Land and Ice Practice

Last night, NCWHL had a special torture for us — an hour of dry-land hockey practice prior to a 1h45m ice practice.

I had never been to a dry-land practice before, and thus had no idea what to expect. It turned out to be a lot of conditioning work and some positioning drills, all of which would have benefited from my wearing more appropriate clothes (I came right from work, and I hate working out in jeans). I think I came across as being whiny when I realized we’d be jogging, etc, but it was just frustration that I hadn’t brought sweats. I wanted to give 110%, and could only give 95% in jeans and casual shoes.

Anyway, like I mentioned, we did some jogging, jumping jacks, etc to warm up the muscles and then did some neat positioning drills. Using a dodgeball with SpongeBob SquarePants on it, we’d get into position and “pass the puck” (throw SpongeBob). It was a lot of fun, because we could really focus on the positioning once the puck handling/staying upright on skates challenges had been removed. Did I remember any of this during our later scrimmage? Well, no. But I’m hoping it still made an impression somewhere in my very small brain.

After an hour of dry-land, we went into the locker rooms to change for the “real” practice.

The theme of practice last night was “quick starts”, which was so much fun. We ran across the ice on our tiptoes and practiced using all the the power of our quads to really thrust across the rink (both with partners providing resistance and then on our own). We did a backwards-skating drill where the instructions were “go as low as you can and skate so fast that you feel like you’re out of control”. People who fell were applauded for finding the edge of their abilities. I had a great time and was actually called out to demonstrate once.

The only downside was that I had no idea what to do with my left arm. When skating breakneck speed forward, we were told to hold the stick out in front of us with our top hand (that’s my right hand; I shoot lefthanded). This is great, but I didn’t know what my left arm was supposed to be doing, so I think I just instinctively pumped it back and forth as though I were jogging. Unfortunately, this resulted in my shoulder being very upset by the end of the practice.

I looked through the Laura Stamm Power Skating book and the little example dude in the “quick starts” chapter is also pumping his arm. So perhaps I’m just screwed in that respect. Ibuprofen and ice packs are my friend.

The scrimmage at the end of practice was fun. I managed to have two perfect scoring opportunities, both of which I totally screwed up. 🙂 One was a backhand shot, though, so I don’t feel too terribly badly about that. I figure I can worry about backhand shots once I can do something vaguely competent with my forehand. 😉

Game tonight at Ice Oasis: Sphinges vs Coconuts, 8:15pm.

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