6 Traits of Great Hockey Players
What do Wayne Gretzky, Dominik Hasek, P.K. Subban, and Connor McDavid all have in common? Outside of all being all-time great hockey players, you may say not all that much. Some are big and strong and physical. Some are agile and technically gifted. Some just stop shots better than anyone else.
What they all have in common though when you look a little deeper, are the base traits that make up a great hockey player. No matter who you are or what position you play, if you have, or work on developing these 6 traits, anyone can be on their way to being a great player.
1. Good Technique
Proper technique is the key to developing any skill, not only in hockey but in almost any discipline. They say, “practice makes perfect” and this is especially true when a player is trying to develop solid, foundational technique. It starts with youth hockey training and goes on from there. Turning proper technique into something that a player does without thinking is a key to becoming a great player.
2. Hockey Strength
You do not need to be a huge, muscle-bound player to become great at hockey, but you do need “hockey strength”. This is the specific strength that a player develops to become better at the core skills of hockey. Players need strong legs, cores, and wrists to effectively develop into a great hockey player. Working on these key regions specifically will help create the hockey strength players need to be the best.
No great player stands around on the ice. The best players are constantly moving. Forwards are working to get open, defensemen are drifting to get between their mark and the net, and goalies are constantly adjusting their feet to better cut down angles. Stressing the importance of movement starting in youth hockey training will serve players well throughout their hockey career.
4. Knowledge of the Game
Everyone has their own set of athletic limitations and that’s ok. Some of the all-time greats were able to make up for what they lacked in high-end athleticism with smarts. Knowing what your team is trying to do, the other team is trying to do, and how to execute all of it is just as important as being able to skate like the wind or take a 100 MPH slap shot. The best players are students of the game. They watch hockey, talk hockey, and think about the game all the time. If you are the parent of a youth hockey player, it is also a great way to relate and spend time with your hockey-loving child.
The most incredible thing about great hockey players is that they do things on skates that most people cannot do on their feet, on dry land. The main reason they can do this is that they have exceptional balance. Balance not only allows you to move around while literally standing on a steel blade but also to move and check and pass and shoot. The better a player’s balance is, the better all these skills will become.
6. The Desire to Get Better
All the skill natural ability in the world means nothing if the player does not have the drive to get better. The best players give it their all on the ice at practice and continue that off the ice as well. Becoming a great player starts with youth hockey training at the rink and at home. To develop the technique, skills, strength, movement, knowledge, and balance it takes to be great, off-ice training is hugely important.
To give yourself or the young player in your life the best chance to develop these skills you need the right Hockey Training Aids. A home training package from Snipers Edge Hockey Products is the perfect way to start to build these traits in any young player. The Rookie package is a perfect way to get started training off the ice. The Pro package is the best way to take it to the next level and the All Star package will give the young player, hungry to get better, everything they need to develop the 6 traits of a great hockey player.