QuickStickz Review




QuickStickz is a Fun and Effective way to Develop Stickhandling Ability

I’ve been really excited to get this post out, and let you know about a cool product called QuickStickz. QuickStickz is an innovative new way to work on your stickhandling abilities off the ice, and it’s a lot of fun too!

A few months ago I was invited to take a look at QuickStickz, which is a video-game-based, hockey stickhandling development system. I had seen the product before, but I’d never had the chance to get my hands on one. The idea seemed really cool, so I was excited to see what it was all about.

How it Works:
QuickStickz uses a special infrared camera that connects up to your PC via USB jack. The camera combos up with a customized SmartHockey stickhandling ball, that has been machined out with a whole bunch of tiny reflectors all over its surface. As you stickhandle, the camera picks up the movements of the ball, and sends the signal into the computer, which allows you to see your stickhandling movements on the screen.

Set-up is pretty simple, just plug in the camera, go to the QuickStickz member’s area, and install the plug-in when prompted.

Drills and Games:
Once you’re up and running, just select a drill or a game from the member’s area, and have at it! The drills are designed to help you work on various skills such as tight puck movement, wide puck movement, dekes, toe drags, etc. The games apply these skills in a more dynamic environment.

Member’s Area:
The member’s area is a great way to track your progress. You can check your own stats and progress, or see how your top score compares to other top scores from around the world. The member’s area also tracks how much time you’re spending on QuickStickz. This makes it easy for parents or coaches to check in on the player’s efforts and progress.

Conclusion:
QuickStickz is a great tool to help any player develop his or her stickhandling abilities. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s a product that I think connects with kids on their level. The one weakness of QuickSticks is that it’s fairly sensitive to the ambient lighting in the room you’re using it in. Sunlight badly interferes with the infrared signal put out by the camera, and makes the ball just jump around on the screen. So make sure you close the blinds, and rely on your “artificial lighting” (regular lightbulbs), and you should be just fine!

Skating: PowerSlide Hockey Slide Board




The PowerSlide Hockey Slide Board Allows you to Imitate a Skating Motion while Developing Other Skills

A while back I was talking to one of my coaching buddies about some of the cool off-ice training equipment that is available these days. I mentioned something about combining a hockey slide board with a stickhandling skill pad, and how it would be cool to be sliding back and forth while stickhandling, passing, shooting, or anything else.

At the time I thought my idea was completely original… but, it turns out that innovative hockey coaches have had their players doing this for years!

What You Get, and Set-up:
So… here’s what I did. I picked up the PowerSlide slide board from HockeyShot. It’s a really high quality slide board that is portable, so you can take it places; adjustable, so you can use with athletes of various sizes and abilities; durable, so it’ll hold up to a lot of usage; and super grippy, so it won’t slide around on you.

The first thing I did was watch the free DVD that came with the PowerSlide. The DVD was very helpful for instructions on putting the PowerSlide together, but the exercise instructions and demos were a little weak to be totally honest. You’ll be better off just using your own creativity to develop your own set of exercises. Plus, as a hockey player or coach, I’m sure you’ve got no shortage of skating drills that can be transferred to the PowerSlide!

Set up was a breeze. I unrolled the PowerSlide, attached the adjustable end piece so that it was a good length for me, tightened it down, and I was all set.

The PowerSlide consists of two end-piece assemblies (where you’ll be pushing off from), and a flexible slide mat. There’s an interesting design feature that I quite like on the PowerSlide. The end piece assemblies aren’t just flat, like most other slide boards. They are made using solid rubber “ramps” that enhance the grip underneath the slide board, and improve the pushing angle of your stride. This feature allows you to stride really hard, but stay very stable in the process.

The PowerSlide also comes with a carrying bag, and a set of booties to wear over-top of your shoes.

My Experience:
I decided to use my PowerSlide on top of my Dryland Flooring Tiles, which gave me tons of room for stickhandling and passing. It worked REALLY well! The only thing that surprised me was that the PowerSlide was SO grippy that they were causing the Dryland Tiles to shift a little bit against the garage floor!

Once I slid the tile set-up into the corner, it anchored itself down a bit better, and I didn’t slide anymore.

Using the PowerSlide was amazing… not only was it a lot of fun, but it was a FANTASTIC workout! In fact, you can see a bit of sweat on my face at the end of my video review 🙂 What’s even better though, is that it felt A LOT like the real thing. I was able to work on all sorts of skating, passing, and stickhandling combos, all in the “comfort” of my own garage!

Conclusion:
This was one of the funnest, most realistic set-ups I’ve had the chance to mess around with, and I definitely recommend adding this to your Home Hockey Training Center.

If you decide to pick up the PowerSlide, I would HIGHLY recommend grabbing a few other items while you’re at it… Here’s a quick list for you:

  1. Dryland Flooring Tiles or Roll-up Shooting Pad (both have HUGE surface areas)
  2. A few stickhandling pucks or balls
  3. Attack Triangle
  4. Sweethands
  5. Extreme Passer

Yes, you’ll spend a bit more upfront, but it will make your experience a lot more worth while in the long run.


Hockey Drill Diagramming Software for Mac!



Finally… A High-Quality Hockey Drill Diagramming Software for Mac Users!

I’m sure you know by now, I’m a BIG DrillDraw fanboy. I’ve been using it for years now, and I really like it. The one drawback to DrillDraw is that it is only available for Windows, which interferes with the fact that I’m also an Apple fanboy, who does most of his work on a Mac.

Over the past few years I’ve had a lot of folks ask if I knew of a decent drill diagramming alternative for Mac users, and up until now I haven’t had a good answer… but those days are over now!

My good friend, Kevin Muller from HockeyShare has just released a CROSS-PLATFORM, drill diagramming software that you can use with any operating system. In fact, the software is web-based, which means you can access your drills, and use the software from ANY computer too!

On top of that, he’s integrated the software into his existing database of hockey drills, so you can share YOUR drills, access OTHER coaches’ shared drills, and even import shared drills from other coaches straight into your own practice plan. The concept is incredible!

CLICK HERE to set up your free account at HockeyShare
CLICK HERE to check out the Drill Diagrammer “demo model”
CLICK HERE to take a look at HockeyShare’s huge drill database

Enjoy!

Jeremy

HockeyShare Online Drill Diagrammer & Practice Planner

Protein Pancakes

Protein Pancakes: Pack in some high-quality protein for breakfast!

I’m always on the lookout for great-tasting recipes that are high in protein. This is one of my recent favorites… Protein Pancakes are a great addition to any meal plan, and one we’ve been using in the S3 Formula – Enjoy!!

Ingredients:
1 cup – plain oatmeal
4 egg whites
1 tsp – salt
5 tbsp – splenda (or other sweetener of choice)
3 large strawberries

Cook up the oatmeal as usual with the salt and sweetener (but use less water than normal so it turns out really thick). Add the egg whites and stir them in well (this will moisten the mixture back up). Throw the mix on the griddle and cook them until they’re light brown on both sides. Cut up some strawberries and put them on top!

NOTE: feel free to cut the recipe in half to fit your individual meal plan.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories – 366
Protein – 24.7 g
Carbs – 56.4 g
Fats – 5.3 g

Off-ice Hockey Agility Drill



The Dot Drill is One of my Staple Off-Ice Agility Drills

The Dot Drill is one of the most effective off-ice hockey agility drills I’ve ever seen. This drill is easy and inexpensive to set up, and only takes about a minute of the athlete’s time each day – so there are no excuses not to do it!

Remember, the dots should be placed in a 2′ x 3′ rectangle, with one dot in the middle. Each dot should be about 5″ in diameter. You can spray paint the dots onto your garage or basement floor, or onto an old piece of carpet. You could also use something less permanent such as sidewalk chalk or tape.

I prefer the rubber dot drill mats because they have better grip and are more durable. If you decide to get one, make sure you pick up one of the thicker ones with the dots embedded in the mat itself – not just painted on.

The Dot Drill:
The Dot Drill consists of 5 movements, performed 6 times each. Here are the 5 movements.
1. Hour Glass (always facing forward) – over and back equals one rep
2. Right Foot “Slalom” (in, out, over, in, out, over) – back to the original dot equals one rep
3. Left Foot “Slalom” (in, out, over, in, out, over) – back to the original dot equals one rep
4. Two Foot “Slalom” (in, out, over, in, out, over) – back to the original dot equals one rep
5. Hour Glass with Spin – over and back equals one rep

HOW FAST IS FAST?
As your Dot Drill begins to improve, you’ll definitely want to compare your times to the national averages. Here’s a time chart to help you track your progress:


USE THIS DRILL IN YOUR OWN OFF-ICE TRAINING SESSIONS: