1 Thing That EVERY Young Hockey Player Should Do this Off-Season

Posted on March 2, 2024

Time waits for no one, and before you know it, your minor hockey season will be over. Some have 7-8 weeks left. Others will be done in half that time. We are getting into Spring, despite the 704 feet of snow outside.

But for a lot of players – their second season is just beginning. Spring hockey season, that is. Want my take on Spring hockey? Click here!

I’m not going to sit here and tell you to avoid playing Spring hockey. Or avoid off-ice training, because that’s a wonderful way to make you better too (shout out to Power Conditioning for doing our off-ice components in 2024). But do NOT avoid..

Playing other sports.

Want to work on agility? Play ultimate frisbee. Want to work on speed? Lacrosse is a sprinting sport. How about toughness – rugby anyone? How about puck protection – ball hockey is my pick, hands down.

being a multi-sport athletes is great!

I am confident that playing other sports can help you improve at hockey. Tim Turk also agrees. Not to mention it helps one expand their social circle, minimize the risk of muscle fatigue, and as the old saying goes “absence makes the heart grow fonder”. Taking some time away from the ice – although it sounds counter-productive to some – is SMART.

Teddy Purcell – 500 NHL games (video here) agrees. Ted was a world-class ball hockey player (2X National Champ, along with yours truly). John Tavares was a heck of a lacrosse player. Sidney Crosby’s Cole Harbour Cardinals baseball team beat us (St. John’s Caps) at Atlantic’s back in the day. David Pastrnak plays on the Czech Republic’s national ball hockey team. Ty Pracek (Ontario Jr A/skills coach) feels the same way, and told us so in an interview right here (fast forward to 22:00)

That being said, don’t go overboard on other sports if hockey is the sport which you want to pursue (junior/college/pro etc). If I could rewind the clock, I would balance on-ice training, off-ice training, and one (1) other sport that was fun, engaging, and competitive. Sometimes, we spread ourselves too thin which isn’t healthy either. Some players want to mix in some social life and potentially a part-time job as well, which makes your choices all the more important. As my dad used to say “you can’t burn the candle at both ends”, and if you want to devote the best version of you on the ice and in the weight room, you have to find a balance with the other activities. If you play multiple cardio-based sports (example – ball hockey, soccer and tennis + on and off-ice training), it’s going to be awfully hard to put muscle on. Playing other sports is great and encouraged, but they are there to compliment the sport which you want to pursue, not hinder it.

Until Next Time,