Helpful safety tips for beginner hockey players help you enjoy the game
Hockey is a fast and exciting sport. As much as we all try to avoid them, injuries can and do happen. Some of the more common ones in ice hockey are sprains, bruises, or cuts. However, that does not mean you should stop having fun on the ice. Instead, you must prepare yourself to handle the stress during a game to lower your chances of getting injured.
Here are some helpful tips for beginners to help you enjoy playing hockey and keep you in one piece.
Learn the Game
Training is the first step to ensure a safe hockey experience. For most players, training with a private coach to learn all the nuances of the game may not be possible. In that case, it’s always best to sign up for group lessons or join a league that provides the proper instruction.
Moreover, you must learn the right moves to reduce injuries. For one, falling to the ice while playing ice hockey is inevitable. However, with the proper equipment and moves you can reduce your chances of getting injured.
One of the more basic safety tips for beginner hockey players is to avoid ducking, or keeping your head down, when there is the likelihood of a collision. This makes your head absorb the impact of the force. Knowing such aspects can help you stay safe.
Always Wear Protective Gear
Another of the safety tips for beginner hockey players is a no-brainer. Always wear protective gear to prevent injury. Additionally, make sure the gear fits you perfectly. Your helmet, pads, and skates should be comfortable as well as allowing freedom of movement. You have to choose your gear carefully, as it may take some time to get adjusted to it. You will need to wear it and practice with it on as much as you can to get comfortable.
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The protective gear regularly used in ice hockey are:
- Mouth guard
- Full padding
- Athletic supporter
- Padded pants
Warm Up Before Your Game or Practice
Always warm up before you play hockey. It boosts the blood flow to your muscles and relaxes the joints. This is a crucial way you can reduce injuries during your game.
Moreover, be sure to do some stretching. And perform exercises that focus on strengthening the neck and improving flexibility. Most importantly, warming up can reduce muscle soreness and pain. You should warm up for 20-30 minutes before a game.
Practice, Practice, Practice
It is necessary to keep your body in shape and stay flexible to avoid injuries. Furthermore, you should practice even during the off season. Focus on skating to strengthen the muscles that keep you stable on the ice.
Practice with your protective gear on even before you hit the ice. Be sure to go over the best practices to help maintain your safety. You can also cross train by playing different sports. They target different muscle groups and boost your stamina and endurance.
Use Your Head
Following the rules of ice hockey is a good way to prevent most injuries. And good sportsmanship can keep both you and your teammates safe.
Head injuries are always a cause of concern. They are too common in ice hockey, and a concussion is to be avoided at all cost. However, the symptoms of concussion may take hours to appear. Therefore, always monitor your symptoms if you sustain an injury that involves your head. Some common symptoms of delayed concussion are:
- Temporary loss of memory
- Sensitivity to light
- Changes in behavior
- Lack of sleep
Whether or not you experience any of these symptoms, do not hesitate to see a healthcare provider if you sustain an injury that involves your head or neck.
Hockey is a fast game. As such, always take steps to avoid injuries while playing. Wear protective gear and ensure it fits you properly. Moreover, be sure to warm up before a game or practice to improve your flexibility. And last but not least, practice playing hockey regularly, even during the off season.
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