Here it comes…
…Training camp is less than 2 weeks away for most teams here in
the Toronto area.
So while we enjoy the final few weeks of summer before hockey season
goes into full swing, I wanted to pass along a few tips that you can use
to make sure that you have a terrific training camp and a great start to the
season in September.
:::: 4 Tips For A Great Training Camp ::::
Every aspiring young athlete should think of their bodies as a high-performance
automobile. Whether they are a Lamborghini, Corvette or Porsche, they have to
put the highest quality fuel possible into their tanks in order for the car to perform
it’s best. If you put low-grade fuel in a fancy car, it will still go, but it won’t work it’s
best. It’s no different for young athletes. If you put crappy fuel in, you can’t expect
to have an elite level of performance. The time to start feeding your body with high
quality fuel isn’t the first day of training camp. It starts right now. As I’ve mentioned
in a previous newsletter focusing entirely on nutrition, the 2 best tips I’ve picked up
for nutrition are:
=> Eat for what you’re doing next.
=> Eat as many 1 ingredient foods as possible.
::: To read the rest of that nutrition article, click on the link below
after you’re done reading the rest of this article, of course:
2. Mental Performance:
A new season means a clean slate for players, coaches and parents. Even if
you’re playing with many of the same players or with the same coach this
season, you can be sure that your experience will be very different this time
around. And that’s an exciting opportunity to write a new chapter in your
hockey journey and start anew. Remember that you can only control your
work ethic and attitude – everything else is beyond your control. So the
stories you tell yourself in your head are what will dictate how your experience
is this season. Stay positive. Get outside your comfort zone. Take no
shortcuts and make no excuses.
3. College Hockey:
If you’re going into grade 10, 11 or 12, you need to use these next few weeks
to get your act together before the season starts. Start researching colleges
and universities that you might be interested in. There are over 115+ women’s
varsity hockey programs in North America, so you can’t just sit down one night
and sift through them all. And you definitely won’t have time to work your way
through it once the season and school are in full swing. So take the time now
to do the work and save yourself a lot of stress down the line. Once you’ve
narrowed down your choices, take the time to write a personalized email to
the coaches at the schools you’re interested in to introduce yourself. I know
that can seem scary and intimidating. But no one else can do it for you.
::: If you want some specific guidance on how to start the scholarship
process, including detailed information on how to narrow down your choices
and how to write an email to a prospective coach, you can grab yourself
a copy of the Total Female Hockey Scholarship Project. I walk you through
the entire process and answer all the questions you have along the way.
Check it out at the link below:
Hopefully you’ve been working hard off the ice for the past 6-8 weeks of the
summer and your body is 100% ready to hit the ice. Maybe you’ve slacked
off a bit and find yourself with just a few short weeks to get yourself ready
for the rigors of training camp. Either way, you must make sure that you
don’t overdo the off-ice training in the lead-up to training camp. Training
camp is very intense and your body needs to have some rest prior to
giving that level of effort and intensity for 4 or 5 days. You may have heard
the term “tapering” before and that’s what I’m talking about here. I won’t
go into excruciating detail about tapering in this article, but I wanted to
let you know that you can’t reasonably expect to work your hardest in the
2 or 3 weeks before camp and then expect to peak in time for training camp.
The science can be complicated but the message is that you need to take
it a little bit easier in the 3 or 4 days leading up to camp. That doesn’t mean
that you should be lounging on the beach though. You still need to workout,
but you need to take the volume and intensity down. For example, if you
are currently running shuttle runs and doing strength training to get ready
for camp, you want to cut your training down to less than 50% of the volume
and intensity of what you’ve been doing in the week leading up to camp.
By doing so, you’ll ensure that you still stay in great shape while also
being physically ready to work your hardest during camp.
If you didn’t make the time and effort to workout in the weeks and months
leading up to camp, you can’t make it up in a week or two. You’ll be exhausted
tired and sore during camp. Hopefully you’ll be able to avoid getting injured
during the first few days. That’s the harsh reality of hockey – you can’t just
sit around and do nothing all summer and expect to be your best for camp.
The level of competition is too high in girls hockey and hopefully you’ve
prepared accordingly so that you’re ready to rise to the occasion.
Feel free to pass these tips along to any fellow teammates, friends,
coaches or parents who might benefit from the information.
Work Hard. Dream BIG.
Your friend and coach,
Kim McCullough, MSc, YCS
Director, Total Female Hockey
Girls Hockey Director, PEAC School For Elite Athletes