Posts Tagged ‘activate’

I haven’t caught much of the first few games of the Stanley Cup finals but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a few opinions. Here’s one guy’s take on the first three games of the series. The first game was as good as it gets. Back and forth. Lots of lead changes and a one goal outcome. Not what any one expected I’m sure. The one thing that struck me in that game was when Leighton got pulled. From the couple of goals I saw the ‘Hawks scored on him it didn’t seem like he could be faulted. And the game wasn’t getting out of reach at that point either. So I’m not too sure what the thought process was there in yanking him but it was interesting.

The second thing that was interesting and got all the media going was Pronger collecting some souvenirs. At the end of game 1 and 2 Pronger skated down to the ‘Hawks end and grabbed the puck. A little unusual but really no big deal. It wasn’t like it was somebody’s 1st goal or a big OT winner. But Pronger being Pronger was probably just doing something to rile up the ‘Hawks and get them thinking about that. It probably didn’t do anything for either team but was kind of funny.

Lastly, what was with the ‘Hawks skating around after game 2 with their sticks in the air? I know it was to acknowledge their fans but this is usually reserved for a time when these fans won’t see the team again. Maybe the team has just been eliminated, has shaken hands and then does this. Or maybe they’ve just won game 6 of the finals at home and their last game of the season will be  on the road. This would be then the last chance to show some thanks to their fans. It almost seemed a little bit strange to do it after game 2. Were they suggesting a sweep and wouldn’t play in Chicago again this year?

Anyways, enough about the playoffs. Let me know how you feel and if you agree or disagree.

Today though I want to talk a little bit about what goes into designing an off-season training program for hockey. You see there are number of options hockey players take when they consider their training options. Maybe they hire someone to take care of all the details. Maybe their teams set them up with some type of a program. Or perhaps a friend has  a program of some type. I could go on. The point being there are endless options regarding what program to follow. Below are a couple of the key elements I always consider when putting together an off-season training program.

First of all the plan has to be based on results. If what we did last year worked we’ll probably continue doing it. But we don’t want to stop there. Instead what we do is try and examine from as many different levels if this decision is wise in terms of investment, efforts, potential risk, projected benefits and if any of these could be improved upon. A great example comes from a big time strength coach out of the states. He has advocated switching from traditional back squats to front squats and now to single leg squats. You see what he found was that the limit on 2 legs wasn’t leg strength but the back. And this isn’t what we want. So by switching from 2 to 1 legs on squatting he was able to overload the legs while at the same time diminish loading through the spine.

Another example of where we may tweak our programs is based on how we know the body to work. A few years ago during our outdoor training days we would use a scorpion movement as part of our warm-up. We felt this would activate the glutes and mobilize the hips. The problem was that the lumber spine is not meant to move a great deal. But performing the scorpion resulted in rotatatio through the lumbar, which we didn’t want to have. So what we’ve done since is remove this from our warm-ups and substitute in other drills to activate the glutes and mobilize the hips without compromising the integrity of the lumbar spine.

So as you proceed with your off-season training program ask yourself a few questions including:

What am I hoping to accomplish with this workout, drill, exercise, warm-up etc?  Is there a downside to proceeding the way I  have been previously?     Can I come up with an alternative workout, drill, exercise, warm-up that still accomplishes the desired goal without the associated downside?

Once you start thinking about your training in this way you will be more efficient in your time, safer with your efforts and realize greater performance gains in the end.

All the best.