There are many things you have to consider when getting properly prepared for the playoff run in the sport of hockey. It is why you have worked so hard throughout the year, for that chance to chase down a championship. Many players have different methods of preparation when heading down the final stretch of the season, but here are a few things you need to keep in mind so that both your body and mind are ready for what could be the long haul to the finals.
The first thing you have to keep in mind is keeping your body healthy, continuing to practice hard but at the same time giving your body the rest it needs so that when your series goes too game 7, you are not burnt out from over training. You must continue to stretch, do light training exercises and treat whatever injury right away to avoid the long term effects that can be caused by not confronting the problem right away. Everyone plays through small injuries during the playoffs, likes bumps and bruises but when you have injuries such as sore or pulled muscles, it is important to see your trainer or doctor so that it doesn’t lead to a bigger problem and ends up torn and leaves you out of the next game, round or even the rest of playoffs.
The second thing you must continue to do, is feed your body with the proper fuel that it takes to stay healthy and stay energized for whatever length of game or series you are going to encounter on your journey in the playoffs. You must get the proper mix of protein, carbohydrates and consume foods that are going to fuel the body properly. Junior, College and Pro Athletes are paying much more attention to foods they are supplying their bodies with, in order to maintain a healthy and energized body in order to last for an extended period of time.
The third thing you need to do is too rest, relax and give yourself a break from the game whenever possible. The playoff stretch can go for a very long time, so it is important for players to take time to themselves and get away from the game in order to keep themselves mentally prepared for the next practice or game. Whether it’s going for a walk or a bike ride, listening to music or just going out to dinner with family and friends, it is important to the athlete to have a mental break from the game in order to be 100% focused for the next. Getting the proper amount of sleep is particularly necessary in order to keep the athlete energized for the next day. With the strenuous schedule, it’s sometimes hard to find the time with road trips and long bus rides, to get the proper sleep, so it is very important when you do have the time, that you are taking advantage of it and getting the rest you need.
Remember, that it may be hard to sacrifice yourself, your time and your body with hard work and training but when you get to that final game and hold the trophy over your head, it’s a feeling that you will never forget. Leave it all out there, and don’t ever leave room for regrets.