Building an athletic foundation


Many hockey specialists and coaches profess that before anything else, a
good hockey player should be an athletic player. What this means is that in
order to achieve their full potential, young hockey players should develop
skills beyond hockey and practice other sports.

“The ability to learn agility, balance, and coordination that comes from
playing a variety of sports builds a solid foundation for athletic success,
physical fitness and more importantly, staying active for life,” says
Corey McNabb, director of player development with Hockey Canada.

Hockey Canada is not alone in believing that encouraging young players to
play baseball, lacrosse, soccer, or any other sport help them improve their
hockey abilities too. Legends such as
Bobby Orr
professional coaches
profess that complete athletes make better hockey players and that
specializing too early
is not best for player development.

So, to ensure a young player achieves their potential in hockey or other
sports, and to develop to their potential physically and mentally, they
should develop their athletic abilities and
physical literacy
by being involved in other sports and activities.

Hockey Canada’s top six sports and activities to develop better hockey

: Develops hand eye co-ordination, balance and agility

: Great for fitness, stamina, foot speed and reading team play

: Awesome for developing hand-eye co-ordination, athleticism, focus and
lateral movement speed

Team handball
: Develops overall athleticism, agility and power

Racquet sports
: Excellent for hand-eye co-ordination, lateral mobility and quickness of
body and mind

Gymnastics and yoga
: Develops balance, agility, coordination, flexibility and athleticism

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