Posts Tagged ‘alignment’

So what did you think of game 2?

I couldn’t believe that finish. So few goals allowed during the first 120 minutes and then an overtime winner in 11 seconds.

But that’s the great thing about the game of hockey. Things can change so quickly and anything on net in OT has a chance.

You have to wonder though if Thomas’s overly aggressive style cost the Bruins the game? Because whenever the Canucks are in the offensive zone it seems like Thomas is anywhere but in the blue paint.

It’s one thing to be challenging the shooters, cutting down angles and getting close to the man in front to minimize deflections on shots from the point.

But Thomas is well out on every shot. And he interferes with the Vancouver forwards who aren’t expecting the goalie to be a few feet outside the blue. They’re used to gliding across the top of the crease to provide a screen but not take an interference penalty.

And in OT it cost him.

At least that’s what I would argue.

By playing out so much he was able to lured wider than if he was deeper in his net.

Plus had he been a normal distance from the goal line there would be have been less chance that Chara would have pushed him away from his goal.

So what does this have to do with off-season training for hockey? What can you learn from Thomas on this play?

Well, you need to recognize where your ‘home’ is. And by home I mean your centre, your proper posture, your core or your base of support.

Your goal should be to perform all lifts and exercises as intensely and or as quickly as possibly with ideal technique.

What defines ‘ideal technique’?

Well lots of things but one in particular is a neutral spine. And this is more than simply trying to maintain a slight curve in your low back. Unfortunately for some hockey players they don’t even achieve this much as they lose pelvic and hip control during many of the movements done in the gym.

But back to neutral spine another way of thinking of this is to lengthen the spine. All the way from your tail bone through the top of your neck.

Your neck? Why do I have to worry about my neck? Aren’t we worrying about developing strong legs, explosive power and a stable core?  Who said anything about the neck?

These may be some common responses by hockey players when additional emphasis is placed upon ensuring the head is in a neutral position.

Because when we have a neutral head the spine is long, the spine is neutral, the core works better and we have better hip and pelvic alignment.

And when you think about the number of hip and pelvic injuries that are happening not too mention the increased incidence of concussions wouldn’t proper head and neck alignment be one of the first things to address?

We all know the brain is CPU for the body and reigns supreme. As you continue on with your off-season hockey training make sure to give your head and neck positioning an appropriate amount of care and consideration.

Because if you don’t you’ll deviate from neutral and come away from your base or your home. And then bad things happen such as injuries or getting scored on in OT.


Welcome to Onside Hockey Training

I guess the first question you might have is ‘Why should I visit this blog anyway? What is it going to do for me? Can’t I just visit any other fitness training site and get the information I need for training there?’ Let’s take a look at these questions here.

You should be visiting this blog if you are serious about being the best hockey player you can possibly be.  Our goal is to provide you with all the tools and information you need to improve yourself off-ice so you are a much better player on-ice. We accomplish this in two ways.

Firstly, we will help you identify where your weak links are and how to address them.  You might be thinking ‘I don’t have any weak links’ or ‘my body doesn’t hurt therefore everything is fine’.  Well, the thing is everybody has a compensation or weakness of some type. Imagine for a minute that you knew exactly what your opponent’s weak points were. Maybe they were poorly conditioned and would tire out by the 3rd period. Would you take it to them and force them to play an up-tempo game? Or maybe you knew that they had a goalie that tended to go down early. Would you use patience when shooting and go high? Or maybe you knew that the other team didn’t like a physical style of play and would shut down if they had to play this way? Would you play them physically? Of course you would. And your opponent would do the same to you.

So part of the reason to identify and correct your compensations and weaknesses is so that you have a more complete game.  It will be more difficult for your opponent to find a weakness to exploit as you have been proactive and addressed this already. But besides making it more difficult for your opponent there is another key reason to identifying and correcting your compensations and weaknesses.

This other reason is to help minimize the potential for injury. Hockey is an explosive and violent game with high speed collisions and battles. Anytime there is a collision your body must absorb and reduce the energy from the contact. A body that is in alignment and fires the right muscles at the right times will do a better job of reducing this energy than a body that is out of alignment or that fires the wrong muscles at the wrong times. And one of the keys to performing on the ice is actually being on the ice. Once you are on the IR you aren’t producing or improving.

But I don’t have any current aches or pain so I’m OK right? Maybe not.  Actually, probably not. Over the years I have yet to assess a hockey player that doesn’t have a compensation or weakness of some type. And I’m talking about the ‘healthy’ hockey players that are in the line-up and aren’t complaining of pain of any type. Well guess what? As soon as one side of the body is 15% different from the other the chance for injury goes way up! For example if one leg can lift to 76 degrees while on the back and the other lifts to 90 degrees there is more than 15% difference between the two and an increased chance of injury. Does this mean injury will definitely happen? No, there are no absolutes. But what it does mean is that the probability of an injury is much greater if left unaddressed than if the imbalance were corrected.  And if you are serious about being the best hockey player you can be then that involves addressing your weak points and compensations.

So thanks for stopping by and checking out Onside Hockey Training. Make sure you enter your email and grab a free copy of our report How to Become a Faster Hockey Player More Resilient to Injury. In this report you’ll learn:

  • Learn the style of exercise that most trainers use with their hockey players that not only doesn’t make them faster it actually makes them slower!
  • Discover what it is NHL hockey teams do to screen their players for the red flags which left unaddressed may lead to injury.
  • Find out the very best exercises to develop game breaking speed – And how most hockey players do them wrong!

So scroll to the top right hand side of the page, enter your email and get started on being the best hockey player you can be.