The title of this month’s blog post may sound like an oxymoron, but it is possible to reduce injuries in hockey, the only sport where some players still fight to play without a helmet. Smart players and athletes know that it is better to think about your body for the long term, and making sure to wear appropriate gear and include the proper strengthening in one’s regimen are easy ways to reduce the chances of injury in a sport where, eventually, one hopes that players won’t trumpet a lack of teeth as something to brag about.
How to play hockey safely
with advice from Mark Salandra, CSCS
Hockey may not initially inspire thoughts of the world’s safest sport. With a reputation for brawls on the ice and toothless grins, parents may be understandably cautious about signing up their kids for the community hockey league.
However, with the proper precautions (and protective gear), the game can be played safely while those on the ice reduce their chance of injury.
Hockey is a unique sport, says Mark Salandra, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and the founder of StrengthCondition.com (a Physiquality partner program). “It incorporates speed, agility and strength in ways that no other sport tests the body,” he explains. As with any sport, injuries can be caused by a variety of factors, including the level of participation, player position, protective equipment, violent behavior, and personal susceptibility due to pre-existing injuries and style of play.