Dec 222010

I know its been a few days since my last post. I’ve been on the road the past 8 days with the team as we have made some stops in Washington, DC, New York, North Carolina, Boston, and now finishing up in Buffalo. It has been a long trip and I am looking forward to heading home to see Hillary and Will and spend some quality time with them over the Christmas break.

One thing that I do and look forward to doing on these long road trips is networking. During this trip I got to meet up with several friends in the strength and conditioning field including Rob Harris, Mark Nemish, Anthony Renna, and Pete Friesen. All great people who I always learn from. It is always great to connect in person with people.

Also, you probably notice that there has been some changes made to the site here. Kevin Neeld did a great job with this as I think it looks much nicer and it is actually easier to use.

I want to take this chance to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all who visit the blog. I look forward to providing much more content in 2011.

Thanks again- Sean Skahan

Dec 102010

We had another great week here on With hockey season in full go, we hope that you continue to read and watch our content that at we are putting up on the site each and every week.

First up is Lateral Speed Drills: Ring Technique by Mike Potenza. Mike shows some good videos of his lateral speed progressions with the rings on the floor. It is primarily an off-season progression, but he will do it during the in-season phase. We have used this progression in the past as well. Good stuff from Mike.

Next is Kevin Neeld’s Preventing Shoulder Injuries During Pressing Exercises. In this piece, Kevin writes about some issues he may see with some of his athletes including short a short pec minor and/or rotator cuff instability. The video shows a brief activation exercise for the rotator cuff before pressing exercises. Good stuff from Kevin.

Last up is an example of a program that I have used called Lower Back Reconditioning Phase 5. This is a 3-day program where we actually backed off from a 4 day program with an emphasis on strength development to a more strength-endurance program. I do plan on writing an article on the whole process of the reconditioning process from this type of injury.

We hope you enjoy the site and will continue to log on and interact on the forum.


Sean, Anthony, Mike, Mike, and Kevin

Dec 062010

I was asked this recently. It really is a good question and one that I needed some time to think about.

The answer is that it is an evolution. My philosophy has evolved since the first time I ever wrote a program. The philosophy is an on-going process of making choices on what I feel is best for my athletes. It is also the result of filtering things that I don’t necessarily agree with.

The key as a strength and conditioning coach is going out of your way to ensure that your athletes are doing what you feel is best for them. Looking back at my programs from over 10 years ago, I wouldn’t use them with anyone today. However, they could still get strong and most likely wouldn’t get hurt, but, there is a better way and that is how we are doing things now.

Pat Riley, the former LA Lakers coach said “If you are not getting better, you are getting worse”. I always have this in the back of my mind when it comes to learning and implementing.

Dec 032010

We have some great content added to this week. We are getting some really good contributions from some really good coaches.

First up is “From the Ground Up” by Dan John. This one was originally on and we liked it so much that we decided to put it up on here. Those who read this blog know that I am a huge fan of Dan John and his writing. Dan writes about a really simple and easy program that he had done in his ninth grade physical education class. It is simple, but very effective. A really good read from Dan John.

Next up is Mike Potenza’s “In-Season Lifts: Core Movements, Strength Movements, and Complexes”. Mike gives us a look at what his philosophy is on exercise selection during the in-season phase. This is a really good systemic overview of what exercises Mike chooses during the in-season phase.

Next is Jim Reeve’s “The Disconnect of Culture”. This is an article that is along the same line as “Diversify Your Athletic Lifestyle” article. I think that the development of hockey players has to include being athletes at other sports or activities besides hockey. Jim does a great job in this article in bringing about the importance of doing other activities in off-ice training besides “hockey-specific” workouts.

Next is a piece the John Buccigoss from Espn wrote called “Producing Elite U.S. Players Starts at the Bottom”. I originally read the piece on-line at I emailed John and asked if we could put it up on the site. I have always read John’s columns because I enjoy his view on today’s game and he is a hockey guy. In this article John looks at possible reasons why there aren’t more U.S. elite players in the NHL today. He also interviews Kenny Rausch, who is the manager of youth hockey for U.S.A. Hockey. This is a really good piece as we would like the site to have a direction on youth hockey development from a strength and conditioning perspective.

Next is my own, “Neck Strengthening For Hockey“. In this article, I outline what my philosophy is on strengthening the neck extensors. With the amount of head injuries in hockey today, proper neck strengthening is important for the prevention of whiplash associated with them.

We hope you enjoy this week’s new content in addition to the forum activity that is going on.

Thanks again,

Sean, Anthony, Mike, Mike, and Kevin

Dec 022010

The Bar Complex is a series of 5 exercises done for 6 reps each with no rest once the first exercise is started.  We will do 3-4 rounds of this.  This is a warm-up that we do before our strength training on day 4 early in the off-season program.  We will also do it during the pre-season phase while we are doing more circuit work in the weight room.  What I really like about the Bar Complex is that you can really improve both your strength and conditioning by adding weight to the bar in a progressive manner over time.  I originally learned this from Al Vermeil who had learned it from Istvan Javorek.  This is also known as the Javorek complex.