Preseason is a time where much emphasis is placed on fitness, and rightly so, as many teams have had a summer breaks with too many beers and barbeques. Preseason training also places heavy demand on skill work and tactical play, especially for teams who have had a break over the summer.
For those clubs that do not have a scheduled fitness session, cramming in some fitness into a regular training session may prove difficult. Many coaches do not want to compromise the time spent actually playing hockey at training so we have come up with some tips on how to add some fitness into the session without impacting the time spent on training too much.
We’ve come up with 5 fast ways to fitness, where you can easily include some fitness into your already corporal-strict preseason routines, giving you the edge over your competitors!
Have a gander at our suggestions below and see how it can help you get fit, fast!
- Change the time of your training session to 15 / 30 minutes earlier and set up a warm up and some fitness drills on a nearby field or tarmac area to your pitch. By doing this everyone will be warmed up ready to play hockey at the beginning of the session, without wasting valuable time on the Astroturf.
- Complete a 5/10 minute very high intensity fitness drills following a warm up at the beginning of the session. A personal favourite of mine are “suicides” – where you sprint to the 25 and jog back, halfway and jog back, 75 and jog back and full pitch and jog back. Another favourite of mine is the “caterpillar run” where you run in 2 lines of pairs around the pitch and someone shouts “go!” for the pair at the back to sprint to the front.
- Incorporate hockey skills into fitness drills. This is such an easy way to make sure players complete fitness drills without cutting time out playing hockey. Ladders are a great tool for this. For example, you can complete a ladder drill then receive a ball on the move or bounce and take a shot on goal.
- Make hockey drills fast paced. This seems like an obvious way to improve fitness but many people do not do drills at game intensity and pace. It is important for the coach to stress the intensity at which players should be working at during training.
- Encourage the team to exercise in their own time. Attending fitness classes that are high intensity such as spinning and circuits is a great way to improve hockey fitness. If players believe it would help them, a training plan may be useful.
These 5 fast ways to fitness can help teams progress their fitness without a structured team fitness session. Fitness is a crucial component of hockey so any effort to improve it is most definitely worth it.
Written by Rachel Cook