Just a friendly reminder that this is the last week to save 39% on my new book Speed Training for Hockey.

Speed Training for Hockey is a ~150 page book that dissects every essential element to improving on-ice speed, including topics ranging from land-based acceleration work to optimal skating technique, strength training for increased rate of force development, and even the in-game tactical aspects of hockey speed.

The book includes three 12-week off-season training programs designed for players in the U-14 (PeeWees), 14-18 (Bantams & Midgets), and 18+ (Juniors and College) age groups.

These programs integrate all of the information in the book to provide you with everything you need to maximize your speed development AND your ability to repeat high-speed efforts consistently over the course of a game.

The programs are accompanied by a video database, so you can see exactly how to correctly perform all of the exercises, and tips on how to make adjustments if you’re missing certain pieces of equipment.

Get your copy here >> Speed Training for Hockey

One of the biggest misconceptions in off-ice speed training is that players simply need to run more sprints to get faster. While on- and off-ice speed correlate, a deeper look at the movement characteristics of skating will allow players to train using methods that will have a better transfer to on-ice speed than sprinting at max speed.

Last week, I had an article published on Athletes Acceleration called Speed Training Methods for Hockey that dives into this very issue.

The article discusses:

  • Physical characteristics essential for developing speed on the ice, and how these differ from developing off-ice speed
  • How sprinting patterns change with distance and how this affects the transfer to on-ice speed
  • Three training implications to maximize on-ice speed through off-ice training

The article even touches on the relationship between the release of Nicholas Cage movies and the number of people that drown in swimming pools!

Check it out here: Speed Training Methods for Hockey

To your success,

Kevin Neeld
HockeyTransformation.com
OptimizingMovement.com
UltimateHockeyTraining.com

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With the release of Speed Training for Hockey, I realize you may have some questions about the book and program. Check out the Q&A below, and if I missed anything, feel free to ask your question(s) by responding to this email:

What exactly is Speed Training for Hockey?

    Speed Training for Hockey is a 150-page book that dissects all aspects of speed development for ice hockey players. It includes three 12-week training programs for players in the U-14, 14-18, and 18+ age groups, and a video database of all the exercises included in the programs.

*You can choose to order either a physical or digital copy of the book. When you order, you’ll receive immediate access to a digital version of the book (including the programs) and the video database.

Save 39% on your copy here: Speed Training for Hockey

Is this more for strength and conditioning coaches or for hockey coaches, players, and parents?

    While performance coaches will benefit from reading the book, Speed Training for Hockey is written specifically for hockey coaches, players, and parents. The goal was to give players highly effective off-ice speed training programs, all of the resources they need to implement the program specifically, and powerful tips on how to maximize speed on the ice.

What if I don’t know how to perform the exercises?

    The video database has a demonstration of each exercise within the program, and the book includes a section outlining the most powerful coaching cues I use regularly with hockey players to maximize the safety and effectiveness of each exercise.

What if I don’t have the equipment needed to do the program?

    There is a section in the book specifically devoted to answering this question. In short, almost every exercise can be substituted with an alternative without losing the effectiveness/intent of the original exercise. The book provides alternative options for the most common equipment limitations.

Does the program include conditioning work?

    This is a GREAT question. It doesn’t matter how fast you are if you can’t repeat high speed efforts consistently. Conditioning for this repeat sprint ability requires specific methods and strategies that differ drastically from what most players do to “get in shape.” These methods are integrated within the training programs, so players can maximize both their speed, and their consistency.

Is this a one-time purchase or are their recurring payments?

    This is a one-time purchase. When you buy Speed Training for Hockey, you get the book, training programs, and the video database so you can download all of them and refer to them again and again.

What if I want the physical book and a digital copy?

   That’s easy – when you buy a physical copy of the book, you ALSO receive a digital copy. Some people (myself included) prefer to have a hard copy of the book, but digital versions are easier to search for specific things. So if you don’t mind paying for shipping, you can get both versions, physical and digital, for the same base cost as only buying the digital version.

Save 39% on your copy here: Speed Training for Hockey

To your success,

Kevin Neeld
HockeyTransformation.com
OptimizingMovement.com
UltimateHockeyTraining.com

Enter your first name and email below to sign up for my FREE Athletic Development and Hockey Training Newsletter!

Since publishing Ultimate Hockey Training in 2011, I received three specific pieces of feedback repeatedly.

The first was a request for programs.

    This is pretty straight forward. For many hockey coaches, players, and parents, they just wanted to know exactly what to do, not necessarily all the “whys”.

    And for performance coaches, seeing programs helps provide visual examples of how all the pieces fit together.

The second was a question that came up over and over – “What do I need to do to get quicker/faster?”

    As the game continues to get faster, speed becomes a huge factor in whether players are able to successfully compete at a certain level.

    A general strength and conditioning program will likely be helpful for most people, there are definitely specific considerations if a player’s primary goal is to improve speed.

Lastly, many of the hockey coaches, players, and parents wanted simpler language.

    Here’s the thing – I really wrote Ultimate Hockey Training for “performance” professionals. There was a lot of foundational science and industry “lingo” that was tough to follow without a background in kinesiology/exercise science.

I said in my last email that I really appreciated your feedback, and I meant it.

In fact, your feedback led directly to the creation of Speed Training for Hockey.

Save 39% on your copy here: Speed Training for Hockey

My goal in writing Speed Training for Hockey was simple…

Put together a comprehensive resource on all topics related to speed development for hockey written in language that can be easily understood by hockey coaches, players, and parents.

In Speed Training for Hockey, you’ll learn:

  • Age-specific training strategies to help optimize speed across different stages of development
  • Technique tips for improving speed both off and on the ice
  • Simple tests to identify range of motion limitations that will prevent you from getting into your ideal skating position
  • The specific physical qualities that you need to develop to maximize your speed potential
  • The most effective foundational nutrition and recovery methods to help you compete at high speeds consistently
  • Powerful strategies to help maximize your game-speed and give you a competitive advantage over your competition

Get your copy here: Speed Training for Hockey

    And to take the guesswork completely out of this process, you’ll also get access to three 12-week off-season training programs designed for players in the U-14 (PeeWees), 14-18 (Bantams & Midgets), and 18+ (Juniors and College) age groups.

    These programs integrate all of the information in the book to provide you with everything you need to maximize your speed development AND your ability to repeat that high-speed efforts consistently over the course of a game.

    This includes warm-up, speed/acceleration, power, strength, conditioning, and flexibility work, all specifically designed to make players faster.

    The programs are accompanied by a video database, so you can see exactly how to correctly perform all of the exercises, and tips on how to make adjustments if you’re missing certain pieces of equipment.

    Simply, short of including a power skating coach, Speed Training for Hockey includes everything you need to maximize your speed development.

And for the next two weeks, you can save over 39% on your copy by clicking the link below!

Get your copy here: Speed Training for Hockey

As always, feel free to post any questions you may have below.

To your success,

Kevin Neeld
HockeyTransformation.com
OptimizingMovement.com
UltimateHockeyTraining.com

Enter your first name and email below to sign up for my FREE Athletic Development and Hockey Training Newsletter!

Last week, I hopped on the phone with Joe Heiler to do an interview for the 2016 Sports Rehab to Sports Performance Teleseminar. If you haven’t signed up for the series, go do that now. It’s completely FREE, and every year the speakers deliver great content.

Register here: 2016 Sports Rehab to Sports Performance Teleseminar

As is almost always the case in these types of interviews, Joe sent over a list of topics for us to dig through…and as is ALWAYS the case…I got hopped up on coffee and ended up going on a long-winded rant about hockey hip injuries, what imaging does and does not tell you, how I approach the screening and program design process, and the outcome of another case study of a kid limping into our facility convinced he needed surgery immediately.

That is to say, we didn’t get an opportunity to talk about speed and power training, topics I’m equally passionate about. With that in mind, I thought I’d take the opportunity to share a few important considerations for hockey-specific speed and power training.

Hockey-Specific Speed and Power Training

Hockey is really an interesting sport because it lives across the entire strength-speed to speed-strength, or what I refer to as the high-load low-velocity to low-load high-velocity continuum.

Skating in open ice and shooting are two examples of where training the middle to higher velocity ends of that continuum are really beneficial, but when players are delivering or accepting contact or battling for pucks in corners, they really need the high load, low-velocity end as well.

Force-Velocity-Curve

Image Credit: Here

From a training standpoint, we’ve always used sprints from a variety of starting positions, plyometrics, med ball throws and Olympic lift variations as part of our speed and power efforts. If you view these purely from a speed of movement standpoint, Olympic lift variations will fall closer to the strength-speed/power side of the curve, plyometrics will live in the power/speed-strength area, and med ball throws and sprint work will fall closer to the speed end of the continuum.

Side Standing Med Ball Scoop. Video taken from Ultimate Hockey Transformation

Obviously, the load you use for all of these exercises, but especially the Olympic lifts, can shift where you are on the curve. With the O-lifts, if you’re near your max load for any given lift and rep range, you’ll be closer to the strength-speed side of the curve.

 

 

Similarly, different starting positions can slightly shift the emphasis. For example, 1/2 kneeling starts require more force to get up and out of the start, and will therefore be slower than standing variations (2-point, side standing, etc.). This isn’t a bad thing, but if your training day is geared toward maximal velocity and 1/2 kneeling positions look slow, it may be worth shifting to a standing position.

Lateral 1/2 Kneeling Start. Video taken from Ultimate Hockey Transformation

 

 

Both of these variations have a place in off-season programs, but this version will lead to quicker initial accelerations. Video taken from Ultimate Hockey Transformation

 

 

Top End Speed Work isn’t Hockey-Specific

The nature of skating requires a few special considerations. It’s easy to see that hockey requires a lot of movement in the frontal and transverse planes, so training should reflect that.

It might not be quite as obvious, but the ground contact times are drastically longer (leading to a larger impulse –  the cumulative amount of force produced over the duration of a stride) in skating compared to running.

I’ve talked a lot about why I don’t think the overwhelming majority of ladder drills should be considered speed training for anyone, but especially hockey players. Moving the feet really quickly without moving the body very far is not speed training.

But I also don’t think top end speed sprinting drills, which are characterized by more of a rapid sweeping motion, are even remotely specific to the long duration pushing motion of skating.

Appreciate both the cadence of Bolt’s strides as well as how long his foot is on the ground

Note how much longer Larkin’s skate is in contact with the ice compared to Bolt’s foot, and how much slower the cadence is.
Longer duration and max speed sprints carry a higher injury risk for almost every athlete, but hockey players are typically terrible runners, so the risk of something breaking is even higher.

Shorter duration acceleration drills are much more specific to the hockey stride and also carry a drastically reduced injury concern. I can count on exactly zero hands the number of quad and hip flexor strains I’ve seen in sprints under 20 yards.

Programming Considerations

One of the biggest changes we’ve made since I first started is we’ve moved to more a block periodization model from a more concurrent model a few years ago. This simply means that if we have a training phase or training day within a phase with the primary target of influencing speed-strength, the entire training day we’ll be designed around that quality, so we may use methods like contrast training and low load lifts performed for as many reps as possible within a set time frame.

We’ll also keep our conditioning consistent with the energy system focus of the day, so athletes may be running series of short sprints with long rest intervals, whereas in the past there wasn’t that level of continuity. In the past, players may have had a high dose of sprints or med ball throws in the beginning, then grinded through some heavy lifts, and then, depending on the time of the off-season, done more lactic-based conditioning.

The block periodization approach sends a clearer message to your body about how you want it to adapt and therefore will lead to larger increases in the target quality. This is especially important for athletes with a higher training age that are passed the “everything works” phase of their development.

Wrap Up

Hockey challenges an exceptionally broad range of athleticism. When developing speed and power, it’s important to consider the full spectrum of the force-velocity curve. Specific areas of the curve can be targeted using a block periodization approach, based on the specific needs of the individual. Off-ice speed training programs should be designed with a full understanding of the uniqueness of the skating stride and the specificity that will lead to the best on-ice transfer, as well as the methods that carry the lowest injury risk.

To your success,

Kevin Neeld
HockeyTransformation.com
OptimizingMovement.com
UltimateHockeyTraining.com

P.S. Take the guess work out of training for speed this off-season and start using a proven program now: Ultimate Hockey Transformation

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Get Ultimate Hockey Transformation Now!

Year-round age-specific hockey training programs complete with a comprehensive instructional video database!

Ultimate Hockey Transformation Pro Package-small

Get access to your game-changing program now >> Ultimate Hockey Transformation

“Kevin Neeld is one of the top 5-6 strength and conditioning coaches in the ice hockey world.”
– Mike Boyle, Head S&C Coach, US Women’s Olympic Team

“…if you want to be the best, Kevin is the one you have to train with”
– Brijesh Patel, Head S&C Coach, Quinnipiac University