Sunday, 6 September 2015

How can Training be Adapted to Suit a Hockey Player- Requested Post

Welcome to 5.14 Fitness,

This is a question I have been asked so I thought I would produce the answer in the form a post, apologies for lack of posts, I think its been around two weeks since the last one and that's simply because we have just got back to school and trying to sort out our personal lives. Sorry not sorry!

How can training be adapted to suit a hockey player?

In hockey, for a player to improve their fitness they have a wide variety of training methods to choose from in order to improve different aspects of their game. The most important areas in hockey are cardiovascular fitness ( to be able to keep running across the pitch and use a variety of different muscles throughout the game without getting tired)  and muscular strength, which is used to generate speed when chasing after the ball and power when so the keeper is unable to save the shot.

Interval training is intense work (in the case sprints) followed by a rest within the session to allow for recovery, before working again. This can be adapted to suit a hockey player to work for longer with shorter rest times as this is a more game like scenario and will improve cardiovascular fitness- so performers can work to their highest level for the full duration of the match. However this method of training, with more work time and more rest time can improve speed and power, this in hockey so they can chase after the ball and get to it before the opponent does.

Continuous training is running/working at a steady pace over a long distance or period of time without any breaks or rests.  This type of training is used by those trying to improve cardiovascular fitness and muscular endurance as it is a form of aerobic training (where you exercise for long amounts of time and need to breathe); it will help with aerobic sport, in this case hockey, as it is a sport that cannot be performed in one breathe and goes on for a long amount of time. Therefore having good cardiovascular fitness and muscular endurance is key is key, so this type of training will help the performer keep working and not getting too tired.

Fartlek training is a form of training where you work continuously but vary the pace of work at different stages to allow for rest. So you could jog a certain distance, run at 50% of your maximum speed, and then run at 75% and then sprint before walking again and restarting the process every certain distance. This could help improve cardiovascular fitness, speed and power; it also has the practical implication that in hockey you do not always stay at the same speed and that you vary your pace depending on different requirements during the match. So you may sprint forward whilst you are attacking and then jog back into position once the attack is over.

Circuit training is a variety of different activities, performed at stations, that are selected to increase the performer’s fitness. This can be adapted for a hockey player by choosing activities that will help the performer in the game. For example they may start off doing shuttle runs to improve speed and cardiovascular fitness/muscular (as this helps the performer when they dribble with the ball and can keep fulfilling their role the entire match); have a short rest then do push ups to increase strength and power (for when they shoot) after the next break they will do another activity focusing on the power/speed like squat, this process will then continue with the performer picking activities that will improve the skills/areas of fitness most needed  for hockey: cardiovascular fitness, muscular endurance, muscular strength, power, balance and agility. After each activity has been performed a circuit is complete, they then have a longer rest before completing the circuit again and this process happens 2/3 times with each circuit consisting of around 8 activities.

Weight training is a form of interval training using weights to create a resistance for the muscles to work against. This type can be adapted to hockey by using low reps and heavy weights to increase power by targeting arms, so the performer can hit the ball harder helping them pass harder without getting it intercepted or shoot harder and make it more difficult for the keeper to save it so they are more likely to score. But also lots of reps with light weights can increase cardiovascular fitness/muscular endurance which is needed to keep working the entire match, so that they have more energy than the opposition helping them become more successful.  

Cross training is a form of training that uses two or more different types of training in order to improve different areas of the performer’s fitness. A hockey player might use both fartlek training, to improve cardiovascular fitness/ muscular endurance so they can work out their best for longer, but the performer may also use weight training to improve strength/power their shot power which will allow them to hit the ball harder when shooting, this is a form of cross training that is suitable to hockey as it improves two areas that necessary to the sport.
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