You’ve heard me say time and time again that my main goal as a coach of girls hockey players is to help them to avoid making the same off-ice training mistakes I made as an young player looking to play at the highest levels of women’s hockey. But I never actually told you specifically what those BIG off-ice training mistakes were. So here are the top 5 mistakes I made as a female hockey player…
Here are the 5 biggest things I did wrong in my off-ice hockey training:
1) Lifting Too Much Weight.
Because I always trained with guys who were already ready playing major junior hockey or college hockey, I was constantly lifting more weight than I should have been in a desperate attempt to “keep up with the boys”. I didn’t want to be seen as the “weak”girl – so I was always pushing myself to lift more. And that was very dangerous, especially when coupled with mistake #2…
2) Using Poor Form When Lifting.
Lifting too much weight with bad form is a recipe for disaster for all female hockey players. I always thought lifting more weight was more important than lifting the weight with perfect form. To me, higher weights meant I was stronger…when in reality, I was just cheating my way through the lifts, using completely wrong form in order to try to move the weight.
3) Using Too Many Machines.
As a young player, I remember taking great pride in how much weight I could push on the leg press machine. I would struggle and squirm trying to lift that weight, but it wasn’t pretty. I would have been much better off lifting much less weight using the free weights or focusing on single-leg body-weight strength exercises instead of huffing and puffing away on those stupid machines. My philosophy on machine based training today is simple: girls hockey players should NOT be training on machines – NEVER.
4) Not Building A Foundation of Strength and Stability First.
This is probably the biggest mistake of all. I now know that if I had built up the core strength and stability and single-leg strength and stability that I needed to excel at the elite levels of women’s hockey before I started throwing big heavy weights around, my career would have been much longer and more successful. I had no clue back then. I thought strength training meant weight training. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
5) NEVER Taking A Day Off.
I totally believed that every day I took off, another aspiring female hockey player would be training her hardest, and when we met up on the ice, she would beat me. Silly I know – but that’s the mentality that drove me to be the best on and off the ice each and every day. But I think I could count on two hands the number of days I took off from on-ice or off-ice training the entire time I was in high school and college. Again, I was dedicated and committed. But I never gave my body the chance to recover, and that’s what ultimately led to my early retirement.
So there you have it – the 5 biggest off-ice training mistakes I made as an aspiring girls hockey player.
Please don’t make the same mistakes I made.
Work Hard, Dream BIG….but TRAIN SMARTER.
~ Coach Kim