The Fittest Sport – Hockey

The Fittest Sport – Hockey


“The Fittest Sport” series is sponsored by? Weasel Sports & Entertainment

It is an age-old source of debate among athletes, pundits and fans alike. But, after much research, we at Pledge Sports are providing a definitive answer to the almost impossible question: “Which sport is the fittest?”

fittest game

It is important to note, by “best fit” we are not only referring to an athlete’s general fitness level, but their all-round ability, fitness, and skill their sport requires.

For example, a marathon runner runs 26 miles per event, but a soccer player runs an average of 7 miles per game—including sprints, constant changes of direction, tactical awareness, physically battling opponents, dribbling, and hitting a ball. kicking is involved. Comparing skill sets is an unfair competition.

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In our seven-part series on “The Fittest Sport,” we’ll take each individual sport and provide an in-depth analysis of whether particular athletes are more fit than the rest. We have analyzed:


fittest gameFew are more complex and efficient when it comes to team sports field hockey. Similar to football, the physical demands of hockey go far beyond a player’s general fitness level.

At its highest level, hockey demands a combination of sprinting, change of direction, tactical awareness and defense.

In the mix the ability to control, dribble, pass and shoot with a hockey stick and the ability required for hockey becomes very clear. We are talking about hand-eye coordination, vision, rapid decision making and extreme physical fitness.

Hockey is also included in our list of the top 10 most played sports in the word

Now, some may oppose the physical demand of the game, claiming that an unlimited number of choices can be made in a game and that consequently there is less demand on the fitness of the player.

However, for those who are not aware, while the likes of a footballer or rugby player may manage one or two games per week, a hockey player plays at least eight games over 11 days.

Substitute whatever you want, there’s no way to escape the physical pressure of hockey.


fittest gameHockey players have their own fitness standards. For the sake of argument, let’s call it Hockey fit.

Getting fit for hockey begins with effective training. While a 5km or 10km run will give an athlete a base level of fitness, it will not give them what they need to compete in hockey.

During a game, hockey players typically will not run at a comfortable pace for more than a minute or 90 seconds at a time. A smaller pitch than in football means that players are often involved in the action and the game is more rapid and fast-paced.

Hockey is more about short, sharp actions and movements that are performed explosively and repeated over 70 minutes, which is far more exhausting than running at the same pace for 30 minutes in a long-distance run .

hardest endurance sport

Throughout this series, we have used VO2 max as a contributing factor to determine the actual fitness of athletes. VO2 max refers to a person’s maximum oxygen uptake and aerobic fitness.

a study titled Analysis in exercise and sport It was found in 2009 by Coulson and Archer that your typical top level field hockey player’s VO2 max would be 62–65 ml/kg/min. This is roughly the same as that of elite football players and is 12–15 units higher than that of professional basketball players, a considerable difference in aerobic fitness at the highest level.

put your back in it

fittest gameSomething that can be overlooked by the spectators is the huge amount of pressure outfield players put on their backs. Players fall into a sloping position while playing, which puts a lot of pressure on the lower back muscles.

In fact, a study published in Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation found that lower back pain was prevalent among elite athletes. It was 3-5 times higher than in the general population. Field hockey, and especially speed skating, were found to have sports-related risk factors of low back pain, which makes this information important for ice hockey as well.

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What do experts say

fittest gameSusie Gilbert is a key member of the Team GB Ladies field hockey team. As a double Commonwealth Games medalist and European gold medalist, Susie has firsthand experience in the fitness required to play at the highest level.

“Field hockey is a fast and furious sport that is highly physically demanding! The high speed nature and use of rolling subs means, as players, we need to be able to replicate significant volumes of running at high speeds. , as well as players must be able to accelerate and slow down repetitively to make tackles and finishes.

“With this in mind, we need to tap into all the different aspects that make up physical fitness: strength, speed and agility, and aerobic capacity. Along with these physical elements, hockey is characterized by highly technical motor skills and excellent hand- Eye coordination is also required, parts of the game that must be completed under severe fatigue, which underscores the need for excellent all-round fitness,” said Susie.

Stephen Barry is a former strength and conditioning coach from Hockey Ireland.

“Hockey is a very fast-paced sport that requires a high level of speed, endurance, strength and technical ability. It is basically football played in fast forward, with sticks and in 4 periods of 15 minutes each goes.

When players are on the pitch they spend an average of 83% of their playing time at their maximum heart rate and travel an average of 120–130 m/min which ranks them above soccer (110 m/min). ,” said Barry.

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The energy exerted by players over the course of a game is one thing, but as technically a very demanding sport, the fitness required to be a skilled, durable, well-rounded player at an elite level is something that needs to be done. Many sports fans can overlook that.

g_8662“Hockey is an incredibly dynamic sport that requires speed and acceleration, but also the ability to be low to the ground and generally play in a slightly inclined position.

“This means that there needs to be a real focus on overall body strength and core strength to keep the hockey athlete away from injury and to perform at the highest level.

“Unlike most other field sports, top hockey tournaments are played over a limited time period where you can play 6 or 7 games in 10 days. For this reason, the athlete’s stamina capacity and their ability to recover between matches afterward Incredibly important,” concluded Barry.

ice Hockey

OvechkinkhaliField hockey’s colder brother, ice hockey as an all-around fit sport certainly fits the bill according to research. Similar to their outdoor counterpart, ice hockey players play a large number of games during their season, with NHL teams playing 82 games in their regular season (October–April).

Going a little deeper and we can examine the sheer skill involved in the game. It has all the physical attributes of field hockey, as well as being able to power the skate to a very high level of demand.

Hockey and ice hockey are both the 2 fastest field sports.

Earlier we used to talk about rapid changes in speed and direction on the hockey pitch, now, imagine doing the same on ice. crazy.


NHL: St. Louis Blues in Winter Classic - Chicago BlackhawksThe players are the engines themselves, constantly pumping their feet to move around the rink at high speed. Like field hockey, there are unlimited options, but it is important that no athlete of any sport, regardless of their skating ability, can run on the ice for more than a few minutes at a time.

In the off-season, players practice holding their breath to increase oxygen intake and increase efficiency. Getting the optimum level of oxygen is the key to being able to keep a player moving on the ice and coming out on top in a physical duel with the opposition.

10 best athletes in the world

The grueling aerobic training clearly pays off as ice hockey players match field hockey athletes in VO2 max scores, with the average NHL player recording 60–65 ml/kg/min. One of the most records ever was held by former Tampa Bay Lightning player Matthew Spencer. He scored 70 in 2015.

Players expend so much energy on the ice that they can lose an astonishing 5 to 8 pounds of water weight per game. Some players lose more than just water. Many players will lose weight during the season. In an extreme case, San Jose Sharks Captain Todd Gill went from 180 pounds to 165 pounds (82 to 74 kg) during the 1996 season. Injuries to teammates gave the captain of the Sharks more than his share of ice time.

most physically challenging sport

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Do you or your hockey team/club want to raise money? If so, contact us via, or visit and press “Create a Campaign” to start raising money today!

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Weasel Sports & Entertainment is a leading integrated sports, fitness and entertainment marketing agency providing expert expertise to brands, rights holders, charities and governing bodies. follow them on twitter @MongooseAgency and on linkedin.


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