Posts Tagged ‘neutral’

So what did you think of game 2?

I couldn’t believe that finish. So few goals allowed during the first 120 minutes and then an overtime winner in 11 seconds.

But that’s the great thing about the game of hockey. Things can change so quickly and anything on net in OT has a chance.

You have to wonder though if Thomas’s overly aggressive style cost the Bruins the game? Because whenever the Canucks are in the offensive zone it seems like Thomas is anywhere but in the blue paint.

It’s one thing to be challenging the shooters, cutting down angles and getting close to the man in front to minimize deflections on shots from the point.

But Thomas is well out on every shot. And he interferes with the Vancouver forwards who aren’t expecting the goalie to be a few feet outside the blue. They’re used to gliding across the top of the crease to provide a screen but not take an interference penalty.

And in OT it cost him.

At least that’s what I would argue.

By playing out so much he was able to lured wider than if he was deeper in his net.

Plus had he been a normal distance from the goal line there would be have been less chance that Chara would have pushed him away from his goal.

So what does this have to do with off-season training for hockey? What can you learn from Thomas on this play?

Well, you need to recognize where your ‘home’ is. And by home I mean your centre, your proper posture, your core or your base of support.

Your goal should be to perform all lifts and exercises as intensely and or as quickly as possibly with ideal technique.

What defines ‘ideal technique’?

Well lots of things but one in particular is a neutral spine. And this is more than simply trying to maintain a slight curve in your low back. Unfortunately for some hockey players they don’t even achieve this much as they lose pelvic and hip control during many of the movements done in the gym.

But back to neutral spine another way of thinking of this is to lengthen the spine. All the way from your tail bone through the top of your neck.

Your neck? Why do I have to worry about my neck? Aren’t we worrying about developing strong legs, explosive power and a stable core?  Who said anything about the neck?

These may be some common responses by hockey players when additional emphasis is placed upon ensuring the head is in a neutral position.

Because when we have a neutral head the spine is long, the spine is neutral, the core works better and we have better hip and pelvic alignment.

And when you think about the number of hip and pelvic injuries that are happening not too mention the increased incidence of concussions wouldn’t proper head and neck alignment be one of the first things to address?

We all know the brain is CPU for the body and reigns supreme. As you continue on with your off-season hockey training make sure to give your head and neck positioning an appropriate amount of care and consideration.

Because if you don’t you’ll deviate from neutral and come away from your base or your home. And then bad things happen such as injuries or getting scored on in OT.