Whew—where did the season go? Every year it seems like faster than a Jack Eichel snipe or Meghan Duggan pass it’s gone.
With 2017-18 behind us, we look forward to 2018-19. A fresh sheet of ice and another chance to continue your development, make (more) friends and grow your passion for the game we all love to love.
So how do you improve in the offseason? And what types of things should you be doing to make sure you come back ready in October? Here are five suggestions—out of many options—we have for you.
1. Play anything but hockey: Maybe lacrosse is your game of choice. Maybe it’s baseball. Or golf. Or tennis. Heck, maybe it’s not a sport at all but biking, running, exploring the shore; whatever it is, make sure it’s not just hockey. It’s critical for players to take a break—just ask gold medalist and Westfield native Kacey Bellamy (click here to see more). Take off the pads, put them away and enjoy your summer, where the majority of your ice should be served in a cold glass with lemonade.
2. Vacation: Go to the cabin, camp out in the backyard with mom and dad, do something with your family that doesn’t revolve around hockey. Car rides and time at the rink are valuable, but the best family time is found in the space outside of hockey. Enjoy one another—especially without having to hand mom the stinky gear or dad the skates to lace up.
3. It’s OK to do a little hockey: We know it’s hard to complete stay away from the game, and that’s 100 percent OK. Absolutely work in some stickhandling in the driveway. Grab the rollerblades and work on your skating around the block. Call up your friends and see if they’re up for shooting at the spare net in your backyard. We may stress the importance of stepping away, but it doesn’t hurt to make a little bit of time each day to improve your skills too. Plus, if you love it, it doesn’t feel like work at all.
4. Off-ice training: No, we’re not talking about strict weight-lifting and hardcore off-ice training regimen. You can “train” in a lot of fun and unique ways, especially in the summer. Hop in the pool and cool off, and while you’re there do some laps to improve your core and arm strength. Have a boat connection? Strap on the water skis and again work your muscles while enjoying the water.
5. Have fun!: It really needs no explanation. The whole point of summer is to have fun in whatever you do. So enjoy yourself. We’ll see you in the fall!