R4H News

Winning Tips To Beat Hockey Smell by AJ Lee of Pro Stock Hockey

Hockey is a sport that can be quite demanding on an athlete. With water accounting for about 73 percent of lean body mass, there is plenty of sweating done over the course of three periods. Players give it their all from the drop of the puck to the final horn.

This effort brings with it an unwanted odor, plus sometimes harmful side effects from sweating. It is important to know how to counter those dreaded smells of the game. With the following tips, it will be much easier to hip check stench into the boards.

Wash & Dry

Taking care of yourself starts with taking care of your gear. Washing gear decreases the risk of a skin infection. Gloves, in particular, should be washed every few days. While some might think that aeration is the hardest part of equipment maintenance, drying gear is simpler than you think. Simply hang gear on a clothesline. Just like old times!


Another trick to proper drying is removing the soles of hockey skates. This is another way to decrease the chance of infection. Compression products are also recommended for bacteria prevention as they help soak up moisture during the game.

New Gear

The best way to control stench is by purchasing brand-new gear. All gear has a lifespan, and you don’t want to keep gear too long. If you start seeing mold or mildew forming on your pads, it’s time for a change. Sticks break (and therefore are replaced) frequently, but the need to upgrade other equipment tends to be overlooked. Hockey is a very expensive sport, so it can be quite easy to put this off, but do your best to not make this mistake. Put some money aside for upgrades, as equipment impacts your safety — and thus your personal well-being.

Personal Hygiene

Whether your gear is now clean or brand new, it is time to clean yourself. Make sure you clean extensively to re-hydrate your skin and stay smelling fresh.

Players of all shapes and sizes across the globe are fighting hockey smells. Never underestimate the power or hockey odor. It can be tricky. Luckily, there are many ways to beat it! But don’t take my word for it. Check out a complete guide by Pro Stock Hockey – with information from NHL trainers and staff – on how hockey players can defend against stench right here!


AJ Lee is a Marketing Specialist at Pro Stock Hockey, an online resource for pro stock hockey equipment. AJ picked up his first hockey stick at age 3 and hasn’t put it down yet. He’s an avid Blackhawks fan and is an expert in all things hockey equipment.
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Movement Deficiencies Among Ice Hockey Players And How To Fix Them

Jake Biondi, NSCA-CSCS, USAW L1-SP weighs on correcting movement deficiencies.

Ice hockey has evolved to the point where most athletes who participate in the sport are on the ice year round.  That means players are wearing skates more frequently and for longer periods of time.  The boot of the skate covers up the foot and ankle complex and restricts mobility in the ankle joint.  When the ankle joint cannot move freely it puts more stress on the knee and hip joints during skating.  Coaches teach players to maintain a low center of gravity by lowering their hips and knees and to forcefully extend the two joints when pushing off with each leg.  Over time, this position and restricted ankle mobility can weaken and tighten supporting muscle groups throughout the lower extremity.  If athletes don’t take the time to condition themselves properly in the off-season, their muscle weaknesses and imbalances could lead to serious injuries.

In order to restore strength and mobility, players must adhere to a proper program that combines corrective exercise strategies with a good sound strength and conditioning plan.  Athletes must first work to lengthen their tight muscle groups through flexibility techniques such as foam rolling and static stretching, than progress to muscle activation techniques in order to get the weak muscles to fire properly.  From there, they should receive proper coaching from a certified strength and conditioning professional on how to correctly perform strength training exercises.  It is important that athletes perform exercises with quality form and technique in order to prevent injury and ensure good movement at their joint capsules.

In conclusion, your body molds along the lines of the stress that you put it through.  Here at The Lab Training Center we make sure to stress the athlete’s muscle groups correctly in order to maximize their performance and prevent injury.  Every athlete is evaluated in order to correct dysfunctional movement and to strengthen weak muscle groups.  Being consistent with proper training programs will help ensure a successful and injury free sports career.

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How to Break in Skates – As Told By Erin Wozniak of Pro Stock Hockey

Step into a pair of skates fresh off the factory line and you’ll feel like you just put on a pair of hiking boots. The tough leather of a pair of skates will keep your feet well protected from slapshots, but skates need to be broken in so that you do not end up with blisters or twist an ankle halfway through a big match. While breaking in skates doesn’t require some of the eccentricities of baseball players, who famously microwave their gloves to make them more supple, it’s important to mold the leather of skates properly in order to get a perfect fit.

Get The Best Size

When buying skates for younger kids, it’s tempting to get a size or two larger than their feet so that they can grow into their pair of skates. That’s a good strategy for buying shoes, but never for buying skates. Even though skates are usually the most important piece of gear in an equipment bag, Pittsburgh Penguins equipment manager Dana Heinze suggests buying used skates that fit well rather than new skates that are too large — as the latter will keep a developing player from achieving the right stride, acceleration and stopping capability. Skates that are too large and have too much room around the feet, furthermore, won’t support the ankles properly and seriously increase the risk of injury.

Heat and Bake

Just as many stores offer the first skate sharpening for free, many will offer the chance to bake brand-new skates in order to provide the perfect fit for your heels. Baking skates is exactly what it sounds like: Applying heat so that when you put on the skates for the first time, they adjust to the contours of your feet. While we think of hockey skates as being made of leather, there’s a lot of protective foam and plastic that can be molded into a better shape for your foot. All you need to bake a skate is a hairdryer, but a pro shop will professionally bake the skates if you’re nervous about heating your newest hockey purchase. You only need to apply heat for a few minutes to a skate for it to adjust — so if you use a full oven to bake skates, make sure to set it on a lower temperature (no more than 200 degrees Fahrenheit) and pay careful attention to the temperature and time. Once the baking is done, keep your skates on for 20 to 30 minutes in order to adjust their fit.

Skate and Skate Again

While proper fitting and baking will go a long way toward breaking in a new pair of hockey skates, there’s only one way to make certain that the skates perform come crunch time. Make certain that you have ample time to skate on the ice prior to an important match-up so that your skates hold up when you’re playing an intense game. Try to skate at an open ice or stick-and-puck skate several times before wearing them for a real contest. By the third skate, you should be able to feel the leather flex to the motion of your stride. If there’s still not enough flex in the skate, apply shoe polish or shoe oil in order to make your gear more pliable, or consider re-baking your skates at a higher temperature or a longer duration.

About the author:

Erin Wozniak is the Director of Marketing at Pro Stock Hockey, an online supplier of pro stock hockey equipment. Erin is an expert in web strategy and digital marketing and is a devoted hockey fan. Some of Pro Stock Hockey’s products include sticks, protective equipment, hockey skates and more.

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Hockey Words And Phrases That You Might Not Know

Christmas is over. You probably got a new stick or a cool jersey. Maybe Santa even brought you some tickets to go see your favorite team play their cross-town rivals. That’s cool.But, do you know what the Boston Flu is? How about alchamadijik? No? That’s because you DIDN’T get Andrew Podnieks’ “The Complete Hockey Dictionary” for Christmas. Yeah… That’s right. It has over 12,000 hockey words and phrases that you may or may not know.

Sure, you know what a Gordie Howe Hat Trick is. Big deal. Check out these words and phrases and drop them on your Rink Rat buddies at your next practice or game.

  • Bottle Popper – high, hard shot that knocks the goalie’s water bottle off the top of the net after going in
  • Cookie Shelf – top of the net where the flashy players shoot the puck (“He blasted it cookie shelf and the goalie didn’t have a chance.”)
  • Donnybrook – brawl or multi-player fight
  • Hawkie – (U.S.) early bowdlerized spelling of “hockey”
  • Love Tap – slash
  • Purple Language – swearing
  • Scoot – skate quickly (especially when describing a smaller player)
  • Sin Bin – penalty box
  • Tour de Chapeau – (French) hat trick
  • Turtle – instigate a fight through dirty or illegal tactics but then cover oneself and refuse to defend oneself
  • Wicket – name for hockey used in the 1830s, primarily in Nova Scotia

And that’s only a few of the over 12,000 words and phrases Andrew gets into! So, tell Mom and Dad that, for your birthday, you want Mr. Polnieks’ book. It will give you something to read on the bus or in the car on your way to the next tournament, showcase, practice, or game.

Disclaimer: I don’t get any kick-backs from this… This book is just cool and fun to read!

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What Does It Take To Be An Assistant Hockey Coach

Webster’s defines a coach as a person who teaches and trains an athlete. Strangely enough, there is no definition for assistant coach. While it is easy enough to conjure up a definition, it is not easy to come up with the job description for an assistant coach. Just what tasks should a good assistant coach be responsible for?

Fortunately, I have just such a list!


  •  Ten minutes before practice starts, remind the team that practice starts in ten minutes.
  • Before the squad gets onto the ice, verify that all of the bench and rink doors are closed and secured properly.
  • Set the nets up in the goal crease.
  • Get cones, tires, pads and any other equipment ready. If you don’t have your goalie, put the “shooter tutor” on the empty net.
  • Before each new drill, place the pucks where they need to be. This saves valuable time between drills.
  • During drills, if the puck supply gets low, fish pucks out of the goalie net, and return them to play.
  • Keep a list of drills to run, in case the Head Coach is late.
  • Where appropriate, substitute yourself for a cone.
  • Practice is a good time to figure out who has equipment problems. Every so often, check player’s helmets to ensure proper fit. Alslo, inspect helmet hardware.
  • Get a list of concussion symptoms and keep it with you.
  • Count up the number of players in each color jersey. Figure out which combination of colors makes for an equitable division. This saves time when divvying up teams for small area games.
  • After practice, and after the Zam makes its first cut, hang the nets up on the boards.


  •  Create a team attendance list. List players by last name only, hockey coaches never use first names. Use this list to check in players as they arrive. The same sheet can be used to designate lines and defensive pairings.
  • Put your CEP number on the attendance list. Chances are your team manager will always ask you for it.
  • Prepare a list of warm up exercises. Vary the list, to lessen the routine. Mix in fun games for warm up; soccer, football or ultimate frisbee.
  • check the league website to obtain opponent specific information; record, penalties, win-loss record, player stats. Basically, any information which could give your squad an upper hand.
  • Assemble a small tool kit. Include various pieces of helmet and cage hardware. also include skate blade nuts and bolts. A spare chin strap, mouth guard and skate laces can come in handy.
  • Verify that all of your players have mouthguards.
  • Get a list of concussion symptoms and keep it with you.
  • If one of your players gets banged up, but is ok, have them give the ok sign or thumbs up, to their parents.
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Wheeled Hockey Bag – Is It Worth?

I have overheard ice hockey coaches deride the emergence of the wheeled, roller style ice hockey gear bag.  Such comments are probably rooted in the belief that resistance to obstacles and adversity helps build character, self esteem and muscle mass.  They see the wheeled bag as an easy way around the chore of lugging 20 to 40 lbs of gear in and out of the rink.  Perhaps they believe that this easy path makes their players “soft”.

I would argue that the wheeled ice hockey bag is an innovation that has multiple benefits to the youth athlete.

For starters, the wheeled bag takes tremendous pressure and stress off of the young athlete’s back.  A non wheeled bag is not designed to to allow proper posture while being carried.  Many young athletes struggle to remain in an upright position while carrying their gear.  This awkward position, and the relative weight of the gear, is an injury waiting to happen.  The average bantam aged player is around 100 lbs.  That means their gear could represent approximately 40% of their weight.  Struggling with a non wheeled bag could easily damage or injure a young athlete.

Also, the wheeled bag is designed for efficiency.  The upright position of the bag means that It has a small “footprint”.  This allows it to take up very little space in a cramped locker room.  Non wheeled bags take up quite a bit of valuable locker room floor space.  The non wheeled bags clutter up the floor and make it difficult, or unsafe, for young athletes to properly negotiate their way around the locker room.

Wheeled ice hockey bags are set up very similar to professional style athletic lockers.  Professional athletes have lockers with multiple shelves and cubby holes for gear and equipment.  So do wheeled bags.  Wheeled bags have multiple compartments, so every piece of equipment has a place where it is stored.  Players are less likely to lose or forget equipment because they would notice a vacant spot in the bag.  “A place for everything and everything in its place”.

In summary, wheeled bags make your ice hockey player’s life much easier, safer and efficient.  All attempts to build character, self esteem and muscle mass should be addressed in an off ice training program.

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Multisport Hockey Players

USA Hockey has a policy that encourages its members to participate in additional sports. They see a benefit to athletes participating and excelling at other endeavors. The mastery of skills necessary to participate in other sports has benefits both on and off the ice. Athletes gain a sense of accomplishment and self esteem from their participation in non-hockey activities.

I have often been asked, “How long is the ice hockey season?” I am not sure, because it has not ended yet, and my kid is a Bantam. I do know that ice hockey has a slow season, spring and summer. These two seasons are ideal for soccer, lacrosse, and baseball/softball. Most travel team versions of these sports play year round. While it is possible to play on multiple travels teams, sooner or later, it will become too much to handle. This usually occurs around the U13 age division. Most local recreation associations have leagues, which require minimal dedication. These leagues are the perfect outlets for hockey players who wish to participate in other sports. In addition to local recreation leagues, middle school sports typically begin at 7th grade. Middle school sports have practices and games, during the week, early in the afternoon. These times usually do not interfere with ice hockey games or practice.

Obviously, ice hockey should take athletic precedence, but it is possible and preferable to participate in multiple sports.

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