Posts Tagged ‘trigger points’

Well our hockey players are entering the final phase of their off-season training program. Some of the guys playing in Europe this year have booked their flights and are heading overseas in the next couple of weeks. And the junior guys have about another month to go.

As this point in the training there should be certain changes that take place. Drills and exercises become more intense. Volume is scaled back at this time. And conditioning drills should become more specific such as starting out with low impact, more aerobic based activities such as riding the bike, progressing to land based shuttles and tempo runs, moving to slideboard work and eventually culminating with on-ice sessions.

These things shouldn’t be new to any hockey player working with a competent strength & conditioning coach. They should understand the concepts of periodization and how your training should change throughout the off-season.

But that doesn’t mean we do everything the same as any other strength coach would. And we also do other things other gyms and trainers don’t.

Here are a few things we do differently at Okanagan Peak Performance Inc. where we train our hockey players in Kelowna. And many of these principles carry over to the programming in Premier Hockey Training.

The first thing we do differently is send our hockey players for a physiotherapy appointment before we dive into the training. Just as the absence of illness does not equal health so too the absence of pain does not mean optimal joint function. I’m always reminded of the study in the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine that found 70% of hockey players studied presented with abnormal hip and groin MRIs although they were asymptomatic.

And when you consider the tough nature of many players it’s not uncommon for them to downlown injuries and joint pain. This becomes even more problematic when nothing hurts or appears to be an issue.

So we make sure we send them for an assessment at the beginning of the off-season.

Another thing we do is arrange for weekly massage appointments. This allows for quicker and more complete recovery between training sessions. And it always helps to follow up with the therapist later to see what they discovered during the appointment that may go un-noticed during training.

The hockey player also learns which areas of their bodies are chronically tight and need extra attention at the start of the training session. When players show up for a training session they are always directed to grab a lacrosse ball, slip off their shoes and begin rolling out any trigger points they may have. Going hand in hand with this is rolling out with a foam roller.

One of the other unique things we do for our players is to get in contact with the team they plan to play for in the fall. Usually this involves an email or phone call to the team’s coach and strength and conditioning specialist. This does a number of things.

First it lets the team know the player is serious about the upcoming season. Secondly, it gives confidence to the team that this player is doing the right thing to prepare. Lastly it lets our team of coaches and trainers in Kelowna know what the expectations of the team will be for this player. And this last point cannot be understated.

Recently we had the coach of an NHL team want to see a particular score on an aerobic test for when this player would return in the fall. It didn’t matter that this test is not relevant to success in hockey. It didn’t matter than aerobic fitness may be less important than anerobic power. All that mattered was that this coach wanted to see success on this test and the success of our training program would be partly tied to this test. Had we not talked to this coach we would have not put the same emphasis on preparing for this test.

While some of these benefits are only available for the hockey players we work with in person we still apply the same methodology for all of our training programs. And the same offer of contacting a player’s team is available for all our hockey players, even the ones who follow our Premier Hockey Training program.

If you like to benefit from our training style and the benefits listed above give Premier Hockey Training a try. We can get on skype and figure out which teams and coaches you’d like me to talk to for you.