It wasn’t too long after unpacking hockey skates for this year’s pre-season and team tryouts that we were putting them away again. COVID-19 restrictions have caused (another) abrupt pause to team sports, and there hasn’t been much hockey happening in and around Montreal this fall.
My “manager” hoodie that I’m always so proud to wear is hung up in the closet, my husband’s coaching gear is stashed away, and my 12-year old’s skates are sharpened and waiting their chance to break back out of the hockey bag.
On top of changes at school and in their social lives, the uncertainty surrounding the return to sports is taking a toll on children’s physical, emotional, and mental health. Thankfully, there are still ways to stay connected to the game while staying home.
Boost hockey fitness off the ice
Adam Douglas, Hockey Canada’s lead strength & conditioning coach, has tips and tricks for staying active off-ice in his Active with Adam series. Skills that players can work on include strength, flexibility, and mental endurance.
Douglas says that sports will return eventually, and in the meantime “Stay fit, stay well and make the most of your situation.”
Hockey-themed learning at home
Whether your kids are in school or learning from home, The Hockey Canada School Program can inspire with fun hockey-themed lessons plans. The grade K-6 curriculum engages students and enhances their knowledge of the game through activities like exploring rhythm instruments with Raffi’s song On Hockey Days, learning the history of hockey players’ equipment, and discovering science concepts while researching temperatures in an arena.
JOGA for athletes
Nope, we didn’t misspell yoga! JOGA is yoga for athletes and players of all ages and incorporates recovery, mobility, balance, and power. Players might work on hip and ankle mobility, or breathing and relaxation techniques.
You can find “Moves of the Month” and off-season training routines by downloading the Hockey Canada Network App (free and paid subscription options) at HockeyCanadaNetwork.com
While virtual drills and online games aren’t the same as kids being with their team and coaches in-person, they’re a good alternative until we all head back to the rink.
Stay safe, stay motivated, and stay active!