Stay Sharp Indoors

Dec. 06, 2017, 4:57 p.m. (ET)

"As middle school, high school and college seasons, as well as regional leagues have come to an end, what do we do with the upcoming months? When there might be ice and snow on the fields combined with freezing temperatures - not necessarily the best conditions to play the sport you love. How do you keep fit? What can you do to improve your technical skills during these months so that when spring season arrives you're ready to go in full force?

How about some indoor hockey? One might think why would one play indoor? Indoor is not an Olympic Sport, it is not a high school sport, it is not played at the NCAA college levels. How does that help me? Well please allow me to explain.

FUN! For that reason alone you should polish off your indoor stick and play this winter. Indoor hockey is extremely fast and requires a lot of skill and techniques that can help your outdoor game. For example, how many times have you heard from your coach to protect your feet while defending? I know I’ve said it to my players about 20 times, per training that is. Well indoor hockey forces you to stay low consistently while pressing and defending. Take that acquired skill with you when you start your spring season again and chances areyou won’t hear the coach shout “PROTECT YOUR FEET” as much.

It also helps with ball comfortability and techniques. As the ball, besides a shot on goal, can not be lifted from the floor indoors you’re forced to train your trapping techniques. You’re forced to keep the ball on your stick when eliminating a defender, and these skills are easily transferable back outside this spring. You need another reason? As mentioned the indoor game is extremely fast and therefore requires you to constantly make short sprints, break and change direction all the time. There, you have yet another thing you can apply to your outdoor game. Leading for the ball requires a change of speed and direction. And you just practiced that on a smaller space at a high pace indoor. And last but not certainly not least, you keep fit playing indoor!

All these reasons should get you excited to play indoor, however most importantly indoor hockey is exciting and fun to play. I hope to see many boys, girls, moms and dads this winter at the indoor games and tournaments all over the country and hopefully you can say next spring that your indoor play has significantly improved your outdoor game.

For now happy holiday season, have fun and good luck with the start of your indoor season.

Enjoy! Go USA!"

Rutger Wiese, U.S. Men's National Team Head Coach

This article is featured in the Fall 2017 issue of FHLife magazine. To read more inspiring, knowledge-packed and fun features revolving around hockey, fitness, healthy eating and how to strengthen your game, subscribe to our quarterly publication or to order additional copies, clicking here.