Posts Tagged ‘off-ice’

One thing I really enjoy about my job is being able to see the impact it has on a player’s game. While a player may make huge gains in the weight room and put up some impressive lifts this can be all for naught if in the end the player isn’t performing when the puck drops on a new season. I feel privileged to be able to watch the hockey players we work with during the 0ff-season play during the year. From spending a couple hours almost every day with these players I know their strengths, the weak links they worked hard to address, their work ethics, their attitudes and every else that is important to success in hockey. And once a player moves on to the next level I may make a trip to catch some of their games and see how everything is going. Recently I had chance to sit down and grab some breakfast with one of these hockey players that has moved on from the WHL and is now playing in the AHL.

After spending some time catching up and sharing stories I asked this player what he thought was one of the biggest differences to jumping fromt the ‘dub’ to the AHL. There are lot of things that he could have said from the speed of the game, to the age of the players, to the amount of travel or the amount of preparation that goes into every game. But here’s what he said.

The biggest difference he noticed at the next level was the attention the veteran players put on their preparation. Whether it be proper dynamic warm-ups, to foam rolling to adequate cool down and regeneration after games and practices there was a significant difference at this next level. Players recognize and put more attention in the soft-tissue work that helps keep everything in alignment, keeps what should be mobile, mobile and keeps what should be stable, stable. In other words these players had figured out that the best way to get your body prepped for top performance and to recover most quickly was by doing the little things. Gone are the days of playing sewer ball and singing in the showers as a pre-game ritual. Now it was seeing what is going on at the next level, modelling those who are having success and reaping the rewards as a result.

Cody Almond

Cody Almond – Minnesota Wild

***Update to this story. Since we had that breakfast Cody Almond has been on a tear in the AHL. This hasn’t gone with out notice by the Minnesota Wild and today Cody was called up to make his NHL debut.***

Sometimes it’s hard to see where all the little things factor in to the game of hockey especially when it involves something done off-ice. So whenever you have the chance to see a player up a level doing the little things pay attention and look to see how you can incorporate this into your routine.


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.