Bongo Board for Improved Hockey Balance




Use the Bongo Board to Improve your Hockey Balance While Away from the Rink!

I recently had the chance to test out a number of new products from HockeyShot’s balance line. I’m a big believer that developing balance and coordination off the ice can lead to improved performance on the ice. The first product I tested out was the 20″ Wobble Board. The next product I checked out was the Bongo Board, which is shown in the video above.

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DSC_0026Construction:
At first glance, the Bongo Board looks like a skate board without wheels. It’s made of solid maple plywood, and has a non-slip surface on the top. The underside of the Bongo Board has the track, with the bungee cord, which fits with the double ball bearing wheel system. The construction is durable, and able to withstand the rigors of regular usage.

Usability:
The Bongo Board will take some practice before you’ll be able to use it effectively. Although once you’ve figured it out, it’s a lot of fun (and a great workout too!). Athletes with a skateboarding background will likely pick it up faster than I did.

Once you’ve got the hang of it, there’s a lot of stuff you can do:

  • Kick Flips
  • Ollies
  • 180’s
  • etc…

Obviously… for hockey, you’re going to want to “Bongo” while stickhandling!

Benefits:
The benefits of using the Bongo Board are pretty obvious for hockey:

  • Improved Balance & Control
  • Increased Coordination
  • More Strength in Calves and Ankles
  • Variety of Power Exercises that Executed
  • Great way to develop “independent” Hands & Feet (hands and feet are active together, working on different things)


20″ Wobble Board for Improved Hockey Balance




Use the 20″ Wobble Board to Improve your Hockey Balance and Coordination!

I recently had the chance to test out a number of new products from HockeyShot’s balance line. I’m a big believer that developing balance and coordination off the ice can lead to improved performance on the ice. The first product I tested out was the 20″ Wobble Board, as shown in the video above.

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DSC_0016Construction:
The platform of this Wobble Board is made of birch wood with a slip-resistant top. The birch wood gives it a nice feel, while still maintaining it’s durability. “Feel” is an important feature with balance products. I’ve used plastic wobble boards in the past that don’t hold a candle to this one, mainly because of the feel.

The spherical base is made of durable plastic, that is sure to withstand any reasonable amount of abuse you’ll throw at it. The base is adjustable, which allows you to change the level of difficulty as your skills improve.

Usability:
The wobble board is easy to use, although it will take some practice to get good at it. I recommend setting the base at the easiest level while you work on your balance and strength. The base is well-designed, and easy to adjust.

Benefits:
The benefits of using a wobble board are pretty obvious for hockey:

  • Improved Balance & Control
  • Increased Coordination
  • More Strength in Calves and Ankles
  • Variety of Power Exercises that Executed
  • Great way to develop “independent” Hands & Feet (hands and feet are active together, working on different things)


X-Deviator Hockey Stickhandling Aid



Develop Stickhandling Abilities with the X-Deviator

I’ve mentioned this before, but there are a number of skills that can easily be developed off the ice. I’m a strong believer that players who don’t take advantage of off-ice training time are leaving precious skill development on the table. Stickhandling is one of the easiest skills to work on at home. XHockeyProducts has put together a great line of hockey training aids that is both fun and effective, which means players will be more motivated to work on their skills off the ice!

The X-Deviator:
The X-Deviator is a new take on hockey stickhandling aids. The biggest difference between the X-Deviator and some of the other stickhandling aids out there is that the X-Deviator is adjustable. Each joint on the X-Deviator swivels, this feature opens the door for increased creativity by allowing for an endless variety of configurations.

Size Options:
The X-Deviator is available in two sizes; Standard – 7 segments, and Mini – 3 segments. Either can be used on or off the ice. Pick the one that fits your needs and matches the space you have available.

Integration with the X-Line-up:
The X-Deviator is part of the X-Line-up. All of the products in the X-Line-up are designed to be used together, and can be configured to work on whatever skill you’re looking to develop. If you already have (or plan to purchase) the X-Tiles, make sure you pick up an X-Pocket to go along with your X-Deviator. The X-Pocket will allow you to hook up your X-Deviator right into your X-Tiles system.

Conclusion:
I’ve been a big fan of XHockeyProducts’ X-Line-up for a long time, and the X-Deviator didn’t disappoint! The concept is fantastic, and the product is well put-together. One minor word of advice would be to make sure to tighten the nuts that hold the segments together from time to time. They can get loose from using the X-Deviator and changing configurations. If the nut falls off, the segments come apart. Not a huge deal, but just something to watch out for. All in all, another great product from XHockeyProducts!





HockeyOT was designed by pro hockey players & coaches. It’s like having your own personal hockey strength & conditioning coach at a fraction of the cost

It’s no secret I’m a huge believer in off-ice training. In my last post we talked about the importance of understanding who your competition is, and how to gain an advantage over them. You an check that post out here: Who IS my Competition Anyways…?

Biggest Potential to Gain an Advantage:
In that post, we talked about some of the on-ice factors that go into being an effective player… these on-ice factors are definitely important, however, where you’re really going to gain an advantage is off the ice!

Off-ice strength training and conditioning is probably the biggest category that will give you an advantage over your opponent. There’s nothing better than being bigger, faster, and stronger than your opponent… and knowing it! And having a solid off-ice training program is key to making that happen!

Introducing HockeyOT:
Recently, I had the chance to chat with the founder of HockeyOT, Dr. Chad Moreau. As I was introduced to this program, I knew it would be something that would benefit a lot of young athletes, and I was excited to share it!

As soon as I got my membership set-up, I put myself through the baseline assessments, and started in on it. In this video I walk you through the set-up process, and give you a quick look inside the membership area.

HockeyOT was designed by pro hockey players & coaches. It’s like having your own personal hockey strength & conditioning coach at a fraction of the cost. Once you get in and get your account set up, you’ll go through your baseline assessments and get your program designed for you. From there, you’ll be able to progress, track your improvements, and compare your results against other athletes of your age and gender. Another cool feature is that you can compare your results against the various Pro Athletes that are also on the program… That’s right, there are multiple NHL’ers on this program, running the same baseline tests as you!

Conclusion:
Needless to say, this is a solid program, and definitely one I recommend. So, go ahead and check it out, and get ready to start the process of dominating your opponent!

Ultimate Goalie Hockey Targeting System




The Ultimate Goalie Fixes Some of the Issues with Other Canvas Targeting Systems

If you’ve been following me over the past couple of years, you probably know I’m a huge believer in developing your snipes both on and off the ice. One of the main tools I’ve recommended and used over the past 20 years has been the Shooter Tutor, which is basically a canvas goalie with holes cut out in the corners and five-hole.

Shooter Tutor Overview:
The Shooter Tutor is a fantastic product, and I’ve used it myself for a number of different reasons:

  • It’s light weight, and easy to transport
  • It’s durable
  • It gives “dead” rebounds, which are more realistic in my opinion
  • It’s fun to work with!

Shooter Tutor Design Flaws
As good as the Shooter Tutor has been for me over the past 20 years, there are also a few drawbacks to be aware of:

  • The bungees are exposed, and will break if hit by pucks enough times (not a question of “if,” but “when”…)
  • It can be a pain to fish the pucks out of the net

Ultimate Goalie vs Shooter Tutor
The Ultimate Goalie has improved on the idea of the Shooter Tutor, correcting some of the “design flaws,” while keeping all of the characteristics that have made the Shooter Tutor a staple in my set of coaching tools.

Here’s a quick run-down on what makes the Ultimate Goalie such a great product:

  • NO BUNGEES EXPOSED – the Ultimate Goalie extended the canvas to wrap around the posts, keeping the bungees hidden behind the posts and crossbar
  • EASY TO GATHER PUCKS – the pull-string lifts up the bottom foot of the net, and makes for quick and easy puck gathering
  • Light-weight and portable – pack it up and bring it to the rink with you… no sweat!
  • Durable material
  • “Dead (realistic) rebounds”

One Potential Design Flaw:
I love the Ultimate Goalie, but in all fairness, I had to mention one potential design flaw. The pulley cord is a little on the thin side. When I took it out for practice, one of our players caught a skate on it, and sliced through the rope. I tied it all back together, no problem… but a more durable rope would make more sense on this type of product.

Conclusion:
All in all, the Ultimate Goalie is an awesome product, and one that I definitely recommend. I use it myself both on and off the ice, and the bungees haven’t begun to fray at all! And if you’re careful not to skate over the pulley cord, you shouldn’t have any problems whatsoever.


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