Ice hockey is an entertaining and exciting game. While it may look easy to glide on ice gracefully, it actually takes years of practice and plenty of injuries for one to get it right. Most professionals start skating when they are really young and grasp different concepts as they grow and develop more skills. At least five hours a week should be dedicated to just training and fitness.
Balance is also something that NHL players need. They must have good balance for them to avoid falling down easily or being bumped and knocked down quickly by opponents. Some time also needs to be invested in the gym to ensure the body is in tip-top shape. Ice hockey is very physical, and a big part of gaining possession of the puck is skill and strength. Players need to have a lot of upper body strength, particularly in the shoulders, so that they can tussle for the puck. Their legs also have to be strong so that the players can stand their ground as well as to skate faster.
The Ice Rink
As the name suggests, ice hockey is played on ice. It is played indoors on what is called a rink and not on the regular ice outside, which would not be able to hold the weight of all the players from both teams. An interesting fact is that the word “rink” was first used for a game called “curling” before it became only associated with ice hockey.
There are two sizes of ice rinks; namely, the format used in the NHL (200 by 85 feet) and another Olympic size used for international competitions (60.0 by 30.0 metres). The surface of the ice rinks consists of freshwater on top, concrete slabs and saltwater in pipes. The saltwater has lower freezing points, so this helps the fresh water freeze quicker.