Calling fellow hockey players, young and old, what specific gym or off-ice training will be the most beneficial in terms of keeping me in hockey shape for as long as humanly possible?
I love playing ice hockey more than anything else. If you play hockey, I probably don't have to explain this any further.
I played for most of the early 90's when I was quite young and lived in New York, then forgot about it for almost a decade, and then started again from the bottom around 5-6 years go. I'm now in my early 30s, and live in a place (Australia) that doesn't have the same fervent support and training as other places, so I'm turning to the trusty green for help.
Currently, I play drop-in for about 90 minutes three times a week, and then officiate one day a week, usually for three games in a row, and thats about the extent of my physical activity. This tends to keep in pretty decent shape all around, and have been improving at a pace that should be expected of someone my age (I think...), however there are two specific areas that I am concerned about, and have been considering using the three days that I'm not on the ice to try and develop a routine to address these, either a gym or at home.
1) Lower Back Pain and Hip Tightness - I know this just comes with the territory of getting older, but usually each day after a session I have to spend at least a day recovering. I tried doing strength exercises like deadlifts and squats, but that ended up making me so sore that I couldn't play the next day, and sort of defeated the purpose. Is there any way I can slowly build these core muscles to avoid such tight hips and back muscles that will still allow me to play the next day?
2) Speed, agility, and fitness - This previous post
addresses this issue in some ways. My issue however is stopping and starting and just general bursts of speed. In one 60-90 second shift, I find that when I'm skating hard I can only come to a full stop and sprint at least once, or if I'm digging around the boards, one battle and I'm done. My overall endurance and aerobic fitness is good, and I've done interval training on the treadmill, but is there something that I could be doing that could increase this specific hockey stop/start aerobic facility?
3) Hand-Eye coordination - This is just getting worse somehow. My passes are constantly behind or in front of my target. I frequently lose the puck while attempting to deke. I've tried juggling and do lots of off-ice puckhandling - What's the secret here?
That's pretty must the gist of it, however I'm totally open to any other random training tips or resources (books/videos) anyone might have found useful on another level, or if any fellow hockey lovers can recommend any other forums or sources of knowledge to check out that might have relevant discussions, I would be most grateful!
(Go Islanders. Ahem)