Five Sports Hockey Players should Play During the Off Season

Adam Rothstein
4 min readMay 23, 2023

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Man kicking a soccer ball

As the NHL season comes to an end, players need to stay in shape and work on their skills. There are many drills that players can do to improve their skills. However, the best way to stay in shape is to play team sports. Keeping your teamwork skills sharp, is just as important as keeping your hockey skills up to par. Below are five sports that I think you should play every summer to not only get and stay in shape but also keep your hockey skills up to date.

1) Soccer:

Soccer is the most played sport in the world. Soccer is a great sport to play over the summer. Hockey players not only need to be good stick handlers but also good with their feet. I have had many assists because I was able to kick the puck to a teammate. During college, after our season was over, I would play coed soccer. Not only did it keep my legs in shape, but it helped me with puck control on the ice. If you want to get better at using your feet and play an outdoor sport, then soccer is your game. I highly recommend that you play soccer. It’s easy to pick up and the rules aren’t that complicated.

2) Basketball:

In basketball, situational awareness doesn’t differ that much from ice hockey. It is five-on-five for the entire duration of game time. If you can master playmaking in basketball, you can master the strategy with ice hockey.

Also, you can work on your legs as you may have to run back and prevent any fast breaks. Both defensive and offensive positioning is nearly identical to hockey. The ice isn’t always available, but there is a basketball nearly everywhere. Both indoors and outdoors. Whether you join an organized league or do some pick-up, this is one sport that will get you ready for the next season.

3) Baseball:

Hand-eye coordination is crucial for hockey players to maintain. Whether your a goalie, defenseman, or forward it’s a fun recreational sport for hockey players to play over the summer. For goalies, playing as a catcher in baseball will keep your reflexes sharp, as you use your glove to catch the ball. Using your knee pads to prevent the ball from getting away is also another way to keep your reflexes up to date. For forwards and defensemen, hitting the ball

4) Swimming:

Keeping yourself flexible and strong is important. Swimming is one of the best sports for a hockey player. Not only are you getting cardio, but you are also utilizing your muscles in the process. You don’t have to compete with anyone else. You just have to swim relays hard every day.

Go to your local or neighborhood pool. It doesn’t matter if it’s indoors or outdoors. Just get up in the morning and go for a swim. It is one of the best forms of exercise because it helps you with both your cardio and strength.

5) Ultimate Frisbee:

One of the most fun sports out there Ultimate Frisbee has become more than a summertime recreation. Running down the field and tossing the frisbee to your friends is excellent for hockey players. If you know your systems and how to execute plays in hockey, you can run routes in Ultimate Frisbee. Running in general is important for hockey players when it comes to off-ice training.

Ultimate Frisbee is one of my favorite recreational sports to play. All you need is some friends, a football field, and a good quality frisbee. I have listed the rules below.

Here are the basic rules of Ultimate Frisbee:

  1. Team: The game is played between two teams of seven players each.
  2. Starting the game: The game starts with a kickoff, also known as a “pull.” One team throws the disc to the other team to initiate play.
  3. Scoring: The object of the game is to score points by catching the frisbee in the opposing team’s end zone. Each point scored is worth one point.
  4. Movement of the disc: Players move the disc by throwing it at their teammates. The player with the frisbee is not allowed to move but can pivot on one foot in any direction.
  5. No running with the disc: A player cannot run with the frisbee. They must throw it to a teammate to advance down the field.
  6. Handoffs: After catching the disc, a player has ten seconds to throw the disc to a teammate. This is known as the “stall count.”
  7. Turnover: If the frisbee is dropped, the other team gains possession of the disc and can begin their offensive play.
  8. Fouls: Contact is not allowed in the game of Ultimate Frisbee. If contact is made between players, this is a foul, and play resumes with the team that had possession before the foul.
  9. Spirit of the game: Ultimate Frisbee is a self-officiated sport, meaning that players call their fouls. Ultimate players value sportsmanship and upholding the “Spirit of the Game.”
  10. Substitutions: Substitutions are allowed during stoppages in play and between points.

Whatever sport you play, play hard and above all, have fun.

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