Kevin Neeld — Hockey Training, Sports Performance, & Sports Science

This Week in Hockey Strength and Conditioning

I hope you had a great week. This has been a really exciting week for me personally. If you follow me on Twitter and/or read this site regularly, you may have noticed that I frequently allude to the fact that there is a lot more to the concussion story than is being recognized. At the beginning of last week, I got the idea of putting together a presentation on the topic, which I had an opportunity to record a few days back. Other than my garbage mic making me sound like a pre-pubescent boy, it came out pretty well. Look for that early next week.

Yesterday I got an email from an old teammate of mine saying he was flipping through a Men’s Fitness while waiting for a haircut and saw a hockey training piece that I wrote. I didn’t even know it was printed! Pick up a copy of the April issue of Men’s Health (see pg 104).

Finally, early in the week I was asked to contribute to a chapter in the new Men’s Health Book of Abs. I’m sincerely humbled to have an opportunity to work on this project and am really looking forward to seeing the finished product. I’ll keep you in the loop as it nears completion.

Just as a final reminder, today is the LAST DAY to test run the Elite Training Mentorship for $1. As I’ve said over the last couple of weeks, to have an opportunity to learn from Eric Cressey, Mike Robertson, BJ Gaddour, and Dave Schmitz for a buck is a no-brainer. Eric and Mike are two guys I’ve regularly looked to for great training information over the last 5 years. I still bounce ideas off Eric on a regular basis. I’m really happy these guys are doing this. Any way their information can reach more people is a positive in my book. Check out this link for more information: Elite Training Mentorship

On to this week’s hockey training updates…

If you haven’t already, check out these posts from the last two weeks:

  1. Athletic Development Things You Should Read
  2. Elite Training Mentorship
  3. Metabolic Training (Free Video!)
  4. Dissecting Muscle Function: Force Production
  5. Dissecting Muscle Function: Influence

We’ve been busy at Hockey Strength and Conditioning over the last two weeks.

To kick things off, I added our final youth program of the year. The focus of this program changes somewhat drastically toward more mobility and regeneration work in the interest of recovery. The goal is to taper and generally unload the body so that the kids can hit the playoffs full steam ahead. Now is not the time to push off the ice; it’s more a time to showcase the hard work the players have been putting in over the season.

Get the program here >> 2-Day In-Season Training Program: Phase 5

Darryl Nelson added a video of what I would classify as a low load high velocity power exercise. These types of exercises have a lot of carryover to different components of hockey, but I generally frame it within the context of shooting. High speed hip rotation and core transfer are two keys to shooting power.

Watch the video here >> Medicine Ball Baseball Pitcher

Anthony Donskov wrote a terrific piece on the state of youth hockey. This is a message that I don’t think can be shouted too frequently. Things are NOT okay in youth sports, and youth hockey has been one of the front-runners in leading the craziness. I’m proud of USA Hockey for stepping up and taking serious action to help right the ship with their new ADM model. Ultimately, though, it’s up to us-coaches, parents, educators, etc. to adopt what they’ve put forth. Anthony’s article is filled with a lot of simple facts about the odds of a youth player reaching the pro ranks, and has guidelines for 60-minute practice that maximize development and fun. This is a MUST READ!

Read the article here >> Adult Values + Child Activities = Burnout

Mike Potenza added a video with two interesting exercises. Both strike me as great ways to train and/or test (or “audit”) multi-segmental stability. I’m looking forward to playing around with these over the next couple weeks and potentially mixing them in to future programs.

Watch the video here >> Leaning Tower

Sean Skahan wrapped things up with an All-Star Break Program. This is a great program for those in youth hockey to look at, not to simply steal it and use it as is, but because the program is built around body weight exercises. The only pieces of equipment this player had was a foam roller and stability ball. In all of the years I’ve worked training youth teams, I’ve only had any appreciable equipment for this past season. It’s important that these players to learn how to move properly and to get a training effect, both of which can be accomplished with relatively basic body weight exercises if they’re programmed and coached well. Sean’s program is a good template for that.

Get the program here >> All-Star Break Program

Don’t forget to log-in and check out the forum as well. Check out these discussions:

  1. Flexibility Help
  2. Post Game Snack Variety
  3. NHL Concussions
  4. United States Anti-Doping Agency
  5. Hockey Skill Warm-Up Drills
  6. Planning and Periodization for Playoffs

That’s a wrap for today. As always, if you aren’t a member yet, I encourage you to try out Hockey Strength and Conditioning for a week. It’ll only cost $1, and if it’s not the best buck you’ve ever spent, I’ll personally refund you!

To your success,

Kevin Neeld

P.S. I have lots of great stuff coming your way next week, so make sure you check back. In the mean time, test drive the Elite Training Mentorship and let me know what you think!

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Kevin Neeld

Kevin Neeld Knows Hockey

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.