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Youth Hockey Players & Off-Season Preparation

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
Contributed by USA Hockey

For all young kids, daily physical activity is important to ensuring future success; simply keeping them active throughout the summer is the first step in positioning them for success next season. But, moving beyond that basic advice, there are ways to help them prepare specifically for the upcoming hockey season. The types of offseason activities they experience can make a difference.
Enrolling your child in almost any sport will add to their future hockey skill set and athleticism, but invasion sports, like hockey, soccer, basketball and lacrosse, can be especially helpful for improving a child’s overall tactical awareness in a way that translates directly to hockey. Among other things, these invasion sports teach them how to create advantages, like 2-on-1s, that are common to succeeding in hockey. An additional benefit of invasion sports is that they often demand a higher level of exertion and activity, which also translates well for the hockey player.

Another beneficial offseason activity is swimming lessons. Not only is developing the ability to swim important for water safety, it’s also an ambidextrous activity developing the whole body’s movement skills. And it’s low impact.

Simple, old-fashioned “kid stuff,” like riding a bike, is also beneficial. It helps develop their balance while also keeping them in motion, and as long as they keep moving, they’re developing themselves to be better hockey players in the coming season and beyond.
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