Posts Tagged ‘injury’

Summer’s are fun because of the nice weather, the chance to go boating or golfing as well as taking a road trip or vacation.

However summer is also the time for making big gains in your hockey training. It’s the time to address nagging injuries that you couldn’t deal with completely during a playoff push. It’s the time to put on the mass that helps you control your space and impose your will more easily on your opponent. And it’s the time to be able to focus on the recovery between training sessions.

There are lots of great reasons to look forward to the summer.

But as we see with many of our players they also like to take some time and get away. As well, they also have friends who spend their off-seasons elsewhere. And when they come through Kelowna they know they have a place to come and train.

They don’t have to settle for local ‘meat-head’ gym where the squat racks are busier with guys doing biceps curls than they are for squatting.

They don’t have to settle for the local community gyms that prefer that every lift be done slow and controlled. Plyos, med balls throws and Olympic lifts would be out of the question.

Besides hockey players that roll through town in the summer we are also a common training centre for the Canadian Freestyle Ski Team. So you may cross paths with snowboarders and skiers all trying to shine in Sochi in 2014.

But anyways we want to make this same offer available to our friends of onsidehockeytraining.

So if you are a subscriber of this site you are considered a friend of Okanagan Peak Performance, which is the physical home of our athlete training centre. And therefore I want to welcome you to access our facility when you are in the Kelowna area.

So how do you take advantage of this offer?

Simply leave me a comment on this blog and I can let our staff in Kelowna know to welcome when you are passing through.

We have almost 2500 square feet with four racks and platforms, 5 benches, over 3000 lbs of weights, TRX, GHD, slideboards, sandbags, kettlebells, sleds, battling ropes, plyo boxes, bands, tubing and lots of other toys. Basically everything an athlete needs and nothing they don’t.

Take a look at the pictures below to see what the facility looks like.

























Besides the great location and equipment we also provide towel service, training and recovery drinks to our training clients. And for our hockey players we include weekly massages with their training to enhance the recovery process.

The last thing to mention about our facility, and maybe the best feature, is the people. Not only do we work with some amazing athletes we also have a great staff here. They’re all about making sure our clients have the best experience possible.

So if you have plans to be in BC this summer hopefully you can stop by and get in a training session or two.


Are you familiar with Turkish Get Ups?

Sometimes they are abbreviated as TGU or simply called get ups. I think the name gets shortened for the same reason some people call Bulgarian split squats simply split squats.

Anyways, if you’re not familiar with this exercise during your hockey training you’d be wise to look into it and see what benefits it may offer you.

Because to some this exercise looks really foreign and unlike anything related to the game of hockey.

For example:

* you start on your back

* you are rolling on the ground

* there is no slippery or unstable surface

* there is no powerful release of the training implement

* your focus is straight up at your vertical hand

* it doesn’t involve elements of sprinting, agility or contact with an opponent

I mean how can something that looks nothing like the game of hockey help you become a better hockey player?

Better yet, how can something that doesn’t involve any of the elements of the game of hockey, regardless of whether it looks like hockey, help you improve your game?

Shouldn’t hockey training be about improving your on-ice performance?

Shouldn’t hockey training be about minimizing your potential for injury?

Shouldn’t hockey training be about extending the length of your revenue generating years as much as possible?

Absolutely it should!

And shouldn’t hockey training be very specific to include only the elements that serve a purpose so as to be as efficient and effective as possible?

I think so.

So why are strength and conditioning coaches including Turkish Get Ups in their training programs?

Isn’t this just another example of a coach who gets excited about something new to them and then finds a way to work this into their training program?

I’ll admit that does happen. From time to time we do see coaches that get swayed by certain trends and invest in equipping, educating and training their athletes due to a particular training.

Consider the BOSU.

How many of you are still using the BOSU as a part of your hockey training program?

Let me qualify that first.

How many of you are using the BOSU that:

* don’t have an injury you are currently trying to rehab

* aren’t using the BOSU for upper body exercises

* aren’t using this tool once in a blue moon 

but instead everytime you are going to do a lower body workout are looking for the rubber dome to do your leg training?

Probably not as many as 5 years ago.

And in 5 years there will be even fewer people using this tool than there are today.

Sometimes it take a while for the correct information to get out there.

I get that .

So isn’t doing Turkish Get Ups just another example of an exercise that we’re getting a little too excited about that in a few yeara we’re going to look back and laugh that we used to think so much of it?

I don’t think so.

And in Part II of this post I’ll give 11 Reasons Why the TGU WIll Make You a Better Hockey Player.

In the meantime keep training hard and post your questions hockey training questions below and I’ll answer them as soon as I can.


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.


What do you think of the Sedins?

If you’re a Canucks fan you’ll probably wish they were triplets.

I’m somewhere in between. I cheer for the ‘Nucks because they’re the home team and are exciting to watch.

But I’m not completely sold on the twins. I admit I have more faith in them than a well-known Vancouver sports broadcaster that refers to them as ‘the sisters’.

So what’s my problem with the Sedins? A number of things. They don’t kill penalties. They’re not tough. And they can be drawn into a style of game where they don’t excel and costs their team in the end.

But this year they are getting it done.

They are 1-2 in league scoring on the top team in the league.

And they’re getting it done in an impressive fashion.

What I mean by that is that coach AV keeps their shifts in check. He doesn’t let his players stay out there too long. And he doesn’t ride his top guns too much.

Smart guy.

Let’s look at the evidence to see how this compares to other top players.

The Sedins average 18:32 & 19:18 of ice time per game and shifts of 46 seconds.
Jonathan Toews averages 2 minutes more per game at 20:37.
Eric Staal is over 22 minutes at 22:04.
Ovechkin is at 21:24 per game.
And before he got hurt Crosby was just under 22 minutes at 21:55.

So what’s the point? Well there are three major ones.

1. The Sedins will have more in the tank come late May

The NHL playoffs are a gruelling grind. Especially if a team has to go through one or more 7 game series in order to advance. The teams that are battling hard right now just to get into the playoffs will be hard pressed to sustain this intensity for the next 8-10 weeks.

History has already proven this when the Flames & Oilers had to batttle to grab the 8th seed in the west only to run out of gas in the Finals.

Don’t think this amount of ice time matters? Consider that Ovechkin plays almost 20% more minutes than the Sedins do this will add up over time.

2. The shorter the interval the higher the intensity

If you had to demonstrate your top skating speed to a scout would you want to skate:

a. 60 minutes non-stop with no rest?


b. 30 seconds with 2 to 3 minutes rest between efforts?

It’s pretty obvious, isn’t it.

AV does a good job of encouraging quick changes and keeping intensity up. The longer you stay out there the lower your intensity becomes.

3. Reduced chance of injury

There’s no way of preventing Crosby’s injury other than if he wasn’t on the ice at the time he got hit. And this is a key advantage for the Sedins.

Not only are their minutes closely managed to maintain intensity but being on the ice for less total time reduces the potential for injury.

4. More balanced team attack

There are a number of cliches related to team play in order to hoist the Cup. And if you rely too heavily on one key guy or line it is easy for the opposing coach to match lines and try and shut down this treat.

By keeping the Sedins minutes in check it allows for a more balanced team approach to winning. And AV is able to distribute the minutes more freely knowing the Sedins are generating a better return on investment considering their points, face-offs won, +/- and team wins relative to their total ice team.

It will be interesting to see how this factors into the playoffs.

Will the teams chasing a playoff spot burn out?

Will the top players with high level minutes feel the fatigue set in sooner?

Will being exposed to more minutes in tight-checking, intense games increase the number of injuries?

We’ll have to wait to see what the answers to these questions are. In the meantimes steal a page out of AVs playbook at look to make each effort high intensity, short and productive.


Have you ever suffered an injury and were surprised at how easily it happened? Or maybe it wasn’t as serious as an injury but you’ve simply noticed that one side of your body feels tighter than the other? Or maybe one side is slower to recover than the other? What about feeling stronger and more dominant on one side of the body? Have you ever noticed any of these things?
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