Posts Tagged ‘strength and conditioning’
I remember a successful colleague once said he was ‘the originator of little and the thief of alot’. While he was trying to deflect some of positive attention he was receiving for the results he had achieved with his athletes he was trying to say it was due to the discoveries of others.
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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.
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There’s an expression when it comes to strength and conditioning that ‘if you’re not assessing you’re guessing’. This makes a lot of sense when you stop and think about it. Imagine taking a trip and not knowing where you’re starting out from. How will you get there? How long will it take? What is the best way to get there? There are so many variables that come into play with such a decision it makes it so much harder if not impossible when we don’t even know our starting point.
But the assessments we make shouldn’t end when we start training. We continually record loads used during workouts, days of rest, fluctuations in volume and many other factors during training. This allows us to fine tune as we go, make adjustments and see what is working and what could be improved.
And take this a step further and imagine being able to assess your players during a game? How important would it be to know which players are ‘in the zone’ and which ones are having off-days? Sure you can tell who is having a good game but can you tell who is 2 or 3% above normal? Or who is 2 or 3% below what they are normally capable of? Pretty hard to tell isn’t it? But when you think about it the highest level of sport is usually decided by the smallest of increments.
Hockey training is this specific already. At the 2010 Olympics the US women’s hockey team were not only were assessed prior, during and at the conclusion of their training they were also being assessed during the Olympics. Each member of this team was wearing a heart rate monitor that could be read by the coaching staff. During the gold medal game it was reported that the US players were working 20% harder than any of their other games.
Imagine how useful it would be to know how your players are feeling? Who’s suffering the most? Who’s recovering the quickest? Should you shorten shifts? Can you leave your top centre out there to win another face off? If you’re down a d-man who can pick up the extra ice time?
It will be interesting to see how many teams will now start to implement this strategy as well. When the competition is getting that much tighter this might be a way for teams seeking the an advantage to come out on top. With minimal investment in time and money this would an ideal way to train smarter and give your team the best chance possible.