How the Chicago Blackhawks Used the Time During the Pandemic to Get Playoff-Ready
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If you tried to stay in shape as gyms closed across the nation, you probably experienced a few snags. Now, imagine being one of the world’s most elite athletes!
The novel coronavirus pandemic halted the NHL season after several players tested positive. However, the pause didn’t keep members of the Chicago Blackhawks from using the time to get thoroughly playoff-ready. Instead, they used a variety of innovative techniques to stay on top of their game as quarantine continued.
They Adopted Rollerblades
How can you skate if you can’t get on the ice? If you’re Tom Cruise in “Risky Business,” you can make do with a hardwood floor and some socks, but players need something that mimics a skate. The answer? Rollerblades.
The craze started when hockey greats Wayne Gretzky and Alex Ovechkin had a joint interview, and the former indicated that he would use rollerblades to stay in shape during the pause. So many players took up inline skating that you might have trouble finding a pair if you want to imitate their regimen.
The activity makes sense. No matter how fast you run uphill on a treadmill, your ankles don’t enjoy the range of motion ice provides. You might have mighty quadriceps, but they won’t spare you a severe strain if you aren’t used to pirouetting on a slick surface quickly.
Inline skating also burns significant calories. If rollerblading kept the Chicago Blackhawks ice-ready, you can bet it will burn off the “quarantine 15.”
They Embraced Mother Nature
Nature offers the ideal way to get in your workout while maintaining social distancing guidelines. You can do so much more than going for a run — although, if you enjoy that activity, feel free to indulge! You can also walk, hike, bike or engage in more exotic sports like parkour.
Going outside lowers your risk of catching the novel coronavirus. According to Dr. Gary Green, medical director at Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital, outdoor exercise decreases your chance of spreading germs by a magnitude of 10 compared with the same exertion indoors. The primary means of contagion occurs when people congregate at trailheads or parks for large-group activities, but a solo run presents little danger.
They Looked to the Virtual World
If you tried to keep up with your fitness during quarantine, maybe you dropped your gym membership for a fitness app that lets you sweat it out in your living room. Did you know you were in good company? Many NHL players likewise went virtual to keep in game-day shape despite the pause.
Chicago Blackhawks strength and conditioning coach Paul Goodman decided to embrace the power of the internet to keep players in fighting shape. He used the Zoom video conferencing app to create a weekly routine and keep the ‘Hawks in shape during the three-month shutdown. While it took him two weeks to get his groove on in the new format, he now feels comfortable with the medium.
If you remain sheltered-in-place because you have an elevated risk of complications from COVID-19, you can draw inspiration from Goodman’s innovation. Find an accountability partner that you can check in with — or even workout “alongside” — using video conferencing software.
Playing Elite Hockey Means Keeping in Peak Condition Despite a Pandemic
As elite athletes, Chicago Blackhawks players needed to stay ready to return to the ice at a moment’s notice. They used the three innovative methods above to keep in peak form, and you can follow their lead.