As we move into the summer off season many athletes and parents wonder what the best off-season formula is for success in the following season. A recent phenomenon that is occurring is athletes wanting to “specialize, specialize, specialize”. I am a strong believer that it is important for athletes to develop skills specific to their sport to achieve their goals, however I also believe in the benefits of young athletes participating in multiple sports.
Recent research outlines the many benefits of young athletes participating in multiple sports. A few of the benefits of multi-sport participation as indicated by Smith (2016) are outlined below:
1. Fewer overuse injuries – Studies have shown that multi-sport participation leads to better muscle, motor, and skill development. There are many cases present where young athletes are experiencing “grown up sport injuries” such as ACL injuries for example.
2. Less emotional burnout – Kids who are too focused on one sport risk becoming emotionally tired of the sport all together. Extreme focus on one sport can put an exceptional amount of pressure on a young athlete and be detrimental to their success.
3. Exposure to different kids and roles – Allowing children to play multiple sports allows them to interact with different groups of people and experience new roles. Children can interact with an entirely new group of peers and expand their social circle as a whole. Additionally, by being put into different roles it allows athletes to practice flexibility and be exposed to different situations, increasing the ability to be a multi-dimensional and coachable athlete.
It is important for children to experience new roles and become “well rounded” athletes. Multi-sport participation can have major benefits for young hockey players as Active For Life (2014) outlines that “Hockey Canada recommends that players engage in other activities – such as lacrosse, soccer, and even gymnastics – to help them improve in hockey”.
As the weather improves in the upcoming summer months I recommend allowing your young athletes to experiment with other sports. One key to this is that the sport does not necessarily have to be organized. Allowing a young athlete to experiment with a sport in a non-structured environment provides the opportunity for creativity and enjoyment.
Thank you for checking out my blog, as always if you have any questions or would like information on upcoming camps please feel free to contact Tanya @ 780-933-6814 or email@example.com.
WHAT IS LEADERSHIP?
“Leadership is influence - nothing more, nothing less.”
John C. Maxwell
A leader is a person who has a vision, a drive, and a strong commitment to achieve
that vision—and who takes action in support of their vision. The “action” part is vital. Just
having a vision is not enough. Good leaders take steps to achieve their vision and
move forward when faced with difficulties. A great leader does not give up, and
always finds another way to do something in the face of adversity.
WHO CAN BE A LEADER?
“Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price
all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.”
For people who believe that “being a leader” means telling everyone else what to do,
there can be only a couple of leaders on a team. But once you see that leadership is
really about vision, drive, commitment, and taking action, it opens up possibilities for
every team member to be a leader. At the beginning of my hockey career, I truly believed that individuals were born as leaders. Now, based on many experiences, I have shifted my thoughts and believe that effective leaders are made, not born. Anyone can be a leader, regardless of their position. If you have the desire and willpower, you can cultivate effective leadership skills. For really solid team results, it’s important for everyone on the team to remember that the captain and assistant captain are not the only leaders in the group. It is important for you, as a player, to step up and lead your line by showing your vision, drive, and commitment. There could be 10 or 15 leaders in the room, depending on how many players have the desire and commitment to lead. Although every player has the potential to be a leader, it is up to each person to make that choice. Some players may simply not have the motivation, passion, or drive to fulfill a leadership responsibility.
AN EXAMPLE OF LEADERSHIP
A great leader in my life has been Hayley Wickenheiser. I’ve been blessed to be able to
play on a team with an Olympic gold medalist and Captain of the Canadian Women’s
Olympic hockey team, and it has been such a rewarding experience. Hayley has
taught me a lot about leadership—not just on the ice, but off it as well. On the ice, she is
so motivating and everyone follows her by example. She models the behavior she
expects from her team, and does not expect anything from others unless she can do it
herself first. I believe that every good leader is always searching for opportunities to innovate, grow, and improve as an individual. As Head Instructor at Power Plus my goal is to strengthen leadership within Canada’s hockey community by inspiring others to develop their own leadership. If you are in a leadership role in your hockey community, I urge you to commit to developing leadership in yourself and those around you. The more players you have who are committed to leadership, the more they will motivate one another, and the more successful your team will be.
When was the last time you set out to fail? Fell on your face, tried something risky and failed? Have you ever once done something with the sole intention of failing?
My guess is probably not. We are programmed to want to succeed. Yes, we sometimes fail but it is generally not on purpose. We are so used to getting in trouble from our coaches or teammates that we are afraid to fail. We are programmed to avoid failure at all costs, thus we often settle for mediocrity.
To fail harder means to try harder. In life, you are usually not successful without failure. Most athletes try to minimize failure therefore they do not take risks or pull themselves out of their comfort zone to get better. Here at Power Plus, we want you to fail harder. Take at look at this amazing inspirational video and see how Power Plus approaches its philosophy. We want our athletes to try new things, and not be afraid to fail. How can you fail harder?
Fail harder now so you can succeed easier later!
"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." - Michael Jordan
Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness." - Oprah Winfrey
"Failure is success if we learn from it." - Malcolm S. Forbes
In all the Power Plus sessions this year, by far the most common obstacle to performance that we saw was lack of knee bend. But why is knee bend so important, and how do you get it?
Why Knee Bend Makes a Superior Player
Here’s what a deeper knee bend will do for you: When you bend your knees you get lower to the ice, a lower stance gives you more balance (less likely to fall), and harder to knock off the puck. In order to get power in each stride you need to bend your knees. The more your knees are bent the more power you can get from each push. More knee bend = more power and speed.
Why Most Skaters Don’t Bend Enough
There’s a simple reason that most skaters don’t bend their knees enough: it feels easier not to. Getting a deep knee bend takes strong abdominals and lower back, and strong hip and groin muscles. Skaters with insufficient strength in these muscle groups will feel a sense of weakness in their core when they bend their knees deeply. To get away from that feeling, they subconsciously straighten their knees. Unfortunately, skating with less knee bend may feel easier, but ultimately it reduces your speed, power, and stability. If you want power and speed, you have to build up your strength so that knee bend feels natural.
How to Get Great Knee Bend
Focusing on leg strength alone won’t give you great knee bend. Great knee bend requires strong abdominals, lower back, hip, and groin muscles. To deepen your knee bend, you’ll want to do exercises that target these muscles and teach them to work together effectively. A few possibilities for off-ice exercises are wall sits, lunges and weighted squats for older athletes.