AHU Coach’s Corner: How to stay active, motivated during the holiday season
Each level is different, too.
For instance, a lot of the youth teams participate in Christmas tournaments, but for the older guys like junior players or college players, you get one week off and that is to refresh your mind and body.
As I said before, the youth kids are different, and they need to keep up with skating or lessons, whatever it may be because the season is not as intense on the body. I always loved being a youth player at Christmas time and that allowed me to ask for a bunch of new hockey gear.
It may seem a little farfetched, but it is the little things like this that can make a younger player itching to get back on the ice. Stay up with your skills, whether it’s shooting pucks in the driveway or stickhandling in the driveway.
There is a lot that can allow you to stay sharp and focused during the holiday season.
Older players or players that have moved away from home are a little different story. The reason there is a holiday break is to regroup, heal injuries and maintain your focus because the season is only halfway done. A lot of the teams at the higher levels only give you 6-8 days off.
It takes a lot of focus to make sure that you are ready to go after the break is over.
When I came home for break (from junior hockey in the USHL or NCAA Division I hockey at the University of North Dakota), I would usually keep it light in the gym, but go at least 3-4 days.
This allowed my body to heal and at the same time, I was maintaining the body to make sure that I was ready to go. It’s a long season, so this allows you to stay fresh and not lose any endurance. As far as the on-ice training went, I usually only skated once or twice over the week span and it was just to have fun.
This is also a great time to come back home to visit family and friends. There is a lot that got you to where you are, and family and friends is one of them, so stay loyal and appreciate everything they have done.
Have a great break, everyone, and keep the focus up!
Colten St. Clair is the head coach and general manager of the Phoenix Knights Tier II junior team in the Western States Hockey League and the skills coach for the Arizona Hockey Union.
(Jan. 15, 2018)