No matter who the coach or selector is there are some criteria which will always apply. If you really want to get into a top team then start working on the following:

16.1 Fitness

Fitness is a word often thrown around in sporting environments. A thesaurus has these synonyms for fitness:

condition, fitness, repair, shape, trim, applicability, appropriateness, aptness, opportunism, pertinence, relevance, rightness, suitability, use, usefulness, utility.

Fitness is not just having stamina or endurance. It is whatever is necessary to perform highly in a situation or in this case - in an underwater hockey game. As the synonyms hint, fitness can be thought of everything that is relevant to the sport. Leaving skills for the moment this means:

If serious about competing then you should consider starting preparation now.

Fitness Theory, Fitness Sessions.

  • Gym work for strength and power. To obtain any significant benefit this should be started at least three months before the scheduled event. That means joining a gym and attending three times a week for at least three months before the selections or competition.
  • If for some reason a gym is not possible, worthwhile work can be done with body-weight exercises and a set of hand-grippies.
  • Aerobic Training - two to three times a week. This could be in a pool with or without fins. Other aerobic activity is beneficial although at least half should be in the pool.
  • Within two to three weeks of the selections increase underwater pool time, and start speed and acceleration training to tune for the selections.
  • 16.2 Skills

    The game is definitely becoming more skillful than in the past. The most important single skill is a good pass. Work on your passing distance, height, speed and variety will help your chances.

    These days people are looking for fast passes of all types - forwards, sideways, backwards, with both sides of the stick.

    Basic stick skills should be maintained. Players need to be confident and strong with the puck without looking at it.

    16.3 Game Play

    The final test comes in games - pressure games. Therefore the more hard games you play the better your chances. But play the right sort of game. This is an open, passing game which emphasises control of the puck. If you are making the puck do the work you are probably playing the right style. In each game put pressure on yourself and force yourself to perform at your best. You can put pressure on yourself by setting a task to be achieved in each game - such as scoring a goal or dummying past people etc. This pressure practice will help in selection trials and in the main games themselves.

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