Posts Tagged ‘off-season’

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.


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.


A few years ago I was working with a junior hockey player during the off-season and he mentioned that his team would be doing some fitness testing in the middle of the off-season. He mentioned they would be doing some VO2 max tests. And I quickly thought back to a presentation I had attended at the NSCA conference that winter.

The presentation at the NSCA conference covered a few different sports but there was some research related to hockey. One of the points that stuck with me was that there is an optimal level for VO2 max in hockey. Exceeding this threshold results in detriments in power production. He made this point during the presentation because he spoke of an NHL team with a coach that was notorious for bag skating his team the day after a loss. The presenter argued that this would do more harm than good and would result in a slower, less explosive team.
Read the rest of this entry »

At this point in your hockey training you should have addressed all of your compensations and alignment issues. But that doesn’t mean you can ignore these weak links altogether. They may need some attention whenever there is a change in the program or you feel a bilateral (or side to side) difference.
Read the rest of this entry »

Hi there: If I was only allowed one word to describe what every hockey player I work with wants I would have to say it’s speed. They want a quicker shot. They want to a faster start. Overall they just want to increase their speed in every facet of the game.
Read the rest of this entry »