How Do Our Players Prepare for Their Games?
Behind any success stands a considerable and consistent amount of preparation. Training is the foundation of a team’s or athlete’s performance during competitions. However, it is often the side that us, viewers, don’t particularly see nor think of when watching our favourite sports.
In today’s article, we will reveal how university ice hockey players in Japan prepare for their games. The athletes that we had “trained along with” study at Toyo University.
We shall start by mentioning that ice hockey training takes place in multiple locations. The main two are the ice rink, and the university’s gym - allocated specially for the ice hockey team. Training sessions in these locations normally last around one hour and a half.
|Toyo University Gym|
Training camps are also part of our players timetables – for example, the team has been on a two weeks trip to Hokkaido before their most recent tournament.
OTHER FORMS OF EXERCISING
Alongside these settings, some players occasionally choose to engage in diverse types of physical activities, in different contexts and locations, such as running and even trying out other sports so as to diversify their routines.
Moving on, after the gym workout, we had the chance to interview some of the team’s members and understand training sessions from their perspective. Please check out the interview below.
Q: Could you please give us a brief introduction of yourself?
K.T.: My name is Kotaro Takebe. I’m from Sapporo in Hokkaido. Currently I’m in my junior year in university. My major is Sociology.
K.J.: I’m Ki Jeong Hyun. I am from South Korea. I started playing ice hockey when I was in elementary school. Japan is very close to South Korea, so I chose Japan to play ice hockey. I came here when I was 18 years old.
D.M.: I’m Daisuku Miyata. I am from Obihiro in Hokkaido. I was elected by U18 team when I was 17. Now I am 18 years old and got elected by U18 and U20. If I have the chance, I would like to go to Finland or Sweden to play ice hockey.
Q: How often do you train?
K.T.: I am usually going to the gym two or three times a week. I work out all parts of body in a day – upper body, lower body, and core.
K.J.: I work out at least two times a week and do other physical training three times a week.
D.M.: I have two days of workout a week and do additional cardio exercise several times as well.
Q: What is your favourite part about your workout sessions?
K.T.: I like working on my back because it is very important for shooting.
K.J.: Working on back and lower body are my favourite.
D.M.: I like that I can get some guidance from a team trainer because I can improve if I follow their advice. Also, proper physical training is very important for performing well in ice hockey.
Q: What do you find most difficult about your workout sessions?
K.T.: Maintaining the right position during exercises is the most difficult.
K.J.: Work out is very hard, so maintaining the motivation is sometimes difficult.
D.M.: Correctly performing the exercises is the most difficult but very important at the same time.
Besides physical training, the team also prepares by attending regular meetings with the coaches. During these meetings, various aspects are discussed, ranging from strategy and schedules to moral support and guidance.
After the interview we attended one of the teams’ meetings. Here, the emphasis was placed on the importance of being a good person and having a good attitude in and out of the ice rink. The team’s two coaches, Takahito Suzuki and Kazuyoshi Yamaguchi, believe that it is very important if players understand such values, particularly at this stage of their lives, so that they can carry these further and pass them on to the next generations.
That’s it for today’s article! Thank you for reading! Don’t hesitate to tell us if you’ve any questions on this topic – in that case we will post a follow up article fulfilling your curiosities.
Until next time, let us know how high school / university athletes in your country prepare for their performances. Please use the comments section below and share this article with your friends, so that we can find out even more about the youth sports culture around the world!