Hockey Training Tips

Sometimes things don’t always go as planned. I always say that my “programs” are really just templates because we constantly have to adapt things based on a player’s needs and abilities.

As much as I love (and all of our players loathe) Bunkie Side Planks (I talk about this in a previous post: Hockey Core Training Exercises), players with elbow or shoulder problems have a hard time getting into this position. In an effort to find other ways to get a similar training effect, I’ve had to design “bunkie alternatives” for these players. The adductor->opposite side oblique connection is hard to mimic, so we generally just use a 2-way med ball crush to get the adductor stress we want (on your back with knees maximally flexed and on your stomach with knees extended). The lateral stabilization system can be trained easily from an upright position. By standing on one leg, you challenge the lateral hip musculature of the stance leg. By holding a dumbbell in the opposite hand and standing up tall, you activate the obliques and quadratus lumborum on the side opposide to the dumbbell. Viewed together, you’re training the entire lateral stabilization system on the side opposite of the dumbbell, just like in one of the 2-Way Bunkie Side Planks.

Upright Lateral Bunkie

As players reach higher levels, they need to interact with the media more. While some players seem to pick up this skill pretty easily, I think we should be making a greater effort to coach our players on how to conduct themselves in interview situations. Here’s a quick “how-to” for players approaching elite levels:

We work with a lot of young players at Endeavor. After a training session that concluded with squat holds (an infinitely more beneficial alternative to the all-too-commonly-used “wall sit”), one of our other coaches mentioned that many of the players descended into a squat position that looked more like a reaction to getting hit between the shoulder blades with a  high speed wind (my words, not his) than a controlled squatting motion. I suggested that he use this little trick to help force them into a quality squatting posture.

Squat with Hands on Wall

Intensity is everything. It doesn’t matter how well-written the training program is, if you go through it half-ass you aren’t going to get the results you want (although you will get the ones you deserve). I can tell when players are really focused when they start to get that sick look in their eyes.

Rotational Incline Cable Press

Side Standing Med Ball Scoop with Partner Toss

To your success,

Kevin Neeld

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