Most girls hockey players I know are just starting their off-season training (so if you’ve already been at it for a few months, you are way ahead of the game – and it will show in September). I have been receiving a lot of emails from girls who are coming off injuries or have just gotten hurt while playing summer hockey or another sport, looking for advice on how they can keep pace with their healthy teammates and still take their game to the next level this summer.
The first thing I always tell them is that you have to make the distinction between training THROUGH an injury and training WITH an injury. Let me explain…
There’s a big difference between training through pain and modifying your training so that you can train while you’re injured.
I made the mistake of training through ALL my injuries throughout high school and college because I thought that’s what hockey players had to do to be the best.
No pain, no gain, right?
I understand the “warrior” mentality.
Not wanting to look like a baby for taking a practice off to rest a sore back or staying off the ice for an extra week after getting a concussion to make sure that you are at 100%. I never did either of those, which is probably why I had major back surgery at the age of 25 and sustained 4 major concussions in my career (and now have no short term memory as result).
This blog post isn’t meant to scare you.
If you are reading this, you are probably just like me – one of those “tough as nails” type players who refuse to stay down on the ice after they get hurt, crawling all the way to the bench if you need to.
You are going to have to play through some soreness and a few minor injuries here and there during your career in women’s hockey.
BUT PLEASE LISTEN TO THIS ADVICE:
=> Playing hurt does not make you a “hero”.
=> Thinking you can skate when you can’t even walk is ridiculous.
=> Playing when you think you have a head injury is just plain stupid.
It’s true that in order to become the best female hockey player possible, you need to be on the ice a lot. No one wants to watch the game from the stands or take a day off practicing with your friends. But if you want to excel on the ice, you have to be at 100%. Practicing or playing at 80% because of injuries is NOT going to make you better. At best, you’ll stay the same, and more likely, you are going to get worse which will only make you more frustrated.
Now that we are into the off-season, if you are coming back from an injury, you’ve got about 12 weeks left until the start of the season to heal and get back in game shape. I am working with one player right now who just blew out her knee and is still at every single training session working her butt off – and you can bet that she’ll be flying once the season rolls around.
If you have any questions about how to modify your off-ice training so that you will be ready for the season, please ask me any questions you have in the comment box below this post.
If you aren’t injured, make sure that you are training properly off-ice this off-season so that you can avoid getting injured and have your best season ever.
Work Hard. Dream BIG. Train Smart.
~ Coach Kim