Some of the best hockey players to ever play the game learned how to make points by practicing with a shooting tarp for hockey. There are a plethora of reasons why it can be so beneficial to practice regularly with a shooting tarp, but one of the main reasons is that it is crucial for building hand-eye coordination and muscle memory. What makes these important? Let’s have a look:
The reason why having hand-eye coordination skills is so important is that in order for you to shoot the puck accurately you have to be able to coordinate what you see with your hands and the way that they will position themselves in order for you to make the most out of your shots. If your coordination is out of whack when you aim your puck directly in front of you, it will go in a different direction than you intended it to. Once you practice how to get your eyes in strict coordination with your hands you will be able to handle the puck better and put it where you want it to go.
Muscle memory works in a few different ways. For example, if you work out daily with weights for several years and build up a certain amount of strength using particular muscles if you stop for a while, your muscle memory will allow you to get back to the strength you were at in a substantially quick amount of time.
As it is with muscle building with weight training, your hockey training will trigger muscle memory in a similar way. Whenever you practice one move over and over again – for instance, a specific shot on the shooting tarp- your muscles will remember the moves that you used in order to facilitate the shot and remember them so that the next time you repeat the motion you can repeat it faster and more efficiently.
Another great example of using muscle memory is when you use a balance board. As you learn to become more balanced on it, your muscles remember what you had to do and how you had to position yourself when you balanced.
Our bodies and brains are hardwired by nerves and other transmitters that can be optimized in order for a faster response. The best way to optimize a movement is to practice it over and over again. Our brains will provide shortcuts for our bodies to recognize much like you can save shortcuts to your desktop to quickly find files on your computer that you use a lot.
Practice and Repetition
Practicing is so important because it keeps your body and brain working together in a way that strengthens your whole game. The more you practice something, the better you can become at it. Doing something over and over again gets you used to the action so that the next time you do it, you already know how to move, and what you need to do.
Kind of like the first-time drive or walk to a new destination. If you are unfamiliar with the address that you are going to the very first time that you go there, you may have a little difficulty getting there. Once you have gone there once, you are familiar with it, but after you have gone there a hundred times, you can travel to the place with a blindfold on because you know it so well.
That is how it works with repeating the same kinds of drills over and over again in practice. Whenever it is time to put those moves into play during a game where it counts, your body will already know what to do and how to move so that you can make those one-timer shots and win games.
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