A couple weeks ago I announced the completion of the Ultimate Hockey Training Video Database. Since then, I’ve received a bunch of emails about accessing the database and about off-season training program design.
This is really an exciting time of year for me. As my friend Devan McConnell said, the hockey off-season is really the hockey strength and conditioning coach in-season. We’re currently training the Team Comcast U-18 team 4x/week through August, the two U-16 teams 3x/week through August, and the ’99s, ’00s, and ’01s will start up 2x/week in June and train through August. This is in addition to the dozens of junior, NCAA D1, and professional players we’ll have in the mornings everyday through August. A few of the junior kids have been in since February. Talk about maximizing your off-season! Needless to say, it’s been a busy few weeks assessing/testing everyone and designing programs.
Once players take a few weeks off and let their body recuperate a bit, the off-season provides a great opportunity to start restoring and improving different capacities (e.g. range of motion, movement quality, speed, power, strength, conditioning, etc.). The key to maximizing this time is to really understand where you want to be come pre-season and what you’re willing to do to get there. Finding a good strength and conditioning coach that understands how to coach movement well, how to design a quality training program, AND the demands of the game is extremely difficult, and will almost always require some degree of inconvenience, typically in the form of a longer drive (there isn’t a quality coach in every neighborhood) and increased costs (great coaches cost more money to work with).
Understanding Quality Programming
One of the biggest struggles players and families face in finding an off-season training program is being able to decipher quality from garbage. With seemingly knowledgeable people boasting the benefits of their programs, it can be difficult to sift through the hype and really see who knows what they’re talking about. In my opinion, a quality program should encompass:
Developmental Sensitivity Periods
Naturally, the most important part of any off-season program is that it gets results. I know our corrective/mobility works because I remeasure players. After 1-2 phases of our program, most players (that need it) are adding 15-20 degrees of hip rotation arch in EACH hip. This is huge in maximizing their structural mobility, giving them the best opportunity to optimize their stride and avoid injury. We have a player preparing for the NHL combine here that has added 4.5″ to his vertical jump in two weeks. Another that has put on 12 lbs of muscle in 12 weeks. These are just a few examples of the early successes from our current off-season group, but provides supporting evidence that our programs are delivering the results our players are looking for.
If you’re interested in using one of our off-season hockey training programs for your own purposes, you just need to join the Ultimate Hockey Training Insider’s Section. Simply, it’s the most affordable way to follow a quality, proven training program if you can’t find/access a hockey training facility this off-season. To become an Insider, follow these steps:
Insider access is only available to those that have purchased Ultimate Hockey Training, as the book provides a ton of information that will help players get more out of their training, including exercise progressions and lateral substitutions so players can make exercise substitutions based on equipment availability without compromising the intention of the exercise. An Insider membership provides access to monthly training programs for players at each age group, the newly added 800+ exercise video database, and recommended equipment, all for a monthly cost of less than a decent lunch.
Follow the instructions above, and have the best off-season of your career!
To your success,
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Kevin has rapidly established himself as a leader in the field of physical preparation and sports science for ice hockey. He is currently the Head Performance Coach for the Boston Bruins, where he oversees all aspects of designing and implementing the team’s performance training program, as well as monitoring the players’ performance, workload and recovery. Prior to Boston, Kevin spent 2 years as an Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach for the San Jose Sharks after serving as the Director of Performance at Endeavor Sports Performance in Pitman, NJ. He also spent 5 years as a Strength and Conditioning Coach with USA Hockey’s Women’s Olympic Hockey Team, and has been an invited speaker at conferences hosted by the NHL, NSCA, and USA Hockey.