One of the most important aspects of playing for a hockey team is fitness and endurance. Players need to be able to run for the full 35 minutes before the half-time break and, it goes without saying that, those who are fitter can not only last the entire match, but can also get to the ball quicker.
Improving your fitness levels is no small task and in order to reach the level of fitness required to play hockey well – mental strength, dedication and hard work are the name of the game. Fortunately, there are ways of “tricking” your brain, not to focus on the tough aspects of fitness, and many different way of training your body to get hockey-ready fit, that are not only good for you but fun as well!
The best cardiovascular endurance activities are ones that raise and keep your heart rate elevated for long periods of time. If running isn’t for you, you might like to try a few of these activities to get hockey-ready.
- Road-cycling allows the body to do more work (pedalling) but puts less stress on the body. It also reduces recovery time. Cycling works on the cardiovascular system therefore training the body to endure long periods of running.
- Swimming a few laps, having short rests in between and each time increasing the number of laps you do, can help your fitness levels tremendously.
- The most enjoyable of all the fitness boosters is dancing and spending about two hours a week dancing in your room on your own or even joining a class (for the brave) is guaranteed to get your heart rate pumping and keep it there!
- Three hours of kickboxing per week is the ultimate cardio workout, not only working on fitness but also on balance and the muscles in your upper body.
If you are dedicated to your hockey, make this season about getting fit – you’ll be amazed how it changes your game.