I remember a successful colleague once said he was ‘the originator of little and the thief of alot’. While he was trying to deflect some of positive attention he was receiving  for the results he had achieved with his athletes he was trying to say it was due to the discoveries of others.

Obviously he was just a humble guy because the information he was applying with his athletes was available to anyone. Anyone can open up a research article and see what discoveries are being made in laboratories. And anyone can register and attend a conference to expand their knowledge base. And now with social media anyone can access almost any expert in their field to ask a question.

But this guy learned from the best of the best to put together the master plan. And his results spoke for themselves. If someone has a better way you’d want to know about it and how you could benefit from it.

So I guess the question becomes if this successful coach was deferring his accolades to the advancements of others, what does that make me by stealing his quote? Kind of funny when you think about it.

But seriously to continue on with borrowing from the greats I’d like to call up a quote from the great Al Vermeil. Al is not only an incredible innovator in the field of strength and conditioning he is also a life long learner and generous man who shares his knowledge with those who seek to improve themselves.

One of Al’s quotes that has stuck with me is ‘train slow, be slow’. What Al was getting at is that almost every sport desires speed. And the more speed the better. More size doesn’t necessarily always help. And more aerobic conditioning can compromise other energy systems.

But speed skills. This is true with many sports. And within the same sport is it true the higher the level of play you go. Hockey players that go from junior to the AHL to the NHL are going to notice the speed of the game as the biggest change as they move up to higher levels.

And Al was telling us that the way we train transfers to the way we play. If we go for long, slow jogs we will have more difficulty developing a quick first step. And if we perform reps with a slow and controlled concentric muscle action we will develop force in a slow and controlled manner on the ice as well.

I’ve written previously about the necessity to do your base work first in terms of getting your strength levels up to handle the demands of speed and power training. As you begin to wind down your training you should be thinking about how you want to play. And then asking yourself if the movements you are making in your training are reflecting the type of movements you want to make on the ice.

As you transition through this phase of your training be aware that adjustments must be made with respect to the volume, intensity and rest breaks in order to maximize the transfer effect to your on-ice performance.


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