Apr 202012

I hope everyone has had a great week.  Hopefully you have been able to watch some of the NHL playoffs.  I really can’t believe how many overtime games that there has been so far.  The Phoenix versus Chicago series alone has gone 4 games so far.   All 4 of them have gone to OT.

I really find it tough not to watch the playoffs even though we are out.  There is just something about watching hockey at this time of year as each team does everything that they possibly can to win the cup.

We have had some really good additions to HockeySC.com since my last update:

First up is Mike Potenza’s 8 Second Stiffness Jumps video of the week.  This is an interesting video that shoes Mike doing some really fast quick jumps for 8 seconds.  He uses them both as a plyometric exercise by themselves and as a complex between Olympic lifting sets.

Next up is my own 2011/2012 Core and Hip Program.  This is a circuit of exercises that we used this past season to help us strengthen the muscular structures in the hips and core to help us prevent injuries.  I am a big believer in being proactive when it comes to my athletes.  We will do what some people would do with injured athletes with our “healthy” athletes.

Next up is Darryl Nelson’s  4-Day Off-Season Program that Darryl has used in the past.  Like Darryl’s programs, mine are very similar when it comes to exercise order and selection.

Last is my own Should We Strengthen Our Toe Flexors article.  This is a piece that I have been putting together as I have been noticing some of the foot patterns in my athletes.  When I think of the importance of the toe flick in the final push off in skating, I think it is important that every player should be able to have toe flexors that are strong.

We have also had some good discussions on the forum such as changes to programs and strength and conditioning advice for a 13-year old.  Make sure you check out the forum when you log on.

Thanks for your continued support!


Apr 192012

I recently had the privilege of attending Charlie Weingroff’s seminar at Momentum Sports Physical Therapy in Lake Forest, CA. For those that don’t know Charlie, he is a really bright person, physical therapist, and strength coach.  I actually first met him at the Perform Better Summit in Rhode Island in 2010, even though I have read most of his information prior.

What I really like about Charlie is that he has some very similar philosophies as me in regards to how he trains athletes.  He is also does unbelievable job of blending strength and conditioning principles with his physical therapy knowledge.  So, when he is giving a seminar 15 minutes away from my house, I am in.

For me, writing these kind of posts allow me to go back and look at my notes from seminars and then organize them better by putting them out there.  At the same time, these are my notes and may come across as random.

-“Get it Right versus doing the best you can.”  Charlie was very passionate about this thought.  He doesn’t like hearing that people “Did the best you could”.  Find out the best right way how to do something and do it.  Doing the best you can isn’t acceptable.

-The Making a Monster concept wasn’t what I thought it was going to be.  I actually thought he was going to give us exercises, sets, and reps of how to make a monster.  I was wrong.  There is actually so much more to do before you prescribe sets and reps.  It goes back to the first thought- Get it right.  Dial in the athlete’s movement, preparation, and sensory systems before we assign sets and reps (which is probably the easy part).

-Charlie touched upon aerobic energy system work.  Aerobic energy system work can help the locomotor system.  Charlie recommends aerobic work to be done in the 30-60 minute range at a heart rate below 110 bpm.  Especially for those who may be in pain or in a rehabilitation setting.

-“More Keys you have on the key ring, the more doors you can open”.  I loved this quote.  To me, there is nothing wrong with learning as much information that you can and then filtering the information and then developing and building your own system.  For whatever reason, people in our industry criticize others for learning lots of new information and applying it.  I somewhat agree and also somewhat disagree.  I think that it is important that you are also being smart about how you incorporate new information.  We need to be good at what we do.  For example, I am a strength and conditioning coach.  I want to be the best strength and conditioning coach for my athletes.  Sometimes, we find those that learn new information in the form of a seminar or a book and try to apply it right away without having a foundation from what the knowledge is built upon.  I am not a physical therapist, but I find that I can learn apply information learned from PT’s in my setting.  However, I can’t and won’t treat pain, manipulate people (physically), or “practice” PT.  Be good at what you do and what you are.

– I really like what the omega wave technology does and could do for myself and my athletes.  The reality is that it costs 35k.  So, I won’t be purchasing one anytime soon.  However, Charlie talked about using grip strength as a way to assess stress levels.  From reading more  information from guys like Patrick Ward and Charlie, finding a way to assess my athletes stress levels and then either ramping up or backing off on them MAY be something that I would consider doing.  We will see as I need to experiment with it.  However, I just found a hand grip dynamometer in the Athletic Training room.  Since it has a sticker on it that says it needs to be calibrated in 1999, it hasn’t been used in a long time.


-Are we using our lumbar extensors when we should be using our hip extensors in exercises such as glute bridges?  For me personally, I needed to see and feel this.  As a coach who has been using glute bridges with my athletes for a few years now, maybe I need to re-look at this again.  Why?  Well, I need to work on my own hip extension pattern as I really don’t have much hip extension ability in my hips.  However, Charlie was able to help me and give me a few correctives that I think work better than glute bridges in terms of re-learning how to use my glutes and hamstrings versus my lumbar extensors.  Maybe my athletes are using their lumbar extensors as well?I think hockey players could always use some more hip extension pattern length.

-Rolling patterns should be assessed and corrected if they are impaired.  This is something that I could see and feel directly.

All in all, this seminar was really good.  I actually had to miss the afternoon of the 1st day as my son Will had a playoff hockey game.  I would recommend that you see Charlie at one of his seminars or at the Peform Better Summits this summit.  Charlie will also be speaking at the Okanagan Strength and Conditioning Conference this summer.

Apr 062012

I hope everyone is doing well.  I am currently writing this post in my hotel room in Calgary.  This is where we will finish off our season tomorrow against the Flames.  For those of you that follow our team, there is no question that our place in the standings and not making the playoffs is a huge disappointment.  Our start to the season wasn’t the way that we wanted it to go, but it is important to note that since the beginning of 2012, we have been one of the best teams in the league.  Moving forward as a team, we have to build on our strong second half of the season.  Most importantly right now is to finish off strong tomorrow and get a solid off-season of training from each player in our organization.

As for what’s going on at HockeySC, we have some great contributions at the site since my last update:

First up is Darryl’s Stagger Stance Lateral Squat video of the week.  This is an interesting variation of a lateral squat.  I would be interested in knowing if Darryl uses it as a warm up, a strength exercise, or both.

Next ups is Eric Renaghan’s Stiff isn’t Always Bad article.  In this piece, Eric talks about muscle stiffness and where and how it is provided in movement.  He also talks about how he uses the body blade and light medicine balls in the role of creating stiffness at the shoulder joint.  This is an excellent article that may actually convince me to use my body blade more with our players who have shoulder issues.

Next up is Kevin Neeld’s Training Overhaul: Making the Transition from Old School to Current Principles without Pissing off the Coach! (Part 1) article.  This is a real interesting piece that was well written.  I think what this article does is present the reality that lots of strength and conditioning coaches in hockey face.  Kevin gives some great ideas on the educational process from strength and conditioning professionals to sport coaches.  I look forward to reading part 2.

Last is episode 5 of the HockeyStrength Podcast.  In this episode, Anthony and I discuss my topic for the upcoming BSMPG seminar- Injury Prevention Strategies for Hockey.

That’s it for new content additions this week.  Please remember to check out the forum when you log on.  There are some interesting discussions going on about the forward stride in hockey, game day nutrition, and the concept of measuring hand grip strength.

Also, if you aren’t a member yet, you have 2 days to take advantage of our $1 per day for 7 days, and then $9.95 per month each month after.  We are raising the price after 2 days.  So please take advantage if you would like to access the best hockey strength and conditioning information on the internet.

Thanks and Happy Easter!


Apr 022012

Here is my upcoming travelling, speaking, and learning schedule:

MAY 12th- 16th 

German Hockey Federation Coaches Clinic

Trainer Fortbildung (Coaching Refresher Course)

A Trainerausbildung (A Coaches Course)

Cologne, Germany


MAY 19th- 20th 

Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group Annual Seminar

Boston, MA


JUNE 7th- 10th 

CK-FMS Workshop


St. Paul MN

AUGUST 10th-12th  

Perform Better Functional Training Summit

Long Beach, CA


AUGUST 17th- 18th 

Okanagan Strength and Conditioning Conference

Kelowna, BC Canada