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In the last post, Common hockey power training mistakes, I outlined 5 common mistakes hockey players will make when attempting increase their power through their weight room workouts. But simply because we adhere to the rules of this previous post doesn’t mean we are set to go with our training. The reason we aren’t quite ready is that there a continuum of training where we are working on developing different athletic abilities at different times.

When one season of play finishes it makes sense to take some time, relax and reflect on the previous season. At this time it’s important to reflect on how the season went. What worked and what didn’t? What areas need extra attention during the off-season? What injuries pose potential weak links left unaddressed? What would your coaches say you need to work on? If you are hoping to play up a level next year what areas of your game next to improve to make for a smooth transition? Answering the above questions allows the off-season training program to be specific and dialed in to your particular needs.

When you are ready to begin training you must realize that the body responds better when the training follows in a particular sequence. For example it makes sense to condition, to strengthen, to add power and finally to make the training sport-specific. And there’s a rationale to this sequence.

You see when you focus on conditioning first you can establish a good base for the rest of the training. As well, as you are trying to correct movement patterns or teach a technique you can get in number of repetitions to coach the movement which also serves as a conditioning stimulus.

From there to proceed to a strength goal is logical as a better conditioned muscular system has the potential to become a stronger muscular system. Think about it. If your fitness is poor this may be the weak link in your training as opposed to the resistance on the bar.

Next, a stronger muscular system has the potential to become a more powerful muscular system. Power is the product of force and velocity. Two ways to become faster are to move a heavier load or to move the same load faster. The stronger a hockey player is the more capacity there is to generate power.

Lastly, the most sport-specific an athlete can get is by practicing the sport itself. And the off-season training program winds down the hockey player is usually looking to get in some more ice sessions and quality scrimmages prior to training camp. As well, the drills in the weight become more intensive and powerful and agility sessions take on more of a chaotic and competitive nature.

This progressive and sequential approach to training is supported in the literature. A recent study coming out in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise tried to answer the question of what was important to an athlete’s muscular power, strength or power training? What they found was that strength training should be the emphasis, for less training athletes. They concluded that a distinct focus on power training would not be warranted until a threshold of strength had been achieved.

So although power plays, pun intended, in hockey often make the highlight reel it is important to follow the sequence of training described. This allows for further gains, helps prevent overtraining and transfers more effectively to hockey performance.

Chris                                                                                                                                                                                                                        onsidehockeytraining.com

2 Responses to “Where to start with hockey training”

  • Great article Chris! In general, strength training is drastically under-emphasized in youth hockey. Keep up the great work.

    -Kevin Neeld

    • admin says:

      Thanks Kevin! It seems there isn’t enough patience with training to do the requisite foundational skill, strength and general movement training before getting in to the sexy power movements.
      All the best,
      Chris.
      onsidehockeytraining.com

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