Monday, March 18, 2013

Top Posts and Articles With Killer Hockey Analogies

                When a sport becomes really popular, it's no longer something that only the fans discuss. Rather, it becomes part of the greater public lexicon and collective consciousness, and even people who don't follow it start to use terminology and analogies from the sport whether they realise it or not.

He hit that one out of the ball park!
It's like trying to understand the offside rule!

                  Three strikes and you're out!

You get the idea... so the question is, where are all the hockey phrases and metaphors? Well actually there are more out there than you might think, and hockey seems to provide a popular analogy for many political and business writers. Read on to see some examples of great hockey metaphors being used to describe all manner of situations from Disney Land to law. Well that's one way to get sports fans to read current events anyway...

A Successful Legal Department is Like a Hockey Team

I'm fairly certain that the title tells you everything you need to know about what this article deals with. It's a nice little analogy that anyone can get their head around, but some of the links are rather tenuous. Client satisfaction is like hockey fans buying tickets expecting their team to win apparently... (if your lawyer keeps losing, you might support another team).

Benched By Penguin?

This article uses the great example of two hockey players getting benched during the playoffs as a way to explain Google's decisions surrounding their 'Penguin' upgrade. In the upgrade, Google decided to penalise a lot of sites that had used spammy techniques to get to the top of the search engines - showing how serious they were about the rules even though it severely damaged those businesses. The parallel is obvious - sometimes a big organization has to make a harsh-seeming rule in order to show they're serious about the rules and for the good of ;the game'.

The New Yorker

Not a post, but a print piece, a 'The New Yorker' article from hockey aficionado Adam Gopnik on Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff uses various sports metaphors in describing the particulars of politics. 'The thing that politics most strongly resembles is being on soccer teams and hockey teams when I was a child' it reads. 'It’s not a lonely writer in his den thinking thoughts.' Later he goes on to say how some of the natural greats have 'jaw dropping' skill in both fields (pun not intended).

Hockey, Metaphor and the Next Canadian Election

This article is becoming ever more self-aware, so why not include a post that refers to another post commenting on the hockey metaphor within? Perhaps this post might some-day wind up in a countdown of the top 'articles about articles with hockey metaphors'? This post discusses the refreshing use of hockey metaphors in the previous article...

Disney Management Apathy/Hockey Analogy

In this one, a writer known only as 'Fritz' compares the lack of Disney history knowledge that many park managers display with the way that he feels about hockey. He doesn't know much about hockey explains, but imagines he might still jump at the chance to work for the NHL. It's just 'fun by nature' he concludes. Good work Fritz!

GOP Debate Draws Metaphors From Hockey, Not Boxing

Ever heard the expression 'drop the gloves'? It's a popular expression lately that one would presume comes from boxing, but in fact it comes from hockey as this article explains. When two boxers get serious the 'gloves come off', but in hockey the players 'drop the gloves'. This article notes how political commentators are switching and starting to use the latter more frequently and points to several other articles where this is the case...

Bachmann and Pawlenty Drop the Gloves

This is one of the articles discussed in the above entry, which describes the rivalry between Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and former Govenor Tim Pawlenty using the hockey metaphor. Though there's no actual mention of hockey in the article, suggesting perhaps that they don't even realise where the reference comes from.

Loving Shirley (The Hockey Analogy)

Another hockey analogy on a business website; seems the two go hand in hand! This article discusses conflict that you might encounter in the world of business and how you might handle it in the context of hockey. But fatal mistake! The writer uses the expression 'gloves come off' instead of 'drop the gloves'. If only he'd read this article first...

To end with and in the spirit of 'hockey word play', here's a little riddle to leave you with... Highlight  the text below for your answer.

Q: A Rink is to Ring as Hockey is to... what?

A: Finger

Improve Your Accuracy in Hockey With These Effective Techniques

This article discusses some ways that you can improve your aim and accuracy when playing hockey. In particular it talks about the psychological element of being able to run through a checklist of your technique and block out potential distractions.

Improve Your Accuracy in Hockey With These Effective Techniques

                Aiming in hockey is incredibly important whether you're passing the puck or taking a shot, but it's not as easy as it is in many other sports. Unlike golf, this is a fast paced game that requires you to move on your feet and be constantly aware of the rest of your team, while unlike football or basketball it requires you to aim using a stick that won't feel as natural as just kicking or throwing a ball. If you currently struggle with your aim then this will seriously let your game down, so what can you do to fix it? Read on for some ideas.


                When you shoot in hockey it's incredibly important that your whole body line up and that you remember to make sure your stance is correct and that your shoulders and feet are pointing the right direction (as much as possible any way when you're in a rush). The way you bring the stick back, and the grip you have on it will all also affect its trajectory which will result in a slightly different aim. You need to make sure likewise that the hockey stick is perfectly straight, and that it hits the puck face on.

                In other words then there is a lot to remember, so it's crucial that you find a way to remember each step and don't end up forgetting what you need to do in the heat of the moment. Create a mental checklist to run through each time you're about to take a shot and run through this so that you aren't likely to rush the shot when you're in a fluster.



                Having a checklist is one thing, but actually going through it and not rushing when you have seconds to take a shot on slippery ice is another matter. There is a huge psychological element in how well you aim then, so make sure that you know how to calm yourself down and make a conscious effort to stop and run through the process of taking a shot before you take it. Likewise nerves and distractions can affect your aim so practice filtering it all out and concentrating simply on the puck and where you want it to go.



                Of course practicing hockey is a great way to improve your aim, just as practice can make perfect in any activity. The problem with practice when it comes to hockey though is that most of us don't have easy access to an ice rink whenever we need it meaning we won't have the space or the right surface to work with.

                The solution is to practice in other ways. For instance you can improve your aim by playing golf to a degree as it's a similar movement and technique. Likewise you can also practice aiming in other ways whether it's throwing stones at cans or shooting a bow and arrow - it's all about special awareness, focus and being in tune with your body so it doesn't matter if the context is different. Even playing computer games can help.



                Muscle training can also help you to improve your aim in hockey as it will give you tighter control over your movements as well as putting you more in tune with your body. Practice lifting weights, and particularly using exercises designed to target the 'fast twitch' muscle fibres.

How to Take a Hockey Puck to the Face Like a John Giannone (Like a Hero)

                Getting hit in the face with a football is one thing and most fans would agree that a red nose and bit of damaged dignity is probably worth it for the cool story and the potential chance to keep the ball. However getting hit in the face with a hockey puck is quite another matter indeed and could potentially be pretty serious.

                When journalists are out there on the rinks reporting on the games then, they're really putting themselves in the line of fire. Sure, they're quite in the running for a Victory Cross for bravery, but nevertheless there's inherent risk there. And sometimes it goes wrong. Sometimes they get hit. in. the. face.

                Honestly it makes great entertainment for us, but for them it must really smart - particularly at that range. The question is, how do you take a hit like that and stay standing? Just as bouncers learn basic self-defence as part of their training, I believe  reporters should learn how to take a hit from a puck and come out of it unfazed. Here then I'll look at the secret to taking a hockey puck to the face like a hero.

Hockey Reporter Takes One for the Team


                Only the other week, the writer John Giannone was reporting from the rink-side at an NHL New York Rangers game, only to take a puck right in the face. The whole thing was caught on camera and you could see quite a lot of blood there, but when asked if he was okay Giannone answered 'it's all good'. So it turns out the guy is a legend...

                Now I don't recommend putting yourself purposefully in the line of fire, but if you report on hockey or just enjoy watching it live you too are putting yourself at risk. So here's what you should do if you see one coming right at you.

Step One: Duck and Dive

                 Obviously if you can leap out the way of the puck and there isn't an elderly lady standing right behind you (or an irritating friend nearby to use as a human shield) then it's best to do so. You'll probably be quite crowded in where you are and jumping forward can mean inadvertently leaping into the oncoming projectile, so the best advice is to try dropping directly downwards into a squat. Stay alert throughout the game and keep your eye on the puck. That's what you paid to do anyway.

                Most of all, do not try to catch the puck. You are NOT Bruce Lee.

Step Two: Go With the Flow

                Failing this, if you lack the super-human reactions to move out of the way in time then you should resort to plan B which is to take the puck on the chin. This expression actually comes from boxing and it means letting the hit 'glance' off of you by moving your head in the same direction. This will mean that you're transferring the energy as much as possible and lessening the impact. Don't try and do a strongman impression by standing rigidly and letting it bounce off your noggin -remember the old Kung Fu adage that it is the willow tree, not the oak, that is more likely to still be standing after it is hit by strong winds.

                Thus you should in fact exaggerate the motion cause when you are hit, but be aware that you are going to be shaking your head around more as a result and this could increase your chance of concussion. In order to look awesome you must try not to have a concussion... And don't wave your arms around too much as that will just make you look special.

Step 3: Look Nonchalant, Get Your Camera Out


                What you just did was pretty awesome, but if you jump up and down cheering then you negate your man points. Instead try to look nonchalant as though nothing has happened. If someone asks you if you're okay ask why, and if they say 'because of the hockey puck' you say 'what hockey puck?'. You should also get your camera out because this is a moment you will want immortalized. Finally, if you have some blood to show for it, you may be able to get some free stuff or even a picture in the local paper, so look around for an official. That puck to the face just may have been your one way ticket to stardom...

How to Practice Hockey Without Space or Equipment

Practicing hockey is tricky because most of us don't happen to have an ice rink in our back gardens. This article suggests ways you can get around that problem by improving specific abilities, practicing other sports or even using visualisation and computer games.

How to Practice Hockey Without Space or Equipment

                Getting better at dancing or football is something you can do relatively easily. All you need is some space and you can relatively easily practice kicking a ball around or practicing your moves. Even if this isn't quite the same as dancing in front of a huge audience as part of a troop, or playing football with a team, you'll still be able to practice the basics and your performance will benefit as a result.

                With ice hockey though, things are a little more difficult. Here you'll have to practice a sport that requires you to have not only enough space to swing a hockey stick around, but also an ice rink which is something most of us don't have easy access to.

                The good news is that there are still ways you can train relatively easily - you just need to know how. Here we will look at some of the best ways to get around a lack of space and ice and still get a chance to perfect the game you love.

Individual Elements


                One way to practice hockey without actually playing it is to simply practice individual elements of the game and improve specific abilities. For instance by improving your balance, your reactions and your strength you can improve your hockey game and these can be improved by just using a balance board, playing computer games and going to the gym. Likewise your general fitness is also very important, and this is something you can improve easily if you have a treadmill or space to try jogging outside.



                 You can actually also improve your hockey game by reading and this is true of any sport. In fact, by reading this article you are learning things that will help you to improve your game and the same goes for reading about technique, formation or anything else related.


                  You may not be able to play hockey, but just imagining it can help you in many ways. Did you know for instance that when you imagine taking a shot, the very same neural networks fire as when you actually take that shot? Likewise, by visualising success you can improve your confidence and you can encourage yourself to remember things regarding your technique even when you're under pressure.


                Even better than just visualising your technique, is to practice going through the motions. You don't need to hit a hockey puck hard to improve your technique though - you can practice just gently swinging the stick in your back garden and going through the motion perfectly. Then when you have to speed it up on the day you'll find you're much more effective.

Computer Games


                There are a few hockey games out there and while none of them are perfect they can all help you to keep thinking about the game. Better yet are motion sensor games that allow you to practice shooting - though they aren't terribly accurate as a rule.

Other Sports


                A range of other sports can help you to improve in hockey as they have transferable skills. For instance, playing golf can help you to get better at swinging and aiming and it can help you to improve your aim, while practicing roller blading may help you to be more confident on the ice. Even something unrelated like soccer will help you to develop more fitness and strength in your legs.

How to Improve Your Balance for Hockey

This article suggests some easy ways you can practice to improve your balance for playing hockey from developing supporting muscles, to practicing ice skating and other activities to balancing on beams with your eyes closed.

How to Improve Your Balance for Hockey

                Performance in hockey comes down to a lot of different factors and is certainly more than the sum of its parts. In order to be great at hockey you need to be fast, you need to be a great aim, you need to be able to outsmart your opponents and work as a team and you need a range of other physical and mental abilities.
                While it is getting these abilities to work together that's important though, it's also possible to train each of them individually and to hone each skill to the point where you will be a lean, ma hockey machine.
                One of these physical abilities is balance, and it's highly important to be able to balance well in hockey not only to avoid falling over on the ice, but also to ensure that you have a stable base from which to tackle and aim. Here we will look at how you can train your balance without a hockey stick in sight.



                Of course one way to improve balance is to practice... well balancing. There are many ways you can do this, but the most obvious is to try balancing on beams and on posts. Not all of us has space in the garden for an assault course though, so if you want to improve your balance from the comfort of your room look into using a balance board or even just practicing on the Wii.
                Want to get even more from this balancing? Then try balancing with your eyes shut. This way you can't use your eyes to right yourself and are forced to rely solely on your internal sense of gravity.
                Meanwhile a range of activities that involve balancing can all also help you to improve your ability. This includes bike riding, gymnastics or even using a pogo stick. Take up any of these activities and they will serve as a brilliant supplement to your ice hockey.
                Of course another thing to practice is ice skating itself, and the more competent you get at skating (roller blading would work very well too and can be practiced on your front drive) the more stable you'll be on the ice and the more agile the moves you'll be able to pull off when you're playing.



                Balancing really means engaging small supporting muscles in your body and using them to adjust your position and prevent you from tipping. To improve your ability to balance then, particularly on skates and when being tackled, try training those smaller fast twitch muscle fibres by developing your core and doing compound leg exercises such as squats and deadlifts. Using a balancing board again is a particularly effective way to build those useful core muscles. One way to make the most of this for instance is to try standing on the balance board while you do curls which will force you to engage the stabilizing muscles while you work out. Another great way to strengthen these muscles is to do curls with uneven weights which will mean you need to work harder to stay upright and stable. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Among The Most Competitive Sports Comes Hockey! Why Should It Be A Sport Of Your Choice?

When considering competitive contact sports, many people automatically think of football, rugby, basketball and soccer. Hockey is often overlooked except by those avid fans. In actuality, hockey can be a great alternative sport to those mentioned above because it does not have to have the height requirement demanded by basketball or the advanced dribbling skills required by football. As long as you are fast, fit and flexible, hockey may be right for you. Here are a few reasons why you should consider hockey as your premium sport of choice.

  • Physical requirements
As stated above, only speed, agility and general fitness are needed to become a great hockey player. These skills can be developed over time and do not have to be inborn. Certain tests may be performed to ascertain your current fitness levels and then regimens created to increase the areas where your performance is wanting. Hockey is also a great way to keep fit and increase your heart rate. You must exercise regularly to decrease instances of injuries and also be able to remain competitive. If you are involved in strenuous sports like hockey, you must remember to hydrate your body constantly so that you do not lose too many nutrients through sweating. 

  • Opportunities for college scholarships
Dorothy Upton is presented a $500 scholarship award by Rouvaishyana and Worth Hall
If you are a really good hockey player in high school, you may win a scholarship to play for any of the top colleges in the United States. The National Collegiate Athletic Association is the main governing body for the hockey at the collegiate level and has competitions based on divisions. The NCAA in conjunction with some Division I and II colleges offers scholarships to qualified students.
The Ice hockey divisions are I, II and III for men and the National Collegiate and Division III for women. Just as is the case with other sports, college is a ripe recruiting ground for professional team scouts and could be a launching pad for your professional hockey career. Oh, and you get free education as well.
One caveat of note is that field majority of the field hockey scholarships are available only for female students. This makes the pool for scholarships for males even smaller and more competitive. Remember that even with the best hockey statistics, a good GPA is required to be considered and you must hit the books just as hard as you hit the puck to qualify for a much coveted scholarship. 

  • Affiliation with national leagues and championships
Champions 2011: USA
The National Hockey League is the major professional body governing the sport of hockey. There are several minor leagues that are still of a professional nature such as Federal Hockey League, East Coast Hockey League, American Hockey League and Southern Professional Hockey League.  There are also leagues tailored towards women and the youth. These are great for competing at a local level and they are also a great way for coaches and scouts to source talent and sign fresh athletes. 

  • Recognition as an Olympic sport
Switzerland vs. Canada
Field hockey has been a feature of the Summer Olympic Games since 1908 while Ice hockey was first introduced as an Olympic sport in 1920. It subsequently featured in the Winter Olympics since 1924. Both men and women may compete in this sport at the Olympic level. This is a platform that can catapult your career into superstar status especially if you are fortunate enough to win a medal for your country. 

  • Earnings
This point comes last for a reason; a great sports player should be motivated by passion and love for the game rather than earnings. This is not to say that earnings are not important. If they were not, then professional athletes would not earn the millions of dollars they receive each year. As a professional hockey player, you may earn hundreds of millions of dollars through your entire career. There are also several product endorsement deals available that may also mint cash for you. Should you be fortunate enough to land an endorsement deal, make sure that the company whose product or service you are promoting has ideals similar to your own or are socially and environmentally responsible. Athletes in minor leagues may still earn a decent living from playing hockey full time.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Essential Protective Gear That A Hockey Player Should Embrace

Hockey is an interesting and entertaining sport to engage in as well as watch. It involves a great amount of smart maneuvering to gain a competitive advantage over your opponents with the aim of scoring a goal. Unlike a bloody sport like boxing, the aim of hockey is not to injure your opponents. Nevertheless, broken noses, fractured limbs and bloody lips are not uncommon injuries for hockey players.
Despite the various rules put into place to discourage overtly aggressive contact, the likelihood of injury is high especially if you are not wearing the proper gear. It does not matter whether it is field hockey, inline hockey or ice hockey, you must put safety at the fore front of this activity. Below is a checklist of protective gear that any hockey player must don. 

  • Helmet
Hockey Goalie
With the exception of field hockey, wearing a helmet is of utmost importance when playing the game. It could spare you from serious and painful head injuries like concussions, broken noses and general head injuries. Always make sure that your helmet fits. If you are playing goalie, then your helmet needs to have added protection as you stand a higher risk of being hit by the high speed hockey balls otherwise known as pucks. Field hockey does not require a helmet as gear except for the goalie. This is because the ground is more stable and the likelihood of sustaining head injuries is lowered. Purchase a helmet for your son or daughter when they are learning the sport.

  • Protective pads
Forlorn Keeper
You should always wear protective pads for your shoulders, elbows and shins. Your hockey shorts and chest guard may also be padded. These insulate you against injuries from falling, and collisions with your opponents. The small size of the puck, coupled with the speed with which it is shot, makes it travel at a high velocity. Any contact with a puck travelling at such great speeds can cause great injury. The padding in these protective pieces of equipment is made of composite artificial substances that make strong so that they may withstand any impact that your body is exposed to. They are also light weight to allow for maneuverability.

  • Mouth guard
So, you want to keep that winning smile and still play hockey? Wear a mouth guard! This protective gear is made of a moldable plastic that helps withstand the impact of any collision that involves your mouth. It can protect not only your teeth but your jaws as well. There are two standard types of mouth guards retailed in the market today; stock and mouth protectors as well as boil and bite protectors.
Stock and mouth protectors are typically cheaper than the boil and bite ones because they come in a standard shape and size. You are not able to alter it to fit your mouth. Boil and bite guards are more malleable and once placed on the teeth, can be bit into, taking the shape of your teeth hence making them more comfortable and offering added protection for your teeth. If you have dental problems or already have braces, you can seek the services of a dentist to customize your mouth gear for you.
Once you have all your gear in place, you are ready to play the game. Since hockey is a high adrenaline sport, you will likely sweat a lot. You need to take proper care of your gear to keep it fresh and to prevent the spread of germs from the dirt and sweat on the same. You must also check to make sure that your protective gear is still in good condition. Make sure you check and repair any cracks, rips and tears in your gear if possible. When repair is impossible, replace them. Adhere to the recommended replacement schedules for these pieces of equipment. For example, a hockey helmet should be replaced after every five years unless damaged earlier beyond repair.
Having defective gear is almost as bad as not wearing any at all as it greatly minimizes your protection. Always make sure that your equipment and protective gear is fully dried out and disinfected after each game. You can of course use any of the various disinfectant sprays available in the market.