This is an overview of factors contributing to performance from a presentation I gave to a group of youth hockey players a few years back.
The message here is that performance at any moment will be the result of how you’ve prepared yourself physically (how well-trained you are), how you’ve fueled yourself (not only the day of the performance, but also in the days, weeks and months leading up to it), and how diligent you’ve been with your recovery to help the body positively adapt to training/practice loads.
A few examples we spoke about:
1️⃣ If you’re a highly skilled player, but find you never quite have the time to use your skills, it may be that your speed isn’t adequate to allow you to demonstrate your skill sets. This would be a training fix. You can train to improve your speed and that will improve your performance.
2️⃣ If you’re training really hard and working hard on the ice, but you skip breakfast and then eat chips and skittles for lunch, this will impair your energy levels headed into every training session, so you won’t be able to train as hard as you could if you ate better, and you may be missing key resources like protein that your body uses to help build and repair muscle, so you won’t improve as much either. This would be a nutrition fix.
3️⃣ Lastly, if you do everything right from a training and nutrition standpoint, but you only get 6 hours of sleep because you stay up late on social media every night, your performance will suffer.
All three of these things are incredibly important, and if you’re doing really well in one area, the goal should be to identify opportunities to improve in the others.
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,
P.S. For more information on in- and off-season program design, training and reconditioning for injured players, and integrating sports science into a comprehensive training process, check out Optimizing Adaptation & Performance
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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.