Monday, November 25, 2013

Poweredge Pro a hockey tool used for Floorball too

Recently we tried to write our first post at this blog about Ice Hockey only. It became an insane success and in just a matter of days it sailed right up on our most read top list ever. It was a post upon the Poweredge Pro training tool for Ice Hockey and can be found here
We have since fully declared that our intention is not to start write hockey stuff here - irrespective if it drives traffic. Others do that much better than us.... We write about Floorball and one reason why we touch on hockey is that it seems to improve Ice Hockey players in substantial ways. The main reason for this blog is to kick start Floorball across this large continent and the home of hockey.

The most incredible about the poweredge pro - to date - comes in this post as we see how Mr. Anthony Herrington use the Poweredge Pro as a hockey tool - now - for Floorball. Herrington has worked for Floorball for a long time and was deeply involved in the Floorball schooling for the very first Canadian born NHL player with an extensive Floorball background, he is also a scout for the Oshawa Generals.

Mr. Herrington says: - "Floorball in my opinion is the "best training for hockey without skating". Stick skills, eye-hand coordination, lateral movements, body positioning, ball/puck protection, flat and air passing, shooting on the run, defending, read and reacting...I could go on and on about how much it helps hockey players."

Now U take a look at this... Look closely... IT IS PEP THE HOCKEY TOOL USED FOR FLOORBALL - then after this read the interview with Mr. Herrington below. We think this is just sensational material... And U know what - we have more clips to come on this blog... hold out.

This is Chris Haigh doing the PEP Floorball style under Mr. Herrington's leadership...

Describe how and when you came in contact with the PEP for the first time? 
Joe's (Mr Joe Quinn is the father behind the PEP system) son (Nick) played for the Oshawa Generals (the team I work for) and when I saw the Power Edge Pro web site and immediately wanted to try it ! I gave Joe a call and he was able to come to my school for a clinic on the ice. My students loved the creativity of PEP and how hard it was to master.

How did you start to think about to use an Ice Hockey tool to transfer it to Floorball practise sessions?
Everyday I am thinking about different training tools for ice-hockey and floorball. After Joe's on-ice PEP session, I invited him back to my gym, as I told him we should try it with Floorball. I then explained the sport of floorball to him (as he had never heard about it). Within minutes my students were completing the creative moves they just performed on the ice now in the gym...both Joe and I couldn't believe what we were witnessing. It was a seamless transition from Hockey to Floorball...and floorball for hockey.

Can you use the same exercises for Floorball with the PEP as hockey do?
The exercises are similar, however, you quickly realize how fast skating is when compared to running. As you can see from the video it is amazing what eye hand coordination is needed to perform in-tight stickhandling maneuvers with a puck or a ball.

Have you modified any PEP activities to fit Floorball better?
We use it during skills circuits as a station or an obstacle in the gym. Some of the skating patterns required in hockey are not required in floorball. However, the control needed and the muscle memory created for high speed stickhandling is 100% transferable in my opinion.

In your opinion is the toe drag more important in hockey or in floorball? And can the PEP help with toe drags?
Hockey/floorball coaches do not like toe drags as it can cause turnovers in the wrong areas of the rink during crucial points of the game, that could result in a goal against. However, I think toe-drags are important for stick control with the ball or puck. There is a time and place for them to be properly executed during a game. Highly skilled players should be able to use both parts of the blade when stickhandling. PEP creates this opportunity as it applies resistance to the player, and allows them to practice the toe drag.

Do you have any favourite activities you do with the PEP as you drill Floorball?
My favourite activity is just using it as an obstacle. A coach can put the PEP unit down in any drill to force their players to move past it. I have started to use it as a "move followed by a quick shot". I am also going to use it for small area games. These situations are so important, coaches should be looking for ways to re-create them so that their players can be more successful.

Does the players have any favourite drills? And if so what?
They never get tired of it. There are so many patterns, in addition to letting them be creative on their own. PEP provides a challenge for players to practice their skills.

Let's say that it seems that the PEP is considered to be a very good tool for Floorball players too - do you then think that Floorball clubs over in Europe will become interested in the PEP too?
I am curious to see what Floorball Coaches in Europe will think of this training tool. Any good coach should always be looking for ways to challenge their players and also be looking for ways to train in a fun and creative way. I watch a variety of other sports to see what they do in practice as it may give me an idea to use in my coaching and practice planning. Hockey is very similar but different to floorball, I think this is an example of something hockey can give to floorball.

Floorballcentral constantly claims that Floorball is utterly good for Ice hockey players and we know that you fully support this and that you have been able to develop the first Canadian player with an extensive Floorball background so he just now is playing the NHL/AHL. But could you please develop the other side of this coin. Could you develop your thought on the idea what Ice Hockey does for Floorball? How good is indeed a good hockey player as they try Floorball. Do they fully master it at once or is there a learning curve?

Ice hockey has good skills to transfer over to floorball. I like how players have to "drive the net" in hockey and have good balance and puck protection. I like the physical skills needed to compete in every zone in hockey. This can be seen in our "Canadian style" of floorball. We defend and protect our net really well, compete hard for loose balls, and then counter attack for offensive rushes. The perfect analogy is how different nations around the world play different styles of soccer. There is no wrong way to play soccer but it seems Italy, Brasil and England all have different tendencies of game play. So if Canada has a "hockey" flare to their floorball game, it could be an advantage in the future as the sport grows in North America. I think it takes a long time to "master" any sport and floorball is no different. A good hockey player does not guarantee to be a good floorball player.

If we polarize hockey players in either power players or skilled players. Do you think both ends of this spectrum need as much Floorball both or does one profile benefit substantially more from Floorball?
I think every player needs to work on their game regardless of what position they are. Floorball in my opinion is the "best training for hockey without skating". Stick skills, eye-hand coordination, lateral movements, body positioning, ball/puck protection, flat and air passing, shooting on the run, defending, read and reacting...I could go on and on about how much it helps hockey players.

Have you used the PEP for any drills in Floorball that is not done in hockey ie have you further developed the usage of the PEP in the Floorball environment?
I am always evolving as a coach. In Canada we don't have enough leagues or tournaments to play floorball in. PEP floorball training is really a new concept. I look forward to using the PEP in my floorball coaching to develop good drills and game situations. Coaches could assign their players "Homework" throughout the season, (for example using a PEP at home in the basement or in the driveway). This way, players can still practice during and after the season to assist them in the development of their stick related skills. The more quality repetitions executed by the player will ultimately make it easier for it to become 'instinct' during games.
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Research suggest that eye-injuries are more common in Floorball as compared to Tennis, but less common as compared to Squash (similar to Racquetball).
To minimize this risk of injury Floorballcentral recommend: Use certified protective eye-wear (mandated in many European areas for the youth). Do not lay down on the court. Follow the rules strict on stick height.

Also if you get addicted to this sport - do not blame us!