Get into Hockey
Hockey season is upon us, and people all over Australia are strapping on their shin pads, putting in their mouthguards and taking to the hockey field. Hockey is a great sport for all ages and levels of ability to play. If you enjoy watching hockey and have ever considered playing the sport, now might be a great time to start. Its fast-paced and action-packed nature make it fun to watch and challenging and enjoyable to play. Here are some great reasons why you (or your child) should consider playing hockey.
Hockey is for everybody
Literally anyone can play hockey, regardless of your age, size, gender or level of ability. Of course, teams are segregated depending on ability level, and while you might not yet be able to play on the A1 team, you might be more than happy learning the art of hockey in one of the lower level teams. Each team will have the chance to experience competitive games at their own level, making it a fair and enjoyable competition for everyone.
If you want to know why every kid should play sport, click here to read this article.
It’s a great cardio workout
Hockey is fast-paced, highly active and involves a lot of stopping, starting and running. It’s absolutely fantastic for your cardio health, and your heart will get a great workout during a game.
You’ll burn a lot of calories
Hockey will help reduce excess body fat by burning high numbers of calories. All that running, hitting and passing uses up a lot of calories and helps boost your metabolism. Hockey promotes weight loss and helps you keep the weight off over the long term.
You’ll develop physical toughness
Hockey puts a lot of physical demands on the body, as players cover greater distances on the field over a shorter period of time, compared to many other sports. Hockey players will need to be fit, fast, powerful, strong and agile, so if you want to develop these attributes, playing hockey will certainly help you do that.
For more about why you should get outside to get fit, click here.
You’ll improve muscle strength
Hockey is a strength training workout too, involving the use of core and leg muscles in particular. You’ll develop muscular strength and athletic performance when you regularly play hockey.
It will improve your hand-eye coordination
Hand-eye coordination is extremely necessary in hockey, as you move the ball around on the end of your stick. Your coordination and control will improve rapidly when you start to play hockey, which will be useful for other areas of your life as well.
It will improve your balance
Hockey requires quick reactions and a great sense of balance to be able to move the ball around the field. The more you play, the more your balance, agility and reflexes will improve.
It will improve your endurance
Hockey requires a great deal of endurance if you want to last for the full game. The constant running back and forth across the field will gradually increase your stamina and ability to exercise for longer periods of time. This will not only benefit you on the hockey field, but also in everyday activities and other areas of life.
It will improve your mental strength
Not only is hockey great for your physical strength, it will improve your mental capabilities as well. Exercise can improve your mood and your energy levels and decrease feelings of stress, anxiety and depression. Hockey is particularly good at improving mental abilities, as it requires players to make quick and good decisions and to use strategic tactics. All of these abilities can be useful in your everyday life off the hockey field too.
Hockey gives you an opportunity to achieve your goals
Nothing worthwhile in life comes easily. The same can be said about hockey – the steals, the goals and the wins can be challenging to achieve, but that just makes the achievement all the more satisfying. It can be testing to achieve the fitness and skill levels you need to succeed at hockey too, but learning that you can do whatever you set your mind to is a great insight you can apply to the rest of your life.
It encourages teamwork
There’s nothing like working with others to achieve a common goal. Hockey gives you the chance to learn crucial real-world teamwork skills, such as working together for the good of the team. It can sometimes be a hard lesson to learn – but there’s no better place to learn it than on the sporting field.
You’ll become part of a community
Hockey fosters a great sense of community that lasts both on and off the hockey field. There’s something special about sharing your passion with a group of likeminded people. It’s satisfying to get out there and compete with your friends and celebrate wins and experiences as a team.
Hockey gives you opportunities for lifelong friendships
The camaraderie you find with team sports is fantastic, and often leads to team members becoming lifelong friends. Especially if you start sports young, you find yourself growing up with your teammates. Having a lot in common means you’ll often find it easy to make friends with those in your team. And even if you stop playing hockey, you can still stay in contact with those friends.
You’ll learn new physical skills
A high level of skill is required to be successful at hockey, which is one of the most skill-based sports around. Moving a ball around on the end of a stick while you’re on the move is not easy. You’ll also need to learn technical skills such as the push, hit, slap, flick and tomahawk. It’s hugely satisfying when you can execute these skills to a high level, and ongoing skill development is a real plus.
You’ll develop your life skills
Hockey players will learn to deal with challenges and disappointments, as well as with success and winning. You’ll learn how to be a leader, how to take direction and work with others, and how what you do can have an effect on others. You’ll learn focus, discipline and resilience. These lessons can all be learned on the hockey field, but taken with you throughout the rest of your life.
It’s great stress relief
Getting out there and running around madly, as well as whacking the hockey ball around is great stress relief. Exercise releases endorphins, which help reduce stress levels and make you feel happier.
To read more about how exercise is the best antidepressant, click here.
Quite simply, hockey is a fun sport to play. There’s nothing like the feeling of scoring a sharp goal, or striking a powerful hit. Not to mention the feeling of winning a tough match, or succeeding in achieving a goal.
Give hockey a go
Hockey is a great combination of enjoyment and challenge, which makes it an excellent choice if you’re looking for a sport that will stretch you but will also be fun.