The offseason is here! Or perhaps the on-season is here for you if your primary sport of choice occurs largely in the spring or summer.
But if that’s the truth, then chances are you’re not glued to this here hockey blog. Uh, I mean tennis blog. Wait, it’s a fitness blog.
Oh no, I know, it’s a comedy blog. The NSWC hired me because I’m so funny and I spell real good.
Well, I didn’t get this funny just by telling jokes all the time. No, to maintain this level of hilarity, one needs to take a break from time to time and dabble in other things. Seriously, do you know what it’s like to be constantly ‘on’? It’s exhausting. Kinda like how it’s exhausting to shelter, clothe and feed your children before taxi-ing them all around hell’s half acre.
Whether you’re a parent, a blogger, or a minor hockey player, there are things you can do in the offseason to improve your game and make yourself hungrier than ever to get back at it come the fall.
Floating motionless in a warm pool of water surrounded by a thousand children might sound like a nightmare for hockey parents, but for hockey players, there’s no better way to rehab a tired body than by soaking it in life-bringing watery goodness. Swimming is great for a hockey player’s joints because it’s low impact and every inch of muscle is called on to propel the body through the water.
Speaking of joints, soccer is a great way to improve the strength in the lower legs - the ankles, the feet and the calves. Hockey skates are stiff and supportive these days to prevent ankle injuries, but the downside is that ankle joints and calves sputter and weaken throughout the season. They’re not called getaway sticks for no reason, after all.
I’m a huge fan of the Golden State Warriors, Steph Curry in particular. For all the commotion being made about the Dubs’ onslaught on every offensive record in NBA history, it’s their defensive game that’s truly impressive. Basketball requires man on man defense. Young basketball players gain an appreciation for defense because of the controlled, structured nature of the sport that’s not always present in hockey.
Creativity, time with the puck, freedom to make plays without the threat of a devastating bodycheck - these are all key elements of hockey played on wheels. Plenty of professional hockey players chalk up a lot their skill development to inline hockey. The puck and floor have a different feel to them, but the mechanics to manipulate the puck in order to shoot, pass and stickhandle are all basically the same.
Have you ever been to a professional lacrosse game? The fact there isn’t a paddy wagon waiting to take each and every player to a police station after the game to charge them with assault is mind-boggling. You can’t play lacrosse absent toughness and courage. No one is truly hurt, but they are inconvenienced in a major way. Lacrosse can teach exhausted hockey players that there’s always some other determined opponent out there, and they don’t care how tired you are.
I don’t know, hand-eye coordination I guess?
Just kidding, baseball enthusiasts. You can chew sunflower seeds when you play baseball.