How JOGA & Hockey Canada Have Teamed Up to Help Athletes of Any Age Be at Their Best
JOGA’s partnership with Hockey Canada features full workouts and Moves of the Month designed to strengthen, increase mobility, and aid mindfulness in hockey players of all ages.
Through the Hockey Canada website and Hockey Canada Network app, JOGA and Hockey Canada have been working together to deliver athletes, big and small, the tools they need to be at their best and most balanced.
Like most athletes, hockey players are playing and practicing all the time. This goes for young players as well. Many young hockey players are playing five to seven times a week. This means that these athletes are training the same muscle groups again and again.
The danger of training the same muscle groups too often is that you’re paving the way for injury and issues somewhere down the road. Repetitive use of the same muscle groups can lead to overuse injuries, like muscle strains or damage, because of repetitive stress on the body.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to train hard. It is natural, expected even, for athletes off all ages to be determined to get better, optimize performance, and improve their game. The problem lies in the negative effects of overtraining, and especially overtraining the same muscle groups.
Because skills and drills often involve only one side of the body, asymmetry begins to develop in the body. When athletes train only one side of the body, the other side begins to overcompensate. There is no way around it; if you favour one side of the body, that side of the body becomes stronger than the other, which results in muscle imbalances. This overcompensation will almost always lead to injury or pain as the supporting muscles weaken.
Most parents of young hockey players are used to their children complaining about pains in their lower backs or hips. This happens because when one area of the body is either stronger or weaker, or tighter or more mobile than the other, the body is less able to maintain proper alignment or function at its best. Muscle balance and active recovery of overworked muscles is crucial for injury prevention.
With our partnership with Hockey Canada, JOGA is helping teach kids, and even some more experienced athletes and coaches, about body awareness. By addressing how overtraining can not only fatigue muscles, but also how overtraining one side of the body can lead to muscle imbalances, we are helping prevent or reduce the risk of injury and pain moving forward, especially in young hockey players.
Since most athletes actually need to be tight to produce power, explosiveness, and speed, JOGA is not about making athletes flexible. Rather, JOGA is about establishing a balance between strength and mobility, while introducing athletes to the benefits of breathing and relaxation techniques that the science behind traditional Yoga provides.
Both athletes and parents of young hockey players will not only notice how JOGA can fix problems caused by muscular imbalances and weaknesses, but also how JOGA can improve your mindset to make you a better hockey player.
JOGA uses mindfulness and breathing techniques to help players sleep better at night or concentrate before going out on the ice. Once young hockey players see the upside of these tools, that they may have otherwise overlooked, they are more inclined to try them.
We understand that balancing the body or practicing mindfulness may not be second nature to most hockey players, but the more you practice it and the earlier you introduce these valuable tools, the better a player will get at utilizing and benefiting from them. So get to practicing with full JOGA workouts on the Hockey Canada Network app or with the JOGA Move of the Month demonstration videos posted every month on JOGA and Hockey Canada’s accounts!