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Young NWT hockey goalkeepers have tried table tennis to improve coordination. It worked




A group of young hockey goalkeepers traded their equipment for table tennis rackets to participate in a study to help them improve their reflexes.

And for 14-year-old Deacon Tybring, who is one of seven goalkeepers competing, it worked.

It vastly improved my overall hand-eye coordination, said Tybring, who has been playing hockey for three years.

The study was conducted in Hay River for six weeks last spring and was designed by Thorsten Gohl, executive director of Table Tennis North in Fort Providence, Northwest Territories.

The program combines table tennis and hockey to improve hand-eye coordination and reaction time.

Gohl got the idea while watching a recreational hockey game and thought his organization could help young goalkeepers improve their game.

When we presented the idea to other hockey players, they said, ‘Yeah, why not? It’s always good to do extra things, he said.

Participants ages 9 to 15 were trained through a variety of table tennis exercises and games for balance and reflexes.

Deacon Tybring, 14, was one of seven young goalkeepers who took part in the table tennis study conducted by NWT-based Table Tennis North, which aimed to improve players’ hand-eye coordination. (Thorsten Gohl / Table tennis Nord)

Gohl says it was difficult to get started in the beginning.

As a hockey goalkeeper, none of the table tennis people had a clue what that means, like fishing and so on, he said.

Gohl said a fun exercise they tried was to play with one hand and then catch with the other hand.

It was a great way to increase reaction time to improve hand-eye coordination, he said.

The Sports Information Resource Center, a national organization that shares new sports knowledge through workshops and conferences, evaluated the program.

Initial results showed that participants improved their hand-eye coordination off the ice by an average of 20.5 percent. The response time of computers in the office increased by an average of 9.7%. In the last test, the participants improved their ice savings by 15.8% after the table tennis training program.

WATCH: Young NWT hockey goalkeepers try table tennis to improve reflexes:

WATCH: Young NWT hockey goalkeepers try table tennis to improve reflexes

A group of young hockey goalkeepers traded their equipment for table tennis rackets to participate in a study to help goalkeepers improve their reflexes. And for 14-year-old Deacon Tybring, who is one of seven goalkeepers competing, it worked. 2:55

The program hopes to start in the Sahtu and Beaufort Delta regions by 2022

Tybring says he’s seen a change in his performance and he’s encouraging other players to give it a try too.

I’ve seen most of the changes like being able to put the puck in the glove but do it faster. So being able to respond more quickly to certain shots that I may not have been able to do so quickly before. he said.

Gohl would like to see more multisport approaches as he believes it can benefit athletes.

“It’s great that our children are learning table tennis and that we can improve their lives, their experiences and their skills. But other sports can do it too. And I hope that’s a starting point. all sports are coming together more and more, he said.

Table Tennis Noord aims to deliver the program to the communities of Sahtu and Beaufort Delta by 2022 and is working on a virtual table tennis program for classrooms.




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