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

Individualizing Training in Group Settings

There are a lot of different approaches to individualizing training in group settings.

First, it’s important to recognize that attempts to improve the program shouldn’t get in the way of being able to run it. There are very real logistical and cultural barriers to running what you may envision as the most “optimal” program. The goal here is to start making SUBTLE adjustments to address individual needs.

Here are a few strategies I’ve used in the past:

  • Systemize “corrective” work. Post sheets on the wall or on a digital display that has the individuals name (or jersey number) with a list of what you want them to do, and another sheet with pictures to serve as cues.
  • Make any exercise selection adjustments you want on the actual program display, and reinforce that the athletes should reference that (not just follow someone and do what they do)
  • If your facility requires progressing through set stations like an assembly line, divide the stations up by goal (e.g. strength emphasis vs. speed emphasis) and program goal-specific exercise variations that can be performed in the same areas.
  • Teach A LOT up front, and then encourage the members/athletes most experienced in your system to teach newer/younger athletes. This provides built in support for you and a leadership/growth opportunity for them.

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 more information about how to profile an athlete’s needs and use the profile to individualize a training program, check out the videos at Optimizing Adaptation & Performance

Enter your first name and email below to sign up for my FREE Sports Performance 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.