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Five Fingers and Floor Hockey

by Tyler Hurst » on Dec 25, 2010 0

I’ve always been a multi-sport athlete. From tennis to baseball and basketball to floor/roller hockey, I’m the type of guy who can PLAY just about any sport, but dominates in exactly none of them.

As I’ve grown older, my interest in most contact sports has waned — no more tackle football for me — and even the high-impact sports are tougher to recover from — basketball HURTS, man — but I can’t shake the need to compete a little. While sports like running are great for competing with myself, it’s always fun to go against a few other people.

Pads? Wussies.

Problem is that my Five Fingers, whether through some fault of my own for ignoring other sports to concentrate solely on improving my running form or just the shoes themselves, are ideally suited for sports where there’s a lot of lateral movement and chance of getting my feet stepped on. I often find myself reverting to poor running techniques as well, as my need for speed outweighs my desire to keep my sprinting form correct.

But I still do play. Here’s what I do to make my Five Fingers experience a little easier for sports like roller hockey:

1. No one is going to step on your feet
Seriously, get over that fear. My feet were seldom stepped on when I wore actual shoes and even then there wasn’t anything I could have done about it. You think the tops of basketball shoes offer any protection against a heel, anyway? They don’t. Stop worrying.

2. Run like you mean it
If I go back to my old running style of landing on the outside of my foot and rolling in, my knees start to hurt. If I keep my knees bent, stride short and concentrate on keeping my legs loose, everything works out just fine. I’m pretty damn quick, too.

3. Stretch a lot
Practicing a mid-foot strike has made it tough on my calves if I land and push off forefoot, so I’m extra careful to stretch after I play. Jumping around and doing some looseners before helps a ton.

4. Try Injinji socks
Cold is often a problem when I’m outside for long periods of time, but having some kind of socks keep me pretty damn warm no matter how cold the asphalt may be. It helps more with any hot spots, too.

5. Just play – don’t think about it
Over-analyzing and over-thinking don’t help much when you’re having fun. The less I worried about how my foot landed, where I pushed off from and how long my stride was, the less everything hurt. This works for just about anything.

Any tips you have for sports other than running or climbing?

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