Not only is hockey enjoyable to watch for entertainment purposes, hockey is also a perfect gross motor and extracurricular activity that will get your child involved with his peers. Team sports incorporate many different skill sets and help your child follow the guidance and leadership of another adult (i.e. the coach).
Below are some examples of skills that hockey could address for your child:
- Balance: Skating requires a significant amount of balance and trunk control. as ice can prove to be an unstable surface. In addition, there are thin blades to support their entire body weight.
- Hand-eye coordination: Being able to control the puck in order to pass it onto teammates as well as shoot the puck into the net accurately and effectively (without getting it taken away by opponents).
- Bilateral skills: Using both hands together in order to control and carry the hockey stick.
- Timing and sequencing: Being able to anticipate where the puck will land as well as understanding where your opponents will be on the ice and moving accordingly.
- Teamwork: Working together to work towards one purpose, rather than working independently.
- Safety awareness and body awareness: Being able to avoid getting checked by opponents as well as being able to maneuver safely on skates and avoiding the puck (e.g. getting hit in face by puck).
As you can see, hockey is not only a great form of exercise and a way for your child to meet new friends, it also helps your child improve many skills that are needed throughout daily life. Feel free to reach out to your child’s teacher, occupational therapist or physical therapist to see if hockey or other gross motor activities would be encouraged for your child. Stay tuned for my next blog about why skiing is a great gross motor activity for children. Go Blackhawks!