Long time members know that I always have my eyes wide open for anything that might enhance a hockey player. Of course, with that kind of attitude, new ideas just tend to jump out at me as I just go about my daily life.
Okay, so I’m checking some online stuff on my laptop while Brenda watches a television program called “Undercover Boss”. And, don’t you know, my attention is suddenly grabbed by a bunch of kids flipping and flopping and diving on huge trampolines. Hmmmmm… What I was watching was the actions that take place in a facility called Sky Zone. Ya, hmmmmm…
— Dennis Chighisola
Hockey Training In The Sky Zone (plus The Value of Rebounding)
Before I even get going here, I think I need the help of a video I found on YouTube.com. For sure, it ought to set the tone for what I’d like to eventually talk about — as in doing hockey training in the Sky Zone. So, watch as much as you need to, just to gain a sense of a Sky Zone-type experience…
Is there anyone here who doesn’t see the benefits to that kind of activity? It’s awesome, I think. As a matter of fact, with all the talk over recent years about the need to build athleticism in our hockey players, might you see this kind of activity as maybe even better than playing another team sport? Ha.
Let’s set aside thoughts about hockey training in the Sky Zone for a sec, however, and think a little further about athleticism…
What I especially noted in that video were fairly young kids experimenting with their bodies. I mean, almost every movement they made on those tramps had to be a new experience, or a new challenge to their neuro-muscular systems.
And, make no mistake about it, that the lack of threat in such surroundings had to encourage even the youngest — or the most timid — to try new things.
Okay, let’s take a peek at another video, this one featuring older guys trying their hand at a Sky Zone challenge or two…
Those into teaching athleticism are constantly urging athletes to confront their fears, or to break through any confining envelopes or ceilings (that’s especially true in over-speed training). That’s what I thought about when I saw the little ones in the first video trying new things, but I’d say that it’s even more evident as we watch the older guys in this second video.
Now, those who have browsed through the posts listed under my off-ice training area, From The MOTION Lab, should have spotted my students and players working on a mini-trampoline. Actually, the Intro Video on the first page shows one a number of times.
Still, here’s a pro using one for some basic exercises. It’s aimed at trimming a user’s waist, but members can at least see a device clearly, and gain a sense of how it might feel to use one…
Now, I’m spending a little time here on the mini-trampoline for good reason. For, besides the athleticism one can gain from its use, there are some supposed therapeutic benefits, with the Healing Daily website listing a bunch of them…
The site begins by suggesting that “rebounding” exercise can be good for the lymphatic system. As the article explains, “The human body needs to move. The lymph system bathes every cell, carrying nutrients to the cell and waste products away. Contrary to blood which is pumped by the heart, the lymph is totally dependent on physical exercise to move. Without adequate movement, the cells are left stewing in their own waste products and starving for nutrients, a situation which contributes to arthritis, cancer and other degenerative diseases as well as aging. Vigorous exercise such as rebounding is reported to increase lymph flow by 15 to 30 times.”
It goes on to suggest that such exercise can aid detoxification and boost the immune system. As they explain, “All cells in the body become stronger in response to the increased ‘G force’ during rebounding, and this cellular exercise results in the self-propelled immune cells being up to 5 times more active. These immune cells are responsible for eating viruses, bacteria and even cancer cells, so it is good that they be active. Jumping on a mini-trampoline directly strengthens the immune system, so it’s a big deal!”
Then, in one that’s surely caught this old coach’s attention, they go on to suggest that, “Inactive seniors find that gently jumping on a mini-trampoline gives them renewed vigor and zest for life.”
They also suggest that, “Hyperactive children are reported to calm down after a few days of rebounding.”
About the only caveat I found… “Adults can start with 5 minutes of rebounding and increase their time as their fitness level improves. Seniors can start with 2 minutes several times per day, with at least 30 minutes between rebounding sessions. It’s necessary for older people to start gradually in order to give the connective tissue holding the internal organs in place time to strengthen. This prevents the possibility of “prolapsed organs” – the only contraindication to rebounding reported in the medical literature. Therefore increase your rebounding time gradually.”
Okay, now to get back to my thinking about hockey training in the Sky Zone. For, I’m going to tell anyone who will listen that I’d likely schedule my team to do about two sessions per week during their off-season. I don’t know what the cost would be to block out an hour for my group, but I might also think about sharing sessions with another team if it helped defray the costs.
Then, just thinking on my feet for a moment… I’m guessing I might not organize things too much for the first several sessions, preferring to leave the kids to their own devices for awhile. Given some time to observe, though, I might ultimately create some new challenges for them, or at least ensure that they are stretching themselves or daring to do some new things. I say that because I’m sure that some young athletes will go nuts from the start, while ones on the other end of the spectrum will likely hold back a bit.
No matter, I’m going to suggest once more that hockey training in the Sky Zone will likely increase any youngster’s athleticism beyond what they would probably attain playing most any other team sport.
What ages would I like to bring to such a facility? Ha. If you know me, you know I’d be thinking about my video on “Critical Periods In Motor Learning“, and wishing I could get kids there straight from the womb (or almost). That said, Mites would certainly benefit greatly from such exercise, while I wouldn’t shy from bringing a teen group there, either.
The team approach not possible, you can be sure I’d get my own young skater to a facility like I’ve described here.
Now, understand that I only discovered Sky Zone a few hours ago, and that’s what turned me on to writing this piece. I had to do some searching through YouTube.com to find some sample videos for you — I’d already seen plenty myself on the TV program. I also chased down their website, first locating the Sky Zone Corporate Offices and their main site. Thereafter, I discovered a website showing that they’re in quite a few US locations now, with more venues planned (there’s one evidently coming close to me in Tampa, Florida, and they already have some in my home state of Massachusetts). I even discovered they’re on Facebook.
All that said — about hockey training in the Sky Zone, members should know that I’m always looking for alternatives. I mean, if you can’t do Sky Zone for whatever reason/s, I don’t want my members to just dismiss the possibilities of that kind of physical activity. So, I’ve linked to one of my previous articles so you might “Build Your Own Off-ice Hockey Training Center“.