There are sharp skates, slippery ice and more than a dozen players decked out in pounds of gear maneuvering after a single puck. Hockey is one of the most complex sports to play. Playing sports is one of the best ways to build character and skillsets, and that’s why parents want to get their kids involved.
With billions of fans across the globe, hockey provides a great start for young people in the world of sports. It can help them push to be better and become the best they can be. Plus, it can open a lot of opportunities for them as they grow up. Up next, learn why hockey could be the best option for youngsters.
What Is Hockey?
Ice hockey is one of the most popular sports in the world, especially in snowy parts of the world including the United States, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, and Russia, just to name a few. This sport is played by athletes on ice skates wielding a hooked stick and hitting a puck.
Two teams play this game competing to score more goals against the other. Scoring goals involves shooting the puck using the stick. However, achieving this requires strength, teamwork, strategy, and a clear mind for the sport.
The term hockey can refer to different kinds of this sport including ice, bandy, field, roller, and street hockey, each played on their respective fields, types of footwear, balls, and sticks. People in the US, Canada, and some parts of the world refer to it as ice hockey.
How to Play Hockey
Playing hockey requires the right skills and techniques in order to achieve the ultimate goal, which is to win. Winning can be attained only if the team gets the most number of goals by the end of the game. Goals are only scored if the puck completely goes through the line.
Scoring a goal can be a challenge, especially with fierce competition. At the beginning of the game, both teams fight to get the puck after the referee drops it or when resuming the game after a stoppage. Getting the puck offers an advantage as the team gets the chance to score.
Players are expected to follow the rules at all times. Penalties apply to players who violate rules. Usually, a minor penalty comes in the form of leaving the rink for two minutes, while a major penalty results in removal from ice for up to five minutes.
Characteristics of Hockey Players
Knowing the rules and following them may be of great value for players, but there are other characteristics that make the sport great for young players.
Players are expected to have exceptional characteristics that make them valuable to their team.
Children and teenagers who join a team will be able to develop and hone characteristics that will come in handy in many aspects of their lives.
Excellent Skating, Stick- and Puck-Control
The first thing a player should have are skills in skating, stick-control, and puck-control.
Players would need to navigate between other players who will try to block them all while wielding the stick and taking the puck with them.
Without the combination of the three, players will have difficulty playing the game. Many players have an inborn talent for these skills, but of course, any inkling of ability can be trained, developed, and perfected with the help of hard work.
It Strengthens Character
This leads to the most important characteristics of players, which is a strength of character.
During training, athletes will be tested, from their physical and mental fortitude to their values such as sportsmanship, teamwork, and perseverance.
Each player has to show determination to win the game and shows that they are passionate about the sport. They have a common end goal while enjoying the process towards success.
It Builds Leadership
Hockey is a team sport, which means that players will need to work on themselves as individuals, as well as a part of a team. They need to work together to come up with a plan, stick with it, and pursue the game as part of the team.
With any team, anyone has the chance to be the captain. The only question is: who will be able to lead the team to victory?
So, players all have the leadership potential and the sport is a great way to hone and apply it.
It Builds Discipline and Confidence
Lastly, players will need to train for hours a day in order to reach their full potential. This applies whether for school teams or professional ones. They will also need to refrain from bad habits such as eating unhealthy food, sleeping late, and other similar things.
So, players need enough passion to make sacrifices. Discipline is an important factor in this.
Consistent training schedules and routines can help them become more confident with their skills and self.
What Children Can Learn from Hockey
Parents encouraging their child to join a sports team early on in life may be one of the best things they can do.
Done right, having them do sports can help them find their passion, find life-long friends, make great memories, and get an overall better lifestyle.
For parents who are considering sports as an arena for their children but cannot find the best one, there are reasons why hockey is the best option.
Achieve and Maintain Physical Fitness
The first thing parents need to know is that hockey is a physical sport, which entails that participants should be physically fit in order to perform well. If the kid has talent but their physique needs some work, successfully joining a team will help them get fit.
Throughout their membership in the team, they will be required to train many hours a day. Training not only involves playing the game but also working out to get to the right type of fitness for the sport.
Being physically fit can help children move better in the rink while, while training can help them get more accustomed to moving with blades on. It also helps them work on their stick- and puck-control. Moreover, this increases their strength and resistance to injury.
Develop Healthy Habits
Being physically fit not only requires physical exertion, but also lifestyle changes. Aside from spending more time training, children and parents would also need to mind their habits, including eating, sleeping, and playing habits.
Keeping their bodies fit for the sport is important and one good habit that can help them do it is eating a proper diet every meal. Of course, this does not mean that kids would not be allowed some treats from time to time, but the key here is moderation.
In order to perform optimally in training, especially during matches, hockey players need to get enough sleep. Plus, the sport gives them the drive to develop athleticism no matter what game they play and whether they are with a team or not.
Camaraderie and Teamwork
Another great thing about hockey is its nature of being a team sport. Being a team means having to work with their mates in a professional manner. This helps children develop a sense of self not only as an individual but as part of a team.
With the right group of people, kids can make friends for life, making it a great way to socialize with other children.
Because of the spirit of teamwork, these individuals are bound to be loyal, trustworthy, and dependable.
One challenge about doing sports as a child is the lack of time. Training sessions can run for hours, while they juggle school work, family time, playing with friends, and alone time. Because of this, children will learn early on the value of time management.
Now, at an early stage, the pressure to manage their time should be less on the children but more on the parents. However, as they get exposed to the time requirements of being an athlete, they are bound to learn to manage their time along the way.
As they grow, they will be able to apply this valuable skill to other aspects of their life, especially as they learn to be independent and self-reliant.
The Value of Communication
Lastly, children to play hockey competitively at an early stage are bound to learn the value of communication. I every team sport, children will need to deal with the team members and their coach, so they need the ability to express their thoughts in an effective and efficient way.
Communication is more important for kids who aspire to become captains of their team. They should be able to inspire their team and drive them to victory, especially as their members rely on their instructions and encouragements.
Even members should be able to communicate effectively. There are activities that are done off the rink, including strategizing. Members should be able to express their ideas and suggestions in an effective manner.
One of the most popular sports in the world, hockey provides the opportunity to learn so much more than thwacking a puck with a stick. Hockey is a great sport to start children off with. It has all the aspects of many team sports while offering a different kind of challenge and excitement.
With these potential learnings, kids will have a great time and the opportunity to carve their own path in sports.