I get asked a lot about off season training programs and hockey camps which can be great ways for kids to hone their skills, learn new things and stay connected to the game. However, there is another tool that can help your kids this off-season and make them safer on the ice.
Sometime ago I posted on a product called Hockey IntelliGym. It’s a cognitive training tool that’s been used by USA Hockey for several years and more recently by a number of Canadian Major Junior Clubs and universities – but any player over 12 can benefit from it. The IntelliGym hones hockey sense, which involves enhancing spatial awareness on ice, something that not only makes a player better, but also safer.
How does it make them safer?
Research shows, most hockey injuries – especially head injuries – occur when a player suffers unanticipated contact. Cognitive training that enhances on ice awareness has been shown to reduce unanticipated contact. In the five years after USA Hockey introduced the Hockey IntelliGym to its U-18 and U-17 National Development teams, the rate of on ice injuries dropped by 14% and head injuries by 27%. These are significant figures – and they could represent our kids!
Stats aside, the fact that better hockey sense can lead to fewer injuries is illustrated by the man at the top of everyone’s all time hockey sense list, Wayne Gretzky. Gretzky’s brain for the game meant that he rarely got hit. He was not the fastest, certainly not the biggest, and by no means a “physical player” but his spatial awareness was second to none. This helped him have a long career that was not plagued by injuries brought on by unanticipated contact. The Hockey IntelliGym won’t turn your kids into Wayne Gretzky, but it could help them with the mental side of the game and make them safer.
I have had a preview of the Hockey IngelliGym, and I have to say I was impressed. This off-season, check out a system that could make your players better AND safer. Try the Hockey IntelliGym!