The holidays, for schoolgirls, are a time for relaxing, spending time with friends and family, and doing fun activities. But what can players do in the holidays to maintain their hockey fitness? The answer is not in strenuous training and rigorous diets – players need their rest but also need to be mindful of their hockey goals.
It is important to remember that while you are preparing for the next season, you should not overdo hockey-related exercises, as this could lead to injuries later on. Try to do exercises that will maintain your overall fitness level and are fun to do.
Here are some tips on how to stay fit over the holidays:
- Stay Active:
When we are on holiday, it is tempting to become lazy and watch too much TV. Instead get outdoors and participate in fun physical activities, such as going to the park, or even something as simple as walking your dog, swimming a few lengths in the pool, mowing the lawn, or helping out with your mom’s spring cleaning. Encourage family and friends to do these things with you as it is more fun when you have company and it is easier to stay motivated when not alone.
- Get enough sleep:
When younger hockey players are not at school, they may want to stay up later to play or to watch TV. Older players also want to stay up late and often sleep for much longer in the mornings, but this can have adverse effects as they will crave an energy boost the next day, one that is often full of sugar.
- Choose healthily:
While players shouldn’t limit themselves, after all, it is difficult to control what you eat when the family have made an indulgent holiday meal. The key here is to, wherever possible, choose healthy whole grain, sugar-free and low fat options. When this is just not possible, choose in moderation. Also remember not to skip meals, as this can lead to overindulging later on.
- Remember to hydrate:
It is not just during rugby matches that players need to remember to stay hydrated, when on holiday it can be easy for them to forget this important rule. Don’t satisfy your thirst with fizzy drinks and sugar-loaded fruit juices, instead aim to drink 2 litres of water a day, and avoid reaching for the ever-popular energy drinks. If water is not too your taste, try infusing it with refreshing summer fruit, eg cucumber.
- Choose to exercise early:
Whatever your choice of physical activity, be it a long run or something simpler like helping in the garden, you should aim to do it in the early or mid-morning each day. Once it is out of the way, the rest of the day is open to enjoying the holidays.
FUN HOLIDAY GAME – WATER BALLOON VOLLEYBALL
During the hot summer months, kids will enjoy a game involving water. Players of any age will enjoy this challenging but fun game and the added anticipation of getting wet just adds to the excitement.
What you need:
- A barrier – some rope tied between two trees or use an old net if you have one.
- Restraining lines – Mark off a field of play by behind each side of the net with some cones or some string.
- Height – Try to make sure that the “net” is raised to about the chest height of the shortest child.
- Two sheets – one for each team.
- A packet of water balloons.
- Players – The game can be played with six to 16 players.
- The game begins with one team placing a water balloon in the centre of the sheet. All team members must hold onto the sheet with both hands.
- Two team members must stand outside the restraining line for the “serve” of the water balloon to the other team.
- When the water balloon is launched to the other side of the net, the opposing team must then attempt to catch the water balloon in their sheet, and then to launch it back over the net to the other team.
- There can only be three launch attempts per side. In other words, the water balloon can land in the sheet, be bounced out of the sheet but caught again by the same team three times before it has to go over the net.
- A water balloon popping, dropping on a boundary line, or failing to be caught scores a team one point. The winning team must win by two points.