Playing sports other than hockey helps develop the skills necessary to be successful on the ice
Many hockey specialists and coaches profess that before anything else, a good hockey player should be an athletic player. What this means is that in order to achieve their full potential, young hockey players should develop skills beyond hockey and practice other sports.
“The ability to learn agility, balance, and coordination that comes from playing a variety of sports builds a solid foundation for athletic success, physical fitness and more importantly, staying active for life,” says Corey McNabb, director of player development with Hockey Canada.
Hockey Canada is not alone in believing that encouraging young players to play baseball, lacrosse, soccer, or any other sport help them improve their hockey abilities too. Legends such as Bobby Orrand professional coaches profess that complete athletes make better hockey players and thatspecializing too early is not best for player development.
So, to ensure a young player achieves their potential in hockey or other sports, and to develop to their potential physically and mentally, they should develop their athletic abilities and physical literacy by being involved in other sports and activities.
Hockey Canada’s top six sports and activities to develop better hockey players:
Lacrosse: Develops hand eye co-ordination, balance and agility
Soccer: Great for fitness, stamina, foot speed and reading team play
Baseball: Awesome for developing hand-eye co-ordination, athleticism, focus and lateral movement speed
Team handball: Develops overall athleticism, agility and power
Racquet sports: Excellent for hand-eye co-ordination, lateral mobility and quickness of body and mind
Gymnastics and yoga: Develops balance, agility, coordination, flexibility and athleticism