Although I retired from playing in the best women’s hockey league in the world last season (called Senior AAA here in Canada), I am still playing one level below the elite players in the Senior AA league. Our team played in a tournament this past weekend and in the championship game, we played our best game of the season. A few of us were joking that we could compete with the Senior AAA teams if we actually practiced and trained like we used to. But that night, I watched a Senior AAA game and realized that my teammates and I were a little bit delusional. Those teams would have blown us out of the water. Here’s why…
We just aren’t fast enough to play at the highest level of women’s hockey in the world anymore.
I am not just talking about straightaway skating speed here.
Most high-level female hockey players are pretty much equally as fast once they get up to full speed. The difference is how quickly they can get to full speed. It should only take an elite player 3 or 4 quick acceleration strides to get up to full speed. For those of us who have dropped down from the highest level, we have the “jump” in our first step that would allow us to keep up with the fastest women’s hockey players in the world. Those of us who are just one ability-level below the elite players no longer participate in the on-ice and off-ice training that is necessary to have incredible first-step quickness.
But the speed differences don’t end with just skating speed.
Another HUGE difference is the speed with which the elite players execute every skill on the ice.
Their passes are not only faster, but they get the pass off faster.
Their shoots are not only faster, but their release is much quicker.
They react faster and capitalize on opportunities more quickly.
Every decision is made at breakneck speed.
We may be able to execute the same skills, but they can do it much faster.
Overall speed is really the difference between being a good female hockey player and a great female hockey player.
You need to increase the speed with which you play the game if you want to take your game to the next level. All those elite players are on the ice 5 or 6 days a week pushing themselves to get better and are training off the ice at least 3 or 4 days a week to increase their strength and speed.
What are you going to do take the speed of your game to the next level?
Work Hard. Dream BIG. Get Fast.
~ Coach Kim
PS – To find out how you can bring a Total Female Hockey Speed Camp to your team or association, visit: Your Own Female Hockey Speed Camp