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Halfway There: Five New Year's Resolutions For Every Hockey Player Starting to Feel the Heat

1. Make muscle gainzzzzz a priority.

With all the focus on cardio during the season, players tend to lose the muscle mass they built over the summer.

Check your muscles: are they anywhere close to what you attained over the summer? If not, you're not alone - we've all been there. Link up with a teammate and hold each other accountable to get to the gym...and spur a little healthy competition. This will help you achieve your goals and guard against burnout from all the suicides coach keeps making you skate. *Again*

(Need inspiration? Check out this NHL athlete-approved workout)

2. Get comfortable shooting from uncomfortable angles.


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Wouldn't it be sweet if defenders let you take the perfect shot everytime?? #actualgoals

Now's the time to get real about your shooting game. Get out of your comfort zone, take risks and practice shooting from every angle possible. Come playoff time, you don't want to have to think twice about it. You want to be confident that you can hit the back of the net from anywhere on the ice.

3. Track your food like you track your stats.

Did you know Vincent Trocheck eats almost 8,000 calories a day to prepare for the season? Don't worry, we're not recommending you start eating an extra 6,000 a day...but it's important to be intentional about your diet all day, everyday - even when you've got 5 a.m. ice time and a donut + coffee seems like the easiest way to go. You'd be right - donut + coffee is the easiest way to go, but Trocheck, Grabner, Sanford and their teammates didn't get to the NHL by taking the easy way out.

Do you know how much protein you are consuming every day? What about your carb or fat intake? Regulating these macro-nutrients is key to taking a balanced, holistic approach to fitness. Check out this intro to macro dieting to learn more!

Find out why working hard off the ice is just as important as working hard on it.

4. Channel your inner spy and plan a team escape room outing.

Get hyped and strengthen your team’s trust and communication. Halfway through the season, you need a break. Chill out with your teammates off the ice and challenge your critical thinking and instincts while you’re at it!

5. Rally the team, the fam and the squad to hit the bowling alley.

Yup, we’re totally serious. This is a pro strategy for improving range of motion. Think about it: You have to lift, aim, swing and roll the ball over and over again. This works your arms, shoulders, legs and core, all of which you need for success on the ice! Plus, it can be a low-key team outing that works your hockey muscles, while giving your hockey brain a rest.

Looking for more ways to grow your game? Check out these 8 ways to up your skills without even setting foot on the ice.