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Posts Tagged ‘mobility’

I really enjoy learning things that make a big differences in my efforts. Sometimes it’s due to a conscience effort to make a particular change to the program. And other times you might do something different, not necessarily purposeful, but notice an improvement.
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For anyone that spends any appreciable amount of timing training for hockey the goal is always the same. To improve your on-ice performance in the game of hockey.
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It’s around this time of year that hockey seasons are beginning to wrap up. Playoffs are either over for some or still going for others. For the ones that didn’t make it to the playoffs or have already been eliminated the focus begins to shift to next season. They start thinking of what they want to accomplish the following year. For some of our players they will looking to make the jump to the next level. For some they will entering their final year at that level and want to have an impact year. And others have had a taste of playing at the highest level and want to continue to improve and contribute more. And for all of these players these goals start with the off-season.

The off-season is when the bulk of the work is done is preparing a hockey player to succeed. This is where previous injuries are addressed and fortified. This is the time when additional size is added for those players whose game would improve as a result.

*** A quick side note regarding gaining weight. Never look to gain weight just for the sake of being heavier. When we add mass to the frame of one of our hockey players it has to be functional weight. By that I mean weight that allows the player to continue to move optimally with no loss in speed or mobility. They are the same quality of athlete, they just weigh more.***

This is also the time when we look to increase the strength of the player and gradually translate that strength to increased power production.

But before you step foot in the weight room and begin addressing all of the items listed above it is important to do something else first. The first thing to do is communicate.

Talk to your coaches from the previous season and find out what they think you should work on. Find out what they think would benefit you the most. Ask them what they thought your strengths were so you continue to include these in your repertoire of skills.

In addition to your coaches talk to whomever will be overseeing your training. Ask them the same questions you asked your coaches. Ask them to help you set some goals. Ask them if they would get in contact with your coaches and fill them in on your plans for the summer. This shows initiative and let’s your coaches know you are serious about improving during the off-season.

Repeat this process of communication with as many of the people that will have a hand in your off-season development. This could included: physiotherapists, chiropractors, trainers, massage therapists, dietician’s, sports psychologists, medical doctor and anyone else who will work with you during the off-season and whose opinion you respect.

The more people you have in your corner the better. And from my perspective I feel confident knowing I am seeing the same things that are relevant to the other professionals involved. For example, if the massage therapist is detecting a tightness in the hip flexors this will help me to watch for this in the training and be able to prescribe drills which will address the issue.

As well, you can be more efficient in your training by focussing on the areas of commonality among all parties involved. If all the coaches are preaching the same message for areas to be addressed during the off-season then we can feel fairly comfortable in zeroing in these keys while not wasting time on elements which are not as relevant to your particular needs. As well there is less duplication of efforts.

Lastly, if one of the individuals in your camp notices something different than everyone than this is also important. These are referred to stastically as outliers and can be very beneficial if relevant. For example, consider that one practitioner sees something in your assessment that no one else picked up. This may be the key to ensuring you are that much more resilient to injury than if it was missed entirely.

So before you get too far into your off-season training spend some time to connect with everyone that is or will be working with you next season. Encourage all the relevant parties to communicate amongst each other. Coaches love to see this in their players, it allows for everyone to be on the same page and makes for an efficient off-season of training.

Chris                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  onsidehockeytraining.com