Random Hockey Training Thoughts

I hope you had a great weekend. This was the first weekend in a month that I’ve been home so it was nice to spend some time with Emily and relax a bit. On Saturday, Emily and I “doubled” with David Lasnier and his ladyfriend at Raw, my favorite sushi place in Philadelphia. Because of the company, David refrained from rolling all of the wasabi into one big clump and eating it whole.

I just assume this is common behavior in Canada

Last weekend I had an opportunity to attend an invite-only symposium on USA Hockey’s American Development Model. They did a great job bringing in speakers from different sports, countries, and disciplines, and I couldn’t say enough good things about the direction USA Hockey is going in general. In a few upcoming posts, I’ll explain more about the state of youth hockey, what USA Hockey is hoping to do, and what you can do to help. In the meantime, it’s been a while since I’ve done a “random thoughts” post and there are a lot of little things I want to share with you.

  1. I get questions about supplements ALL the time, usually from kids that eat like crap and have been “educated” (I use that term VERY loosely) by fellow high school students. Supplements can be very beneficial, but as an athletic society, we need to do a better job of educating our youth on the performance enhancing benefits of proper eating. I think kids view supplements as the key to performance enhancement, and eating a quality diet just as a means of improving general health, which they have no utility for as they’ve never suffered any consequences of impaired health (these things come much later in life). Often times, the best strategies for building muscle, facilitating recovery, and ensuring adequate energy to train and perform at a high intensity are found in pretty basic eating and hydration strategies that don’t require supplements.
  2. If you’re a high school player, it’s safe to say that EVERYTHING you’ve been told from your buddies about supplements is wrong.
  3. Speaking of misinformation, I’m amazed at the amount of garbage that is perpetrated as “goalie-specific training” for hockey goalies. Luckily, Maria Mountain has really stepped up as a CREDIBLE expert in this area and has done an outstanding job of providing goalies with training advice that will actually make them better. If you’re a goalie and haven’t heard of Maria, you’re spending more time pulling pucks out of your net than you should be. Check out her site here: Hockey Training Pro
  4. Citrulline Malate may be the most effective supplement you’ve never heard of. Dr. Mike Roussell first brought this to my attention at a seminar over the Summer and it’s definitely worth looking into. He recently wrote a great review of it on Joel Jamieson’s site here: Citrulline Malate – Your Key to Winning In the Last Round?
  5. Dave Ritter and Anne Davis, two presenters at USA Hockey’s ADM Symposium from the US Tennis Association recommended two NY Times articles that I had an opportunity to read through last week. They were just long enough to test my attention span, but I’m glad I worked my way through to the end. Both question current trends/thoughts in our country in the areas of athletic development and success. Check them out here: What if the Secret to Success is Failure?, How to Grow a Super-Athlete
  6. I’m always on the prowl for new resources. Recently I’ve found myself looking to these 4 guys more and more for new information or a different look at program design/implementation: Joel Jamieson’s 8 Weeks Out, Cal Dietz’s XL Athlete, Jim Snider’s Neuro Explosion, and Kyle Bangen’s Bangen Athletic Development
  7. Have you ever watched a mite or squirt hockey practice and noticed that the coach seems to be yelling more than teaching? Those kids should be having fun the ENTIRE time they’re on the ice. Similarly, the COACH should be having fun the entire time. If you don’t like kids, don’t coach them!
  8. With the popularity Facebook has enjoyed, it seems like every industry is trying to develop their own social media site. I can’t tell you how many requests I’ve received to join DIFFERENT business referral sites! Do we really need a social media site for people to say, “I think you should go train with Kevin at Endeavor”? Inevitably, the industry will overgrow before dying back down to a few reasonable, valuable resources. A local group has started a sports-driven site called UR Sports Page that I think may survive the process. Great idea to provide an exclusive site just for athletes.
  9. Core training continues to be a hot topic in athletic development and fitness crowds alike. Naturally, this means that a lot of people will fall victim (e.g. waste their time and money) to unscrupulous marketers making amazing claims about the crap they peddle. It’s great to see that Mike Robertson has spent the time and energy to put together a quality core training resource. If you haven’t been following Mike’s work over the last week, check out these posts: Should You Crunch?, Should You Crunch? Part 2, My Core Training Story. I know he has some other great posts planned for this week too. Click any of the links above to head over to his site now, read through the content and sign up for his webinar “Complete Core Training”. It’s free!

That’s a wrap for today. Check back in a couple days for a few interesting insights into the chicken and egg cycle with postural adaptations and goalie-specific performance.

To your success,

Kevin Neeld

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