Underwater hockey is a sport without a lot of research on the best ways to train. Many of us created our own training programs by trial and error and gleaned training ideas and habits from our backgrounds in other sports. Previous USA Women’s Elite team players and occasionally guests will be sharing how they trained to compete at the underwater hockey world championships. These blog posts will cover a variety of topics that are important to help you reach the next level. These topics will include: swimming, strength training, puck handling, nutrition, and more!
This first post is written by the 2020 USA Women’s Elite coach, Phil Hickey. He has many years of experience playing underwater hockey and training for the USA Elite and Master’s men's teams as well as competing in other sports, like road cycling.
The USA Women’s Elite Team Steering Committee (Tyera, BAM, Leah, and Katrina)
Getting started on a workout routine:
The first step is the hardest, but you can't take the second step until you take the first.
So make that first step your goal. And like any goal, you should write it down. On an actual piece of paper. With a real pen. Look at it. Read the words out loud: "GO TO THE POOL AND SWIM ON WEDNESDAY." Draw a little box beside it where your check mark will go on Wednesday evening when you get home. Think about that check mark. Think about the small, but real feeling of satisfaction you'll get writing that check mark in the box.
Don't let the logistics get in the way. Call the pool ahead of time and make sure they're open for lap swim. Put your swimsuit, fins, mask, snorkel, towel, and whatever else you're going to need in your car NOW so you can't forget them. Schedule enough time so you can drive to the pool, change, shower, etc. and still have time to be in the water for at least 30 minutes.
Make the workout fun. Remember that this is about getting started, not about suffering or crushing your PRs or accumulating a million yards. Do something that you're comfortable with. If you pick intervals, make them ones that you KNOW you can make. If you have a yardage goal, make it realistic. Whatever else does or does not happen, you want to feel GOOD when you get out of the pool. If your background is swimming, maybe you just want to do a generic warmup and swim 5 x 200 freestyle with 30 seconds rest after each one. If you've done a lot of finswimming, maybe you want to put your fins on and kick for 20 minutes straight. If you've done a lot of training for uwhockey in the past, you may already have a favorite, structured, hockey-specific workout. Any one of these ideas is perfectly fine. Keep the pace realistic so you can finish strong. Don't overdo it, especially if you've been out of the pool for a while or if you're new to training in general, or swim-training specifically. Keep going and finish whatever workout you've picked.
Now get out of the pool. Take a shower. Stretch. Eat something delicious (you've got a shaker bottle with your favorite recovery shake in it waiting for you, right?)
Go home and put that check mark in the box! You did it! Pat yourself on the back.
Now don't waste the momentum you've created by taking step 1! Get that piece of paper and write the next goal: "GO TO THE POOL AND SWIM ON THURSDAY." Draw a little box beside it. Compare that empty box to the one above it with the check mark in it. You don't want that first check mark getting lonely now, do you?
Keep the goals small, simple, and concrete. Write the check marks. Enjoy the feeling of accomplishment every time you make another check mark. Enjoy the greater feelings of accomplishment as you see the check marks start to accumulate. Don't worry about the workout specifics until you have a week's worth of boxes checked off.
It's all about getting started. And it starts with a paper and a pen. What are you waiting for?
P.S. If you are a woman, living in the United States, and would like to attend our first tryout, here is the information. Early Bird deadline is May 25th (today)!!
Location: Milwaukee (Brown Deer), WI
Dates: July 6th and 7th, 2019
Times: Saturday 8am–3pm with a team event Saturday evening, Sunday 10am–3pm
Early Bird: May 25th, $70
Regular: June 8th, $120
After the Deadline: $140
Send to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Airport: Milwaukee or Chicago
Cost share deadline: June 8th
*All deposits will be credited at $120 in the common-costs cost share. For more information click here.