The saying “practice makes perfect” applies to almost anything in life, including hockey. One of the perks of having your synthetic ice rink is you can train on your own time. There are several training drills that are perfect for synthetic ice. These practice drills will help to create the skills needed for hockey.
A great game of hockey can only be played if the fundamentals are on point. Practicing fundamentals can be made fun and educational with the right exercises.
Read on to see some great training drills that are perfect for synthetic ice and your at-home artificial ice rink.
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Practice Makes Perfect
Looking at the sport objectively, it’s fair to say that hockey is one tough sport. Players are put on the ice with skates and expected to avoid one another at high speeds. They also handle a small puck with a stick while doing so.
The game’s end goal is to make it into a net on either side of the rink. Yes, it does sound simple, but when in action, hockey is a game of wit, agility, and strength. All are skills that should be maintained through consistent conditioning.
Training drills help players to prepare their bodies for the game. Training often can help with agility, handling, and speed. Just as important, training regularly can also help keep players safe when zooming around during a game.
Learning to be agile and flexible is a way to stay safe on the ice. For beginners, training is also a way to literally learn how to fall and get up quickly. We suggest drills that exercise skills that are fundamental to the game and incorporate a bit of fun.
In our opinion, the following drills will challenge players, are fun, and develop a player’s skill.
Some Training Drills That Are Perfect for Synthetic Ice
1. The Figure-8 Drill
This drill trains the player to hone several skills in one go and can be adjusted as their skills improve. Skills tested include puck handling, dexterity, and reach.
- Place cones 2-3 feet apart in the middle of the rink.
- Using a stick, maneuver the puck between the cones.
- First, practice drill while standing still, and then while skating.
- Add difficulty: See how long you can go without stopping or move the cones further apart.
2. Superman Drill
Beginner skaters will inevitably fall. This drill helps beginners learn how to get up quickly and continue to skate. This drill will hone the player’s agility and timing.
- Begin at one end of the rink and skate to the first line.
- Throw yourself to the ice with your arms out or in the “Superman” pose.
- Get up one knee at a time and skate to the next mark and repeat until you reach the opposite end of the rink.
- Add difficulty: See how fast you can get across the rink and try for a faster time each time.
3. DIY Obstacle Course
You don’t need special equipment for the DIY obstacle course! Use what you have on hand to create a course to test whatever skills you wish. Consider using the following materials for your course:
- Milk crates
- Pool noodles
- Hula hoops
4. Forward and Backward Drill
Throughout a game of hockey, the direction that players will skate in changes often. Players should be able to switch from skating forward to back quickly and safely. This drill will not only workout directional skating but can also text speed and agility.
- Start at one end of the rink and skate forward.
- At the midpoint or the face-off line, change directions so that you are skating backward.
- Repeat as many times as you wish.
- Add difficulty: The addition of cones for skating forward or changing directions more frequently during the drill. Trying to beat one’s time is also a great way to add difficulty.
5. Skate and Shoot Drill
Skating and shooting at the same time is fundamental to the game of hockey. This drill exercises this ability and can be done with a partner to change it up.
- In one corner of the rink, place several pucks.
- Start at the opposite corner of the rink and skate to the pile.
- Without stopping, take a puck using your stick and guide it to a goal.
- Attempt to shoot into the goal of your choice without stopping, and see how many goals you can make.
- Add difficulty: Time yourself to see how many goals you can make in a certain amount of time. Adding a partner is also a great way to add fun and difficulty. Skate and pick up the puck, then pass to a partner, then shoot.
Another way to add difficulty to this genius drill is to add footwork drills while skating.
The Fun in Fundamental
Having your very own synthetic ice rink is a great way to never have an offseason. Being able to train and skate when you please keeps your skills sharp. It also saves players and their families from the frustration and cost of booking time at an ice rink.
Since the mid-1990s, we have worked to offer our clients the very best at-home experience possible. Our synthetic ice has gone through four regenerations, ensuring the very best product for your skating needs.
The synthetic ice we produce can be found worldwide, from NHL practice facilities to driveways. The best part of our ice is the ease at which it can be placed in any desired venue or home.
Whether practicing the fundamentals of your favorite sport or having a fun skate with your family, we have you covered. Our synthetic ice comes in panels that fit together like puzzle pieces. This type of assembly and breakdown makes them easy to reconfigure, store if needed, or move entirely.