1. Set some goals for the next phase of the season.
Where do you want to be in a month? 6 weeks? Next season? Reflect on how far you’ve come this season and where you want the next year to take you. Make sure to write down these goals and keep them nearby for reference, to track them, and to amend them depending on how the next phase of this season and the next year evolve. You’ll be shocked to see how far you can come. Make them SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant/rewarding, and Time-bound/trackable.
2. Try something new to challenge your body.
While it’s tempting to spend all your time on the ice, investing some time in a sport that complements your training can have huge benefits, physically and mentally. Yoga is fantastic for flexibility, balance, and strength while swimming builds endurance, boosts circulation, and is great cardio training. Both these sports also challenge and build your ability to focus and be mindful. Not into these? Martial arts, soccer, lacrosse, and tennis are also great options for hockey players. Be careful not to overexert your body and give it time to rest and recover.
3. Learn to fuel yourself
It’s no secret that eating right and properly fueling your body are a huge part of performance. Make a commitment to fueling your body properly not just before and after a game, but all week long. This includes lots of whole, fuel-boosting carbohydrates, protein to build and repair tissues, fruits/veggies, healthy fat, and lots of hydration. There are tons of thorough resources available online or consider consulting your family doctor or a nutritionist.
4. Hone your pre-game routine
Having a routine is a perfect way not just to make sure you have your hockey bag full of everything you need, but that your mind is prepared. Think about what best prepares you physically and mentally for a game, make a list, and before each game or practice, channel your inner Santa and check it twice (or just once).
5. Up your cognitive game
One skill that’s often overlooked but super important – training a players’ brain. During the season, practices and games put a lot on strain on players’ bodies and minds – which is why midseason is still a great time to begin work on cognitive skills. Improving hockey IQ, also referred to as hockey sense, helps the ability to predict game flow, set-up plays, find space, and overall have the ability to understand the ice. A strong cognitive game not only improves performance, but it’s also a valuable skill for safety.