At Endeavor Fitness, our Summer Hockey Training Programs just started. One of the kids in my Pro Hockey Group, that I have Monday-Thursday for 2 hours, felt lightheaded and sick about 90 minutes into the 2nd training session of the first week. This is somewhat common as deconditioned athletes jump back into intense regimented training.
Having said that, feeling sick should never be a training goal. There’s nothing funny or boast-worthy about working to the point of throwing up. It’s pathetic that some coaches encourage this. I’ll clear up any confusion here: The training effect you get from pushing yourself to the point of projectile sickness is NOT better (and is, in fact, worse) than the training effect you get if you stop prior to this point.
So when my athlete hit the point that he thought he may be sick, I shut him down for the day. He was disappointed that he couldn’t finish the session. I helped him understand that it was Day 2, and he had plenty of time to make the progress he wanted. He basically had the option of being in one of two places:
1) He could be deconditioned, or
2) He could be deconditioned and sick
It’s that simple.
The take home messages:
1) If you’re training to the point of sickness you’re doing yourself a disservice.
2) If your coach takes pride in pushing you to the point of sickness, find a new coach.
Smart hockey training revolves around appropriate starting points and progressions.
– Kevin Neeld
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.