Response time and hand-eye coordination: essential for a hockey goalkeeper and also highly appreciated in table tennis.
That’s why Thorsten Gohl of Table Tennis North thinks that the teen hockey goalkeepers of the NWT could use an injection of his sport. A specially designed two-month training program starts on Tuesday in Hay River.
Eight goalkeepers in the categories U11 to U18 are evaluated on and off the ice to measure their reaction time, coordination and general fitness.
They are then given a table tennis machine and a series of training in the sport.
Once the basics are covered, how to hold the racket, the rules of the game and how to move in the sport, the goalkeepers learn little footwork drills, get reaction time training and face challenges that combine table tennis with hockey goalkeeper equipment.
The pilot project, taking place at the Don Stewart Recreation Center in Hay River, will be completed on April 4.
“It’s great to watch everything unfold,” Gohl said in a press release.
“The purpose of table tennis is to improve athletes’ skills, support them, give them the tools, experiences and crazy out-of-the-box” fun ideas to become great people and role models for our communities. “
Adham Sharara, President of Table Tennis Canada, called the project a “great example of sports collaboration”.
Kyle Kugler, executive director of Hockey NWT and Hockey North, said the plan was a “great initiative to help develop transferable skills between table tennis and hockey players.”
The above organizations are joined by Hay River Minor Hockey and the Sport Information Resource Center as partners in the project, which draws on federal Covid-19 aid funding and a contribution from the Mackenzie Recreation Association.
High-speed cameras are used to capture data. The program will then be evaluated by the Sport Information Resource Center for wider applications in the sports community.
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