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

Adult Hockey Training

Over the last couple weeks I’ve received a few emails about training programs for adult hockey players. The adult hockey population is rapidly growing, and as with the youth hockey population, they are incredibly competitive.

To be honest, speaking more about adult hockey training never really occurred to me. It’s clearly a large, and generally unserved athletic population. If I were a better business person (I’m not), I’d be writing a book on the topic right now!

I think one of the reasons I haven’t paid more attention to adult hockey training is that the concepts that underlie youth hockey training still apply. We still need to ensure we’re creating appropriate mobility through the ankles, hips, and thoracic spine (the notables), while promoting stability through the knee and lumbar spine; we still need to progress exercises from basic to advanced; and we still need to progress conditioning from less intense to more intense.

The major differences between adult players and youth players are:

  1. The amount of time they spend on the ice
  2. The amount of time they can dedicate to training
  3. The adaptability of the neuromuscular and skeletal systems
  4. The recovery rate from all activities
  5. Post-game nutrition for adults tends to be illegal for youth players

Generally speaking, adult players spend less time on the ice, have less time to dedicate to training, adapt more slowly to training stimuli, take longer to recover, and drink more beer than protein shakes.


Mmm. Post workout nutrition.

While not always the case, most adult hockey players tend to gravitate toward higher body fat percentages than young players. This is a direct result of less activity, more stressed lifestyles, and generally a lifestyle characterized by quick fix nutrition. The take home from this is that the best hockey training program and adult player can follow is one geared toward dropping the extra pounds. Shedding the unwanted fat will ultimately lead to improved relative strength and speed, which will positively impact on-ice performance.

An argument can be made that more hockey-specific training is, in fact, a program geared toward fat loss and I wouldn’t disagree, as long as the athlete is paying attention to their nutrition. The training would only differ in that it would include more traditional speed work, lateral and diagonal movements, and maybe some slideboard work. Of course, if a player’s body fat is too high, none of these things would be safe anyway so the differences become negligible.

If you’ve been reading my site over the last week, you know that I’ve been mentioning hockey training expert Michael Boyle’s new Body By Boyle Online. I think one of the greatest benefits of Boyle’s new site is that he posts the EXACT programs he uses to train his athletes and the exact programs he uses for his fat loss clients. Relevant to our adult hockey training discussion, this means that regardless of whether you want to attempt a program that is more athletic-based (only recommended for relatively in-shape players with a decent training background) or fat loss based (applicable for everyone), you’ll have access to a program that meets your needs and abilities.

What makes Body By Boyle Online so unique is that he has videos of EVERY exercise included in the programs with specific coaching cues so people watching them get an idea of how they’d be coached if they were at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning (which, if you’ve missed my last couple posts, was recently voted the #1 Gym in America). And, for strength and conditioning professionals and proactive intellectual non-professionals, Boyle also put up a number of information-based videos details his philosophies on various aspects of training and giving an inside look to his staff meetings.

The site officially opened to the public today (October 6th) at 9:00 am, and they reserved a special price for the first 500 subscribers (which will inevitably be reached within the first 24 hours).  I highly recommend you check out the site at the link below. If it’s not for you, it’s not for you, but this is the first time that programs of this quality have been so readily accessible for EVERYONE, that you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t at least look into it.

>> Body By Boyle Online <<

To your success,

Kevin Neeld

Please enter your first name and email below to sign up for my FREE Athletic Development and Hockey Training Newsletter!

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.