Here is a recent interview that I did with Made Hockey.
I wanted to write about something that I have seen happen over the last 5-10 years in the hockey training realm. Before I express my view, it’s important to note that I am a strength and conditioning coach. My work is primarily off the ice.
I believe young hockey players are skating too much during the off-season. I understand the reasoning for professional players to be on the ice on a year-round basis. They can perfect their craft while also improving or maintaining their conditioning. As pro’s get older, they may not like the pounding of training on land (i.e. running). Although I do believe that pros would benefit from running and extending their hips more in the off-season, I understand where they are coming from. With most pro’s nowadays, there was a time when they were involved in a structured strength and conditioning program while not skating as much.
I believe the issue is with players at the high school level or below. I am not talking about tryouts or other evaluation programs. I am referring to the daily 1-2 hour long skating sessions that can occur 1-2 times per day, 5-6 days per week.
I am not advocating for no skating as I do believe that some on-ice work is appropriate. Skating specific drills to improve crossovers, change of direction, and stride length all have a place. I question when the volume of the on-ice work interferes with the physical development of the young player.
Here are some of my reasons
- Strength training workouts are stressful. There has to be time to recover between workouts as muscles are damaged through strength training. They need time to repair and grow. Younger athletes may not need as long of a recovery time as adults. I do believe that it isn’t beneficial when a young athlete is in a 4-day per week strength and conditioning program and a 5-6 day per week skating program at the same time. You will not get the most out of your training on or off the ice.
- Increasing force production will help you get faster. Strength training will help increase leg strength which will help increase force production when you skate. The more force you can push into the ice, the faster you will go. The key would be to get progressively stronger during the off-season which may not happen if the athlete doesn’t recover between workouts.
- Don’t skip strength and conditioning for skating. It’s hard to convince parents to have their child skip the skating sessions to get their strength and conditioning in. I understand that tryouts maybe approaching or the opportunity to work with a highly regarded skills coach is important. However, most of the time, I think it comes down to parents feeling like their kid will miss out. (Unfortunately, I’ve been there as a parent). I do believe that in the long run, the strength and conditioning session will be more beneficial. Make strength and conditioning the priority or at least don’t schedule your lifting and skating at the same time of day.
- Communication with skating coaches is important. Skating coaches and strength and conditioning coaches should communicate frequently. It would be beneficial to know what the skating coach’s plans are for the day and vice versa.
While I am always going to push for adequate recovery time between workouts, the reality is that I think kids are going to be on the ice more and more. Again, I am not advocating for being off the ice completely during the summer months. Two to three sessions per week while working on a specific skill is fine. I do think there is an issue with kids and parents trying to juggle too many things such as strength and conditioning, high school captain’s practice, power skating, and week-long drop in sessions.
Off-season on-ice work with a good coach is beneficial when combined with a strength and conditioning program. Lower body strength training, plyometrics, and sprinting can help a hockey player become a better skater. A good skating coach can help you improve your skating position and speed in conjunction with a good strength and conditioning program as long as rest and recovery is integrated.
Here is a recent podcast that I did with my friend Matt Riley. It was a lot of fun to catch up with Matt and talk about hockey and strength and conditioning.
Kneeling Dumbbell Curl and Press
This is another phase 1 exercise. I like this because it allows us to get shoulder and arm work done with one exercise versus performing dumbbell curls and shoulder presses individually.
– The athlete is tall with their hips extended.
– The arms must be long at the start of the curl and the wrists are nuetral during the presss.
– I’ve found that the nuetral grip helps allow us to get a better anatomical position with less back extension and the pressing path in line with the ears.
Thoughts From the Weight Room
I like to post these random thoughts that pop up in my head from time to time. Let me know what you think.
-I’ve been using a 1×20 program with my athletes as a Post-Season/Transition phase for the past 3 years. Each off-season, I have found it to be a great re-introduction to the training process with the emphasis on GPP and restoring range of motion under load. Thanks to Strength and Conditioning Coaches like Jim Snider at Wisconsin, Jay Demayo at Richmond University, and ultimately Dr. Yessis.
-I believe more dumbbells and kettlebells and no barbells in this phase.
-With my young athletes who can’t complete a set of 8 chin ups on their own; I’ve had them use assisted pull up variations with bands. I am now going back to adding eccentrics after their last successful repetition. We don’t use the band anymore. For example, if a an athlete can’t execute 8 chin ups, but can get 5, I have them perform a :30 eccentric after their 5th rep. This occurs for all 3 sets that we do in the training session. I feel that the band assisted method doesn’t produce results. The goal is 30 seconds on the eccentric contraction. This will continue even though we aren’t in an “eccentric” phase.
-Tempo is the forgotten variable sometimes in training. Beginners and those in the return to training phase need more time under tension
-For continuing education this summer, I recently attended Charles Poliquin’s Advanced Program Design seminar. I thought it was outstanding. I go to seminars to learn. I’ve never gone to train. However, the practical portion of this seminar was equally beneficial to the knowledge picked up in the lecture portion. It was awesome kind of going back in time for me as I haven’t been to one of his seminars since 2001.
-Charles said something on the lines of a Strength and Conditioning Coach isn’t doing a good job in-season if 90% of strength isn’t maintained. I believe that.
-I love working with youth and high school hockey players during the summer. I believe that consistent work and effort with an emphasis on the basics works.
-I have some requests for off-season program design/on-line training. Please email me a email@example.com if interested.
In my opinion, RPR works and it isn’t going anywhere. To me, it makes too much sense to do it especially when the results are so obvious to the athlete and the coach. I wrote about it previously here.
I think hockey parents in general should sometimes take a deep breath and relax (myself included). The reality is that there is a good chance that your son or daughter won’t play professional hockey. So, enjoy the ride and encourage them to have fun and improve every day. I try to read this before every season- My simple rules for hockey parents everywhere.
Sports technology is moving fast. The key is to figure out what works for your situation. How can you best apply technology to what you are already doing? I am all for new advancements as long as it helps the athletes and team. I still think the coach’s eye and ability to communicate appropriately is more important. Know what you are doing and what you want to get out of your tools.
Does anyone else get confused with PRI?
Cold showers in the morning are awesome. Read about Wim Hoff and his methods.
All of the breathing information is pretty neat. Whether it is for parasympathetic shift, creating stability, or “stretching”, the act of breathing is something that’s been taken for granted for a long time.
Becoming a sharper sports bettor should not be that hard, but with the average NFL team having a total team revenue of only $3.3 million a year, making any money from online sports betting is no easy task.
I think it’s fair to say that if you are the owner of a pro football team, online sports betting is the way to go. There is no reason that any of your team’s games should be lost. As you should also know, it’s not only the teams that suffer. It’s also the fans who are paying money to watch these games.
The betting sites are run by a small number of people who can make all the money in the world off online sports betting. If you like sports betting and want to start a company in this area, then you must have a decent idea of what you want to make.
First and foremost, the best way to invest in this area is to acquire a decent team. You will be able to buy online without too much hassle. If you can’t find one then you will have to take to the streets to pick up one. If you want to make money, the main thing you need to know is what the betting sites have been offering in the past. Also, you will have to decide on the risk of the team and if it’s worth doing business with. Some will be better at predicting than others. I will go through the different kinds of betting sites and explain why they are good and bad at predicting.
Sports Betting Websites There are many different kinds of sports betting websites and for the most part there are only a couple of major companies offering these kinds of websites. But the reason they are so popular is because they offer easy to use games. There is a long list of different odds, picks and wagers that you can make on these websites. There is also a lot of information available to get you to where you need to go. This website is very easy to use and has an incredible amount of information to get you to your first bet! Sports betting websites typically offer a variety of sports and they have a lot of options available. These are games that are based on current leagues and teams and they are usually played on online sports betting websites. The payout for these types of bets are sometimes based on how far away a team is from winning or losing. The payout is also dependent on what the game is and what level the team is playing. These websites have a lot of different options available to bet on. The one thing that all of the options have in common is that each betting option involves using data to make a wager. This is where the sports betting websites come in. They offer statistics to help you understand why or how a team is doing, how many points a team is likely to score, how many points a team is likely to score and more. When you are selecting which sports betting websites are right for you, there is no one perfect service to choose from. This is a matter of personal preference
My own workout on a game day here in Dallas:
5 Tri Sets of the following:
Get Up x1 ea.
Pull Up x1
1-Leg Squat x1 ea. (Pistol Style)
I had about 20-30 minutes to get this done.
I got a really good training session here in Tampa Bay. All that I had for equipment was a pair of adjustable dumbbells and stationary bikes.
Here’s what I got done:
Foam roll and Trigger point management
DB Swings (40lbs)- 4×25
1-Arm DB Shoulder Press (60lbs)- 2x5ea.
DB Deadlift (60lbs ea hand)- 2×8
Pull Up (hands on railing above the tunnel which takes players to the ice)- 2×5
1-Leg Squat/Pistols- 3×1 each
Manual Resistance, 2:00 warm up at level 10- 80 rpm, 1:00 sprint @ level 21, recovery @ level 1 to 120bpm and then repeat- x6
Getting a good training session in on the road is very challenging. On long road trips, it is important for me to plan ahead so I know what my sessions are going to be. Sometimes, you never know what you are going to get at the hotel gym or what kind of equipment you can borrow from the home team.
Today, I got my training session in at the strength and conditioning facility of the Minnesota Wild. Unlike many of the other hotel gyms and other facilities in the league, they have some kettlebells.
The last time that we were here (back in October I believe), I cleaned and press the 40k bell. Although I struggled with it a little, I still got it under the RKC standards. Today, it was much easier. Looking ahead, I don’t think the 44k is unrealistic.
I also performed a pull up with the 24k bell with my foot hooked through the handle. I was able to bring my neck up to the top which I was really excited about as this has been a struggle for me.
I also did a 5 minute snatch test. This is the second time that I have done this since my RKC in August. Honestly, these are starting to get easier or maybe I am becoming more efficient at these.
Here was my workout:
1-Arm Clean and Press- 5×1 ea. Arm. First set- I got the 40k with my right arm easily, left arm couldn’t get it, I then completed 4 singles each arm with the 32k.
Pair with Pull Up- 5×1. First set done with the 24k. Following 4 done with bodyweight only.
5 minute snatch test in 4:50. I put the bell down once. I went 20L/20R/10L/10R, put the bell down. Then, I went 10L/10R/5L/5R/5L/5R.
Easy 20 minute stationary bike- manual resistance- HR 125-135.