Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Off Season Hockey Training Tips

 

Sometimes it’s hard to get motivated to train for hockey when the season ends. But maintaining and building your hockey fitness and awareness through the summer will help you start next season in top shape and ready to skate past your competitors. There are many things you can do to help your hockey game but let’s start with something you shouldn’t do:
 
Don’t Be a Couch Potato
You probably won’t be sitting on the couch watching TV – except for watching the Stanley Cup playoffs, we suppose.  But sitting at that computer on your gaming system for long periods can slow you down and actually make you lose fitness over the summer.  Get outside. Get in the gym. Stay active.
 
....and here's some stuff you SHOULD do:
 
Rest and Recover
After a long, grueling hockey season, the body and the mind can need a recharge. Let your hockey injuries recover. Take time to reflect on how you’ve changed and grown as a hockey player through the past year.  Set goals and expectations for the summer’s off-season training – as well as for  the next season. 
 
Improve Your Conditioning
Maintaining your cardiovascular and general hockey fitness is important to consider in the summer months.   Interval training is a great way to keep those lungs sharp for the upcoming season while working on that lower-body power that’ll take your game to the next level.  Running intervals – varied shorter-duration sprints – will build your body’s rest-and-recovery ability which help you get the most out of each shift on the ice.  Long-distance running is not ideal, as it’s not directly related to the physical demands of hockey.  While it’s ok to mix in some longer runs or rides on a bike, be sure to focus on the short-intervals like a sprinter.  Additionally, plyometrics and jumping exercises will also help that lower body strength and prepare you for the speed and explosive movement that hockey demands.
 
Strength Training
Access to weight training and strength training programs has increased in recent years and can be a valuable tool in the summer training regimen for hockey players.   It’s not just about maxing out the weight. Resistance training will help any hockey player get stronger and core work is crucial to your balance and stability, which have obvious benefits on the ice. But make sure you’re training with a qualified strength coach – the last thing you want to do is get hurt lifting and miss the start of the upcoming season as you spend time in the treatment room.  A qualified strength coach can also help you get the most from a program that’s specific to you, your position and your goals.
 
Try Something Different
Playing another sport or pursuing other activities will your body recover and recharge for hockey while maintaining and improving your overall fitness.  Sports such as soccer and basketball can help maintain hockey-related fitness while providing a new stimulus for your muscles as the field or court will challenge you in different ways than the ice.  Sports such as tennis or supervised rock-climbing can help you maintain the motor skills needed to handle the stick while skating.  Yoga or active stretching can help you recover from  hockey season and prepare your body to fight off injury in the upcoming season.  Different sports and activities also help you recharge the brain.  Mental and physical fitness training all in one?  Sounds like a great plan.
 
Don’t Burn Out
Especially for young hockey players, year-round hockey can lead to a loss of interest and passion for a sport, not to mention increasing the potential for injury.  You love hockey – but sometimes it’s best to step away temporarily so you can come back stronger – and more committed and passionate than ever.    

Finally, it's TOTALLY OK to always THINK about hockey during the offseason. See here:



0 Comments Posted at 11:00AM on 05/29/2012

Leave A Comment...
Monday, May 14, 2012
Bauer Nexus 1000 Hockey Stick

By Jeff Copetas, VP of Marketing & E-Commerce

Bauer isn't messing around lately, are they? In addition to the TotalOne NXG skates and the brand new, technology-packed Re-AKT helmet, they're also lining up an entire 3rd family line of product, called Nexus. The Nexus line, according to Bauer, will "link past tradition with current technology." However they want to market it, you can be sure the product quality will be there.

One of the first Nexus products out of the gate will be the Nexus 1000 hockey stick, another top-of-the-line stick to join the APX and the TotalOne. Priced at $249.99 (remember, Bauer and the vendors set pricing on new product, Pure Hockey does not), you should expect the Nexus to be a state-of-the-art, durable and feature-packed hockey stick.

The first thing you may notice is the look - sleek, all-black with some hints of silver thrown in there for good measure. In terms of looks, the Nexus 1000 will certainly remind you a little bit of the Easton RS. We at Pure Hockey loved the look of the RS, so it makes every bit of sense that we would like the look of this one as well, which goes polar opposite to the flair and bling of Warrior sticks and even the APX line. 






So, the nuts and bolts of the stick go a little like this:



Power Shaft, Taper & Tru-Mid Flex
The shaft of the Nexus 1000 is a squared off, double concave taper, which Bauer elected to make a little thicker in the hosel area to work in conjunction with what Bauer is calling their "Tru-Mid Flex," which basically means that a softer handle and hosel allows for a little more flex in those areas where YOU need it.  The slightly stiffer flex is in the center of the shaft and will help you deliver "a quick, natural release. The Nexus "power taper" boosts stiffness to maximize your loading with less torque and twist, which should offer better control and precision as well.



Power Core 3 Blade

Bauer tells us that the blade core's energy absorbance will maximize your power and puck feel, while the lightweight Aero Foam II heel improves balance and core stability. 



Other Features
This stick is loaded with other techniology, too, some of which can be found on Bauer's previous sticks. The Monocomp Technology (single molding process in the blade) removes excess material from the blade, which provides better overall balance. Bauer's TeXtreme blade technology is also back, providing Bauer's exclusive carbon-fiber, which they say is 20% lighter than conventional carbon. The Pure Shot Blade Profile is here as well, which should help to minimize twisting or deflection and give you that extra little accuracy that is so important in the game of hockey.

Bauer did provide us with a demo of the stick months ago, which they took back. As with many of the top-end sticks, it felt absolutely awesome in my hands and I did not notice any major differences in weight or feel from other top-end sticks, either. As with any new release stick, the real story will emerge when we get one to use on the ice. You can bet we will post a Game Time Review in a few weeks, as these hotly anticpated sticks are due into our warehouse any day now.

If you just KNOW that you're a Bauer person and you don't need to hear any more, you can pre-order this beauty by clicking right here.



0 Comments Posted at 12:05PM on 05/14/2012

Leave A Comment...
Friday, May 11, 2012
Preview: Bauer Re-Akt Helmet

By Jeff Copetas, VP of Marketing & E-Commerce

I just walked out into our warehouse yesterday and saw waves of boxes, just coming off the truck. Whenever this happens, I always have to take a peek at the box to see what's in it and this time it was Bauer's Re-Akt helmet. Bauer has spent the better part of a year (or years?) in research and development on what makes a better and safer helmet - and the Re-Act is the result of that labor.

So first off, this is a minor, but appreciated thing Bauer is doing - adding featuresets and actual graphic design to their helmet boxes. This will undoubtedly help out store shoppers who are browsing, yet have no idea why one helmet may be better than another. Hockey companies in general are still catching up to the rest of the world on this type of stuff, so it's nice to see that it's really starting to happen.
























OK, now let's get down and dirty here. Let's start off with the most important part - the inside, protective part of the helmet. This is where Bauer has really devoted some time and energy into making the most stable and protective helmet they possibly could. The picture below on the left side, is the inside of the helmet, obviously. Bauer has calls this their "Suspend-Tech Liner," which is loosly attached to the inside of the helmet. Now, when I say "loosely attached," don't let that worry you - it's not like it's going to fall out of the helmet. You can see what I mean by looking at the picture on the right. At impact on the ice, the liner will move independantly from the foams in the helmet to help protect your squash from any potentially damaging brain movement. Of course, no helmet can prevent concussions entirely, but Bauer's technology is taking a next step in protection.


























OK, so here's a shot of the helmet in its full-glory. Bauer modeled this one after their immensely popular 4500 line and you can clearly see that in the design. Why mess with success?


 


























On the back you have the adjustment feature, which you can move up or down to help stabilize the back of your head and give you that good, snug fit that you need. 





























Towards the top of the helmet, you have your tool-free adjustment, which gives you quick, easy adjustment options. At first glance it looks a little odd, but it actually gave Bauer a chance to slightly tweak the width of the helmet and enhance the protection on the sides. 
































....and finally, here's the angled ear-loops and dual-density ear covers.





























I tried this helmet on and I must say it warrants real consideration. This is a top-of-the-line helmet pricewise and Bauer has created top-of-the-line technology and it is - by a long shot - the most comfortable Bauer helmet I have ever put on my head. I currently wear a Cascade M-11 and the Bauer Re-Akt provides the same level (if not better) of comfort.

We will be doing some on-ice testing in the next couple of weeks and will provide a game-time review at that time. The Bauer Re-Akt will be on sale at Pure Hockey stores and PureHockey.com on May 18th. 
 



0 Comments Posted at 11:00AM on 05/11/2012

Leave A Comment...