This time we want to share some very inspiring insights about over 40 hockey and yoga. Therefor, our go-to guy was Tom Phillips – make sure to check out HockeyAfter40 on Instagram!
Born and raised in Philly, getting a little bit of ice time hasn’t been Tom’s only challenge back in the days. But the now happy husband and proud father of three handled his fate. He has been working as a Trauma Nurse for 20 years and is currently working on his masters. Besides that his tight bonds to the best game in the world seemed to get even stronger over the years. Today he encourages people of all ages: “You’re NEVER too old or too late for hockey!” And – he experienced the benefits of yoga for hockey players himself. Sure bet we had to ask this guy some serious questions 🙂 Gladly, Tom answered!
(c) Tom Phillips/HockeyAfter40
Hi Tom! So, over 40 hockey and yoga, right? What’s the deal? Let us hear your story!
Honestly, I avoided it for a long time as a young man. The term “Yoga” had a certain stigma in my world because it was perceived to be something only women did. Not something a bad ass bone crushing hockey player did. Ignorant and foolish beyond belief that mindset turned out to be. But as with many things in life, time has a way of revealing the truth about things.
What did you expect when you started practicing yoga? What were your reasons?
Anyhow, I was always fast and lightning quick. But at some point a focus on power and pure strength consumed my athletic training. Ya sure, I looked good when I was standing still but that was it! I began to notice as I got stronger and stronger I was becoming stiffer and stiffer. At first, it was barely noticeable because youth has a way of adjusting for mistakes. But as I grew older, injuries mounted. Then I hit my 30’s. Then my 40’s. Natural ability and movement was mechanical and restricted, all but gone. I realized I needed to act fast before i was unable to play the game I loved so dearly.
When did you start to include a yoga routine into your hockey training? What did you expect?
It was truly then in my 40’s that I came to fully embrace yoga and include it in my everyday training and life. Hockey yoga has not disappointed! First I practiced strictly for hockey purposes, stretching, reach, to increase the fluidity of skating movements. But then it started to positively impact all areas in my life. From here , it has been an all out attempt to regain that natural flexibility and movement my body forgot it once had. Something I think for older athletes especially, it’s rather easy to lose.
What are the tangible results?
Yoga has improved every aspect of my game and my life and for that I am truly grateful. I am actually a better skater and overall hockey player now, then I ever was because of it. I regret that i did not open up its ways and benefits sooner.
Do you think yoga is just for over 40 hockey or will younger players benefit as well?
My 7 year old son is now playing ice hockey to my hearts delight. I have made yoga a required part of his training and I believe it has contributed directly to his overall athleticism and success on the ice.
Thanks for sharing your story, Tom. Keep going!
For us at Yoga4Hockey.com Tom’s story has been truly inspiring – and we are sure that it’s not just the case for over 40 hockey!
Wanna make yourself the best hockey player you can be? Get started with hockey yoga now!
Here you find some more insights:
- Why Yoga Is Crucial For Off Ice Hockey Training
- Why Yoga Is The Perfect Off Season Hockey Workout
- How Yoga Improves Your Hockey Player Body
- How Yoga Can Make A Difference In Hockey Training
- Get More Ice Time By Maximizing Efficacy – With Hockey Yoga