Winter is coming…
Posted by Dean Holden at December 6th, 2013
by Chris Pryor, 21 November 2013
It’s that time of year! With the freezing temperatures comes frozen ice – the best time of the year for hockey players. I’ve talked about this in past articles and I will probably mention it in future ones too, but I can’t emphasize enough the importance of skating outside for a young hockey player growing up in Minnesota. There are not too many guarantees in sports, but I can guarantee you one thing: If you are willing to put the time in and practice your game religiously, your game will improve. Now, in saying this, I’m not talking about going outside for an hour or so a week, but on an almost daily basis throughout the winter months, you will see the results.
There was a time growing up when that’s all you thought about. You couldn’t wait until school ended so you could race home, grab your skates, gloves and your stick and get to the outdoor rink before anyone else. You would skate there until the lights went on when it usually meant dinner time. Then after dinner, you either had practice with your team or you could get back up to the rink and skate a few more hours.
Weekends were the best. You might have up to 20 kids on the ice at one time playing shinny hockey, ranging from Squirt age to Bantams. Talk about working on your skills! Now if you were to do this all winter long from a Squirt to high school, just think about how many extra hours of ice you might accumulate over that span. Your game is going to improve, guaranteed.
If you really, I mean really, want to excel and work on the game you love, the answer is usually only a few blocks away from where you live, with the lights on!
A native of St. Paul, Chris Pryor is the director of hockey operations for the Philadelphia Flyers. He is in charge of the amateur and pro scouting departments. Pryor spent eight seasons as a scout for the Flyers.
<In Calgary, we have been -20C for the past week; -37C tonight with the wind chill! Tons of outdoor rinks have opened and this is prime weather to lay down a bunch more depth on the ODR’s! Time to PLAY soon! Or in my case, head to Kauai for two weeks to get out of this deep freeze… Cheers! – DH>