Why should you register to play hockey?

Above all, organized hockey gives kids a community—a place where they feel they belong. 

Kids feel connections with the teams they play on and this great country of Canada

Hockey is both a tradition and a passion!

The physical benefits are clear with regular exercise right through the freezing winter
Development of body coordination including the encouragement of healthy lifestyle choices that last far longer than the annual playing season.


But...Why should my child play hockey? (Let us tell you why!)

1. Hockey is fantastic exercise. 

Hockey is one of the best cardiovascular games you can play.

 

Alternating between skating and rest (what is known as interval training in the fitness world) improves the efficiency of the cardiovascular system, allowing it to bring oxygen to the muscles more quickly. It also helps to prevent injuries that often come with other sports that engage in repetitive movements. 

 

Playing hockey burns a ton of calories. 

 

Many children are facing problems with weight and diabetes as a result of eating foods that are high on taste, but low on nutrition. Playing hockey one or two times a week can offset those foods kids enjoy so much and give them the energy and desire to go outside instead of laying on the couch. 

 

Hockey requires a high level of coordination; regularly playing can develop a child's gross motor skills, which leads to improvement with the more difficult fine motor skills, and improves eye-hand coordination, which can translate to a better understanding of spatial relationships. It also requires strength, something that can benefit a child in whatever activity he or she pursues. Stronger muscles improve endurance and create stronger bones.

2. Hockey builds character. 

Since hockey is a team sport, children who play learn the value of working with others. They figure out how to rely on teammates and understand that cooperation is key to success. Children on hockey teams experience a team spirit that encourages trust, responsibility and sportsmanship. These lessons extend into adulthood as teammates turn into coworkers, coaches become bosses, and teams become the companies for which they work. 

 

An often overlooked benefit of team sports, including hockey, is developing the ability to accept the highs and lows in life with poise and balance. Experiencing the wins and losses that come with hockey helps a child deal with the wins and losses in life all that much better. 

 

Hockey also promotes a strong sense of self, a positive self-esteem and pride. Utilizing positive self-talk and managing stress help balance a child's outlook on life.

3. Hockey improves mental agility. 

Hockey is a fast sport. 

 

Plays develop in seconds, and momentum can shift in the blink of an eye. A child who can learn how to operate in that sort of environment will improve his or her ability to make quick decisions and think on his or feet. 

Concentration is also improved; being able to concentrate while playing will make it easier to concentrate while learning. It's also a sport of strategy. Understanding how one event can lead to—or even create—another is essential to life success. When a child develops the skills to do that on the ice, that child can then translate the skills to life. 

 

Children also learn how to use mental imagery, a skill that can aid in understanding how to do something. Mental imagery is also frequently used by adults to achieve goals.

 

Research has shown that kids who play hockey at a young age are more likely to continue to play that sport throughout their lives. 

 

In fact, youth hockey players are three times more likely than basketball players and nearly two times more likely than baseball, soccer or football players to go on to play the sport in university/college. 

 

By putting a child in a hockey program, you are creating a lifelong enthusiast and health-oriented individual.

Health Benefits of Hockey:

Endurance


Hockey is a high-intensity sport that has many cardiovascular benefits. Between bouts of running, skating, and bouts of rests, kids are participating in interval training without even realizing it. High-intensity interval training has been known to boost aerobic capacity, energy levels, and metabolism.

Strength


In a sport where skating skills are essential, kids have to put their leg and core muscle to use. Building power in these large muscle groups will also strengthen their postural muscles.  Postural muscles are important in children’s attention and participation in school.  Natural muscle strengthening that comes from playing a sport (as opposed to weight-lifting) is highly beneficial in children. Improved muscle strength ensures optimal bone growth and prevents injury.

 

Balance


Children as young as 3 years old can balance on one leg briefly. Their stability on their feet is often a reflection of how well they can recruit their core, glutes, and stabilizing muscles. The skills required to play hockey, such as balancing on skates while passing a puck, provide children opportunities to work on their balance reactions. Working on balance strategies in the ankles and hips will also help children become more aware of their bodies and improve their proprioception (the sense of where their joint positions are in space).

 

Coordination


Learning any new motor skill and training for any sport requires our proprioceptive sense.  This sense allows us to move our limbs correctly in space (in response to a flying puck or an oncoming opponent) without looking at them directly. As with most sports, hockey requires upper body coordination and hand-eye coordination. In order to successfully pass or score, players have to grade their muscle forces and determine how to coordinate their limbs with every move.

 

Agility


In high-intensity sports where athletes have to think fast on their feet and respond quickly to plays, they are not just working on their physical skills but mental acuity as well.  Hockey enhances children’s agility due to the swiftness provided by the skates and the constant quick changes in direction needed to receive pucks or dodge other players.

Social Skills


This fast-paced sport trains concentration and ability to make precise decisions. It will also give your child a sense of pride. As with any team sport, hockey prepares a child for social interactions necessary for school and work.  Success in a team environment will build trust, sportsmanship, responsibility, and openness to change. Participation will help a child understand how to deal with winning and losing, which is applicable throughout life.

 

As for any sport, to prevent injury and obtain the most health benefits from playing, safety is a must. Before enrolling your child in hockey, make sure they know the importance of protective gear and playing fair. You will have a healthy, strong, and enthusiastic little athlete every winter.

Life Lessons

 

  • Helps players learn about cooperation and teamwork

  • Understanding the importance of showing respect for others, like their teammates and coaches

  • It teaches about work ethic and discipline

  • Having a positive attitude—even in the face of tough challenges.

  • As kids get older and have more responsibilities to juggle

  • Hockey motivates them to manage their time carefully

  • Hockey provides constant opportunity to practice mental focus and helps kids develop confidence as they see their own improvement over time.

 

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