Posts Tagged ‘cross training’

Below are a few more questions I had for Sean Skahan, s&c coach with the Anaheim Ducks of the NHL. Here are the questions and his answers.

Mike Boyle – an example of a top flight hockey s&c coach

9. How would he define a top flight hockey strength & conditioning coach?

Sean was quick to say that this comes down to decreasing injuries while getting more wins. He added that this involves an ability to relate to hockey players and to get them to buy into what they’re doing.

10. During the off-season players will do any of a number of things to get ready for the upcoming season. Some will follow the plan prepared by their team’s s&c coach. Other’s will use an alternate approach. And with this second option you often see more deviation from the traditional off-season program for hockey.

For example in recent years with the increased popularity of the UFC more players have incorporated some form of martial arts into their training. Some will get into some form of cross training. What are his views on off-season training?

Sean is ok with his players doing different things as long as it is safe. Safety is the primary concern. And the less specific it is to the game of hockey it is probably better to do these activities earlier in the off-season rather than trying them out a week or two before camp.

11. Hockey players play their game with the foot encased in a hard boot. With ankle stability being vital in the joint by joint approach to training and the recent interest in barefoot training what does Sean think about training barefoot?

He said he thought it probably¬†would be ok for hockey players. There is benefit to having a more naked, less restricted foot contacting the ground. I’m not sure if I’m recalling the next part from Sean but when it comes to using some of the newer shoes such as the 5 Fingers it is important to ease into using them.

Wear them around the house for a day or so. Then wear them at the gym for a workout. Gradually work up to walking and then jogging in them. Start on softer surfaces such as grass and gradually build up with respect to the volume, speed and firmness of the surface.

Well there you have it. I’ve just given you direct insider access to the thoughts and methods of one of the top strength and conditioning coaches in the NHL. You can’t help but improve your efforts to become a better hockey player by learning from a guy like Sean.

But a word of caution.

Don’t abandon everything you’re doing and change it to line up exactly as Sean is doing things.

You have different players. Your players have different needs and abilities. You ability to coach young players will be quite different.

Using a quote Bruce Lee was fond of using ‘embrace what is useful, reject what is not’.

Everything Sean does for the Ducks is useful for them but may not be for you. Your job is figure out where the nuggets of info he has dropped on you fit into your plan and then design a way to incorporate them into your training.

Thanks again Sean for being a great guy to learn from.