at the net, knocking it back to the offensive side’s court.

While it can be fairly easy to describe these volleyball plays, their successful execution can take a lot of hard work. Players on the team must learn to work together, often anticipating where they are each going to be for virtually any play. This obviously requires a lot of practice. Like any sport, however, the most successful teams make these plays look easy to execute.

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Teambuilding Volleyball Drills

A difficult skill to teach for a volleyball coach is team building. There are some good volleyball drills that can help build teamwork and camaraderie with your players. You will want to work on this skill in order for each player to be able to trust in their teammates and know that they can count on them to make the plays that is expected of them. One of the most important concepts you will want to instill in your team is that a team is 6 players working in tandem, rather than 6 people trying to carry everything on their own. These volleyball drills will go a long way toward helping build this team spirit.

One of the great volleyball drills that will help build team work is a race of sorts. Pick a relatively long distance and have the team run together. You will want to set a realistic time to beat for the entire team. Once that is established, let the team start out running. In order to work correctly, however, you will need to set certain consequences depending upon the outcome. Because they are running as a team, you can establish that there will be a penalty of 1 suicide for every 5 seconds that elapses between the first team mate to cross the finish line and the last. This will help your team work together to cross as closely together as possible. That is also where the time limit comes into play. The same type of penalty can apply for every 5 seconds that the team misses the limit by. This will help prevent the entire team from simply walking together. These types of volleyball drills will help your team work together toward a common goal.

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Using an obstacle course as teamwork building volleyball drills can be another interesting change of pace. One of the great ways to accomplish this is to set up a course that is designed to be done by a pair of players. You want to make players have to help each other. If your players are forced to help each other, they will come to depend upon each other. Using time limits will also help ensure that your teams try their hardest, rather than just coasting through the course. You can offer penalties for too much difference in the times between teams finishing, or add the times of the teams together as one overall time. This is a good way to use volleyball drills to condition as well as build a cohesive team.

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Not all volleyball drills have to offer penalties to the team to be effective. You can help your team grow together by simply using typical strategies found in traditional team building camps. These can include anything that you think will help your players come to trust and rely on each other. A great example of this is having half of your team close their eyes and fall backwards into the arms of one of their teammates. This is one of the best ways to instill trust in each other. With a little imagination, you can integrate many different trust building skills into your volleyball drills.

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A team is only as good as its weakest player. This is why you want to use volleyball drills to help your team come together as a cohesive unit. By building a team spirit, you will help ensure that you have a single team on the court at any time, rather then just 6 individual players. Team building volleyball drills can be as important as any other type of drill you will work on through the season.

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Speed Training Drills For Ice Hockey Players – How to Get Faster and Stay Faster

Speed training drills are often times not incorporated into hockey practices. There will always be skating drills, but speed is often something simply attributed to nature. The thinking goes that any player who isn’t naturally fast, probably won’t ever be. This is completely wrong. Like anything in sport and fitness, speed can be improved through proper training and practice. Here are some tips to help in that improvement.

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Firstly, form is of great importance to speed, and a lot of players don’t skate at their maximum speed purely because of bad form. If form has been identified as a problem, it’s time to hit the power skating classes. No one is too old for power skating if their stride is in need of some tweaking. The simple corrections to minor imperfections in a player’s stride can have huge impacts.

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Secondly, watch how the pros do it. In the NHL skills competition, the fastest skater competition tends to feature some of the same faces each year. One thing you’ll notice if you watch them is they all have a similar strategy. They’ll start off with very short, powerful strides to get them up to speed as fast as possible, but once they’ve reached speed, they stop taking the short, bursting strides, and transfer into longer, smoother ones. This is something many players ignore, instead opting to keep their feet moving as fast as possible, as if they were running on the ice. This is a mistake. Start your strides short, get up to speed, and then maintain the speed by smoothing and lengthening your stride.

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Volleyball Warm-Ups

Warming your body up is essential in any sport, regardless of whether you are training, or whether you are playing a full on game. When it comes to Volleyball, warming-up is important because of the number of muscles that are used, and the extent that they are used. You need to warm-up your legs, feet, stomach muscles and most importantly the arms and fingers. Warming your body up in Volleyball should be done slowly, and stretching needs to occur at the same time. If you don’t stretch before playing Volleyball you will end up with sore muscles afterwards. It’s vital to stretch after playing Volleyball too, as this removes the lactic acid that builds up.

Warm-ups for training can be done at any pace, in many different ways. Often just playing a simple game is a great way to get people motivated and into gear. However, warm-ups on a court can have a huge effect on your opponents. You want to look intimidating, as this will help to give your team the edge. I don’t mean that you have to be rude when it comes to spiking and hit balls at them, but you want a routine that looks professional and that works well. With this, they will see that you know what you are doing and will be intimidated.

Doing the skills that you would normally in a Volleyball for your Warm-ups are vital. Plenty of setting, passing and spiking is very well worth it, which is usually where pepper comes in. Warming your body up on a Volleyball Court is usually very standard, with spiking being done 5 minutes in, and then with serving being done too.

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