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

Hockey Training: Year-Round Periodization

One of the big mistakes that the most committed youth athletes make is training the same way in-season that they do in the off-season.

These graphs are from a talk I gave at the @nscaofficial Training for Hockey Clinic several years ago and provide an overview of how the emphases on specific physical qualities should change throughout the year. They also highlight the changes in time spent in on-ice and off-ice work throughout the year.

A few key take-homes:

  • Still an emphasis on off-ice work in-season, but lower volume across all qualities compared to off-season
  • Minimal emphasis on additional lactic work and hypertrophy work in-season (helps control soreness and fatigue)
  • Early Off-Season: Major shift away from on-ice work, and focus on restoring range of motion, building muscle (if the player needs it), and developing strength.
  • Mid Off-Season: Still low volume of on-ice work and minimal emphasis on lactic work. Increased focus on speed and power.
  • Late Off-Season: Increased emphasis on on-ice work and lactic conditioning. Decreased emphasis on building muscle and strength with continued focus on speed and power.
  • A lot of ways to break-up the year depending on the needs of the player, but there should be clear shifts in focus throughout the year to maximize progress and minimize risk of over-training, excessive fatigue and soreness.

Feel free to post any comments/questions below. If you found this helpful, please share/re-post it so others can benefit.

To your success,

Kevin Neeld

P.S. If you’re interested in how core training fits into a hockey-specific training program, check out Ultimate Hockey Transformation.

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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.