Nov 242010

Hey everyone, I hope you are doing great with your Thanksgiving day preparations. With the holiday and Friday also being the biggest shopping day of the year, I thought I would get this out today.

Anthony Renna and the StrengthCoach Podcast are giving away a year-long membership to (amongst other prizes) in honor of the 3-year anniversary of the show. Anthony has done an unbelievable job with this over the last 3 years. It has become a huge part of my own continuing education process. I will upload it to my iPhone and listen to it on my dog walks in the early mornings. Check out for the details.

Here is the content that has been added to since my last update:

Jaime Rodriguez added Rules For Training a Hockey Team. In this article, Jaime gives 10 rules that are needed to help train a hockey team successfully. Really good, real-world common sense stuffed from Jaime here.

Next up is an example of Kevin Neeld’s 2 Day Per Week In-season Program. This is a good look at how Kevin designs programs in-season for young players who play on the weekends. I’m a big believer in young players being involved in a strength training program versus some of the “dry land” methods that I see in parking lots outside of rinks before practices today. Good stuff from Kevin.

Mike Boyle posted More Support for Unilateral Training – a Facebook Exchange. This is great real-world information. Even though it is a dialogue between Mike and a football strength and conditioning coach, the information can be applied to hockey players. It is always great to see this kind of information applied in the team setting.

Last, but not least, is Dan Boothby’s Developing a Yearly Strength Training Program for Ice Hockey. For those who don’t know Dan, he is the Strength and Conditioning Coach for Hockey at Northeastern University. Dan is a great guy who has done a real good job since his arrival at NU. This article is a really good in-depth look at what he does with his team.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you and thanks for your continued support.

Sean, Mike, Anthony, Mike, and Kevin

Nov 172010

The Kettlebell Swing is a great exercise that we use. Originally, it was used solely as a substitute for olympic lifts with players who may not be able to olympic lift due to wrist or hand issues. Now, it is more of a staple exercise for everyone. Unlike the explosive nature of Olympic lifts, the swing allows us to get the recruitment of the posterior chain muscles in a rhythmic-like fashion. What I also like about the swing is that it is a great in-season lift. In-season, I think there needs to be an emphasis on posterior chain strengthening due to the demands on the anterior chain in the sport of hockey. Sets and reps will be done in the 15-20 range. Unlike the Olympic lifts where sets of 5 reps max are done, the swings are more continuous, and can be done for longer periods of time when proper technique is established. We are not looking for a conditioning effect with swings, but we don’t want the bell to be too heavy either.

Nov 152010

In the November issue of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, there is a study on page 2883 titled “Complex Training in Ice Hockey: The Effects of a Heavy Resisted Sprint on Subsequent Ice-Hockey Sprint Performance”. The authors are Martyn Matthews, Paul Comfort, and Robyn Crebin from the University of Salford, Greater Manchester, UK. I actually didn’t have to look hard for this study as it was the first study In the journal.

The authors looked at the effect of resisted skating as a “pre-load” on skating speed. There were 11 subjects who were players from the English National League. There were 2 experimental conditions. Condition 1 consisted of a 10-second heavy resistance sprint while condition 2 consisted of just resting. A timed 25 meter sprint was recorded before and 4 minutes after each condition. Condition 2 showed no improvement. Condition 1 on the other hand, showed a significant 2.6% decrease in times. Obviously, this study shows that a single resisted sprint on-ice was enough to improve sprint performance on-ice (with 4 minutes rest).

To me, this is an interesting study. I’ve always been a big believer in complex training. From a practical perspective, we’ve always included a phase of complex training in the off-season in the weight room. It is not uncommon for us to “complex” exercises such as front squats and hurdle hops or bench press and medicine ball throws. We’ve also done complex training with resisted sprinting and sprinting on land as well. The purpose is the development of power.

Late in the off-season, I think there needs to be a transition from off-ice sprinting and speed development to more on-ice speed development. This is usually mid-late august for us. We don’t do much off-ice sprinting when we start a higher volume of skating. From a practical perspective, I think resisted on-ice sprinting is something that would be beneficial late in the off-season for hockey players.

Nov 122010


This Week on

Hi Everyone, I hope you had a great week! Happy Veteran’s day to all who have served our country. The Ducks have had a good November so far, hopefully we can keep it going. We had another great week at The forum is also picking up as we are getting some good discussions including one on pre-game and during game supplements.
Here is the run-down of this week’s content:

First up was Mike Boyle’s Phase 2 for an NHL or a college player– This is what Mike did this past off-season with his pro and college players. It is always great to see what Mike is doing with his hockey players. I really like how these workouts flow.

Next up was my TRX Lateral Line video which was shown on this blog last week. It is a progression from our off-bench oblique exercises. For us, this is going to work better in-season, as space is not adequate enough for some of the farmers walk progressions.

Mike Potenza’s article How Do you Customize or Individualize a Workout for a Hockey Player is an outstanding piece. This is something that I am always continually trying to do a better job with our players. Mike does a good job breaking it down to a system that makes sense.

Last, but not least, is Kevin Neeld’s, Powerful Influence of Posture.  Kevin does a great job talking about the importance daily posture on hockey performance. 

Thanks for the continued support- Sean, Mike, Mike, Anthony, and Kevin.

Nov 102010

The more I continue to read Gray Cook’s book, Movement: Functional Movement Systems: Screening, Assessment, Corrective Strategies, the more I realize how much more I need to learn. (A recent evening hanging out with Charlie Weingroff also led me to that conclusion). Right now, I am re-reading chapter 13. Specifically the section on Transitional Posture.

We have been using more half-kneel positions with some of our lifts. What I like about this position is that core stabilization is almost automatic because the athlete can’t compensate. Gray writes “It (half kneel) creates an interesting stabilization experience, because many individuals who have poor core stabilization can compensate at the foot, ankle, and knee. They can also compensate with poor hip, pelvic, spine, and shoulder positions, as well as faulty alignment. In half-kneeling, all compensations are removed”.

To me, this makes so much sense for athletes with spinal stability issues. Also, we are preventing spinal stability issues from happening in the first place by mastering stability and strength in this position.  All that we have to do is have our athletes maintain a tall spine with good posture. We will spend a greater amount of time in this phase so we can have a smooth transition into lunge position lifts.

Nov 082010

A Facebook post by Kyle Holland from MBSC got me thinking recently about the number of websites and blogs out there in the Strength and Conditioning industry. Obviously, the one you are reading is one of them. This blog is now almost 2 years old and I still have a hard time with “shipping”- (a term I learned from reading Seth Godin’s material). Sometimes I think I need to post really great content or nothing at all. Don’t know if the content has been great, but I guess I’ve learned to not care too much of what anyone else thinks.

There is a ton of great information being shared on the internet. I really like blogs that are about what the author is thinking at that present time. Coaches and Trainers who are trying exercises and programs with their athletes/clients and themselves and sharing it via blogs and social media platforms is great for the field.

I first read the article, the The Business by Alwyn Cosgrove and Jason Ferruggia a few years ago. This article hits the nail on the head. Although I do know Alwyn personally, I’ve never met Jason before. These guys are great writers and I know that before they even wrote an article, they were great trainers who got real results with their athletes/clients. If you haven’t read it, please do.

Will I sell an information product someday? Yes, I would like to write a hockey training book amongst other projects. Stay tuned.

Nov 052010



This Week on


I wanted to add this as part of my blog on a weekly basis.  The site is really going well.  Although I am definitely in full in-season mode right now, I make it a priority to log on to on a daily basis.  We now have tons of content as we are getting some awesome contributions from some really bright people.  I really like the direction that the site is going. 

In addition to the articles, videos, and programs that are going up on a weekly basis, the forum is very active.  There are some great discussions going on such as the on-ice beep test, orthotics in skates, and a very important issue- concussions.  Definitely log on and check out the forum.

Here is what we had this past week:

Mike Potenza’s “More Dryland Skating Exercises” is another awesome addition to our expanding video collection.  These are some great drills that Mike uses with his players in the off-season and with injured players in-season.  Check it out here- More Dryland Skating Exercises.

Up next was “Pre-Game Warm Up” by myself.  In this program, I outline a quick pre-game warm up that I do with some of our players prior to the start of the game.  Check it out here- Pre-Game Warm Up.

Devan McConnell’s “RFE Progressions” shows a great progression for the Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat.  Devan has some success with younger athletes using this progression.  Check it out here- RFE Progressions

Last, but not least, Jaime Rodriguez wrote up a great piece called “VO2 Testing”.  In this article, Jaime gives his insights and thoughts on VO2 testing.  Check it out here- VO2 Testing. 

Thanks for the continued support! 

 Sean, Mike, Mike, Anthony, and Kevin.

Nov 042010

We are using more TRX exercises as we learn more that we can do with it. This is actually an excercise that was shown to me by one of our players.  I really like it because it is a great progression off of our off-bench oblique exercises.  It is another great way to strengthen the Quadratus Lumborum through a full range of motion.

What is awesome about Youtube is that when I played this video, it gave me another similar exercise that was demonstrated by Dewey Nielson- The TRX Lateral Stability Press.