Hockey Development Resources

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Today I wanted to share a few hockey training and development resources I came across last week that I thought were pretty interesting. I don’t necessarily agree with everything being said in these articles or videos, but I think it’s great that more people are talking about these topics. Check them out below!

Save Our Game by Josh Levine at

This is another piece condemning all the craziness that characterizes youth sports today. While it reads a little bit like an angry rant (…I like that), Josh brings up several great points. Early specialization doesn’t work in open-loop team sports, and when you build a culture around early talent identification you drive an overemphasis on outcomes instead of behaviors. Ultimately, this system rewards early¬†developers, not necessarily those that will achieve elite levels in the future. Probably more significantly, it’s a lot less fun for the kids!

Hockey Development Resistance from me

This is an article I wrote a couple years ago that is just as applicable today as it was then. This continues to be one of the most popular articles I’ve ever written, probably because there is so much interest (and misunderstanding) around the athletic development process.

Late specialization: the key to success in centimeters, grams, or seconds (cgs) sports by Moesch K, et al

This is a research paper that provides more evidence against early specialization. The interesting thought alluded to in the abstract is that the truly elite train harder than their peers during late adolescence. This raises the question about why the non-elite peers didn’t train as hard. It’s easy to imagine how physical and psychological burnout could play a role here, at least in our country.

Exton Bulls U-14 Video

Despite this being right around the corner from where I grew up, I don’t know anything about the Exton Bulls organization. That said, when I came across this video there was a lot this guy had to say that made a lot of sense to me. I’m excited to see some youth hockey organizations making changes to their structure based on best practice, not the “this is what I did as a kid and it worked for me” rationale. Hopefully this becomes more the norm than the exception as the next 10 years unfold.

Why Some Of Your Hockey Training Should Be Asymmetrical from Maria Mountain

Switching gears a bit, my friend Maria Mountain recently took her first course from the Postural Restoration Institute and wrote a nice summary of how these concepts apply to hockey players and what players may feel on the ice that could be a result of predictable patterns of asymmetry. She also includes videos of a couple of the exercises that I use with a lot of our athletes. This is a topic that I’m very interested in and as I’ve dug further down the rabbit hole, I’m starting to realize how any input to our sensory system can influence body-wide patterns. Still a lot to learn, but I really liked Maria’s article because she makes the complex seem simple, a sign of a great teacher!

Top 5 Best Hockey Games Ever

This is a video I recently posted on Facebook. I remember watching the VHS recorded version of this game over and over when I was a kid. Unbelievable finish, with two of my favorite players of all time deciding the outcome. The video quality isn’t great, but Forsberg, as a 20-year old, won a Gold Medal for Sweden in one of the best (and ballsiest!) moves in Olympic history (at least the part of history I’ve been alive for), and Tommy Salo made an unbelievable save on Paul Kariya, who was my favorite player growing up. An exciting finish to one of the most exciting games I’ve ever seen!

To your success,

Kevin Neeld

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