I hope you’ve had a great week. It’s been a bit of a change of pace here as our nights have slowed down because a lot of our kids are away at camps or vacations. The downtime has been great to dive a little deeper into some of the manual therapy work I’ve been learning over the last few weeks. Never a dull moment!

I have a few exciting posts coming up in the next couple of weeks so stay tuned for those. This past week was also a bit of change as I featured primarily the work of other people. It was probably a welcomed changed if you’ve been reading my ramblings for the last several months! Check out what you’ve been missing in the world of Hockey Strength and Conditioning.

  1. Hockey Training Stuff You Should Read
  2. Early Development and Peak Performance

We’ve also added some new content at our Hockey Strength and Conditioning membership site.

Darryl Nelson added a video of an exercise he uses with his players that have an upper body injury that prevents them from doing cleans. I really like the concept here, and it will likely be something I use in the future. I may tweak the performance of it slightly more so it’s more of a traditional clean movement (e.g. bar/weight path), but tough to say without really having tried it.

Click here to watch the video >> 1-Arm Cleans

I added a new article on the visual system based on information I’ve primarily learned from Pete Friesen with the Hurricanes and the book “See to Play” from Dr. Michael Peters, who is an optometrist that works with the Hurricanes (among other teams). I’m excited that Dr. Peters has agreed to do an interview for us in the near future as his book was PACKED with really valuable, interesting information that I think will benefit all of you. In the meantime, this article introduces a few concepts of how the complexities of the visual system can affect performance and recommends a couple great resources to find more information.

Click here to read the article >> Looking Deeper Into the Visual System

Speaking of Coach Friesen, we also added a notice about the 2012 Friesen PhysioFitness Summit. I had a great time at this a few years back and took a lot of notes. Unfortunately, the majority of my continuing education and travel schedule is booked for the rest of the year so I won’t be able to make it, but I highly recommend you make the attempt if you’re a fitness or rehab professional.

Click here for more information >> Friesen PhysioFitness Summit

Also, you can check out the recap article I wrote about a few of the major topics I learned at the one I attended!

Click here to read >> Friesen Physio-Fitness Summit Recap

We have a few good forum discussions going that are worth checking out as well. When you log in, make sure you check out:

  1. Programming Questions
  2. Conditioning
  3. Psoas Specific Work
  4. Volume Control

Sean Skahan, Darryl Nelson, and Mike Potenza have provided a ton of great feedback to the members that have asked questions and I’ve learned quite a bit from both our members and the exchange with Sean, Darryl and Mike.

That’s a wrap for today. As always, if you aren’t a member yet, I encourage you to try out Hockey Strength and Conditioning for a week. It’ll only cost $1, and if it’s not the best buck you’ve ever spent, I’ll personally refund you!

To your success,

Kevin Neeld

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Sidney Crosby’s concussion has been the cause of a bit of a stir within the hockey community. There has been an ongoing fear that Crosby, arguably the best player in the world, may be forced into an early retirement due to recurring symptoms from a concussion. Maybe on a larger scale, Crosby represents a larger problem in sports medicine in that a lot of athletes from different sports have suffered from longstanding concussion symptoms and there don’t appear to be easily identifiable solutions to these problems.

The Penguins recently posted a video from a press conference with Crosby and two of his doctors, Dr. Michael Collins and Dr. Ted Carrick, discussing his recovery process. The doctors do a great job of discussing his recovery and their approach to his rehabilitation.

Check out the video below:

One of the worst things a player can do is rush back too quickly. I picked up an alarming statistic from Dr. Josh Bloom at Pete Friesen’s Physio-Fitness Summit a couple years ago that 75% and 92% of repeat concussions occur within 7 and 10 days of the original incident, respectively. The recovery process and severity of symptoms tends to become increasingly worse with repeat incidences, which could be prevented with a more conservative return to play strategy. Understanding the nature of these repeat injuries has certainly been an instrumental part in prolonging the return to play recommendations. The doctors allude to the appropriate return to play process, but the general progression is:

  1. Sit out the remainder of the game
  2. No symptoms at rest
  3. No symptoms with light activity (aerobic only; no resistance training)
  4. No symptoms with more intense training
  5. No symptoms with non-contact sports participation
  6. No symptoms with controlled contact sports participation
  7. Return to play

In reality, most hockey players probably skip #1, half-ass #2, and then jump right to #7. Contrary to common practice, headaches are not supposed to be a normal part of the game, and the decision of whether or not a player is fit to play should never be left to the player, ESPECIALLY at the youth levels. Youth players simply don’t understand the severity if these injuries and will always err on the side of their competitiveness. It’s important that these injuries be taken seriously at ALL levels of play. The long-term implications can be severe and certainly warrant a more cautious approach than what has traditionally been taken. While no one would wish Crosby’s symptoms on anyone, I hope that his injury will bring an increased level of awareness to the severity of traumatic head injuries and that quality information will trickle down to youth, junior, college, and semi-pro levels where the quality of care may not be as thorough as what Crosby has access to.

To your health and success,

Kevin Neeld

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I have a lot of updates for you from the past week. For starters, on Wednesday I gave a 45-minute presentation titled “Hockey Hip Assessments: An in-depth look at structural abnormalities and common hip injuries” that will be available at two of my favorite membership sites: Anthony Renna’s Strength and Conditioning Webinars and Joe Heiler’s Sports Rehab Expert. In the presentation, I went over the exact hip assessments we use at Endeavor, what we’ve found in the ~40 elite level athletes we’ve tested over the last couple of months, how we approach training around structural abnormalities, and what steps we can take to prevent soft-tissue injuries around the hips. Valuable info for anyone in the hockey training world.

My friend Pete Friesen, the long-time Head Trainer/Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Carolina Hurricanes, recently sent me an email about this year’s Friesen Physio-Fitness Summit. Last year, David Lasnier and I drove down to Raleigh for the event and it was awesome. Pete put together an incredible line-up of speakers, and gave each a 30-minute time slot, which allowed us to soak up a lot of information from different professionals in a single day. The line-up for this year’s event looks even better. If you’re interested, this year’s summit is Saturday August 13th, and is probably the lease expensive 1-day seminar of this quality I’ve ever come across. Check out the brochure at the link below:

2011 Friesen PhysioFitness Summit

Getting into this week’s updates in hockey strength and conditioning, Darryl Nelson posted Phase 3 of his U-17 Off-Season Training Program. If you’re interested in how guys that train hockey players for a living design programs or just want to follow along at home, check out the program at the link below:

Click here for the program >> Summer Program Phase 3 from Darryl Nelson

Mike Potenza posted a youth core training program. Whether you train youth hockey players (or are a youth hockey player) or not, this is a great line-up of quality core exercises. Most of these exercises will be foreign to the majority of the youth hockey world, which still seems to be stuck in the stone age of core training (e.g. crunches/sit-ups, “Russian” twists, supermans, etc.), so Mike posted videos of everything. Great stuff as always from Mike.

Click here for the program/videos: Youth Core Training Program Phase 1 from Mike Potenza

Sean Skahan added a terrific article on the importance of training in improving a player’s durability. This article really resonated with me because I think it speaks to the rationale for a focused training effort even from the players that don’t have a history of injuries, but do have a history of incredible on-ice success. In other words, when the super-talented say, “I don’t need to train”, Sean’s article provides a great insight into why they do. I’m fortunate that I get to work with a lot of young high school players that are en route to D1 hockey programs, a few of which will probably make careers out of playing at some level of pro. Invariably, training and/or making dietary changes is a new and potentially undesirable experience for them. With these kids, I make an effort to educate them on the benefits, from both a short- and long-term performance and injury prevention standpoint, of getting their act together in terms of off-ice training and improving their nutrition. The habits players develop will allow them to succeed up to a given point, at which point they need to be refined. It’s likely that every player has areas they can improve on, and that these improvements will help them take their game to the next level, or at least allow them to compete at their current level for prolonged periods of time. Because Sean gets players from all backgrounds (e.g. US colleges, Canadian major junior, US juniors, overseas, etc.), he has a unique perspective on the quality of the off-ice development systems of these various organizations. Check out the article at the link below:

Click here for the article >> It’s All About Durability from Sean Skahan

As always, if you aren’t a member yet, I encourage you to try out Hockey Strength and Conditioning for a week. It’ll only cost $1, and if it’s not the best buck you’ve ever spent, I’ll personally refund you!

To your continued success,

Kevin Neeld

P.S. If you’re involved with youth hockey and are looking for an off-ice training program, check out my Off-Ice Performance Training Course! I continue to get great feedback from players, parents, and coaches just like you!

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It’s been a great week at Endeavor. We had a about a half dozen extremely motivated hockey players join our off-season training groups, including Colby Cohen, who came with a bittersweet present.

Bruins Stanley Cup Champion T-Shirt (damn it)

As a Flyers fan, it’s tough to have a Bruins Stanley Cup Champion t-shirt in my office, but I’m happy that Colby got to be a part of their run (6th name from the top on the right hand column).

Speaking of hockey players looking to get better, we’ve added some great content to  Hockey Strength and Conditioning that you’ll want to check out over the weekend.

My friend and long-time Carolina Hurricanes Athletic Trainer and Strength and Conditioning Coach Pete Friesen added a video interview with him on the fitness demands of hockey and highlights some of the things his athletes do in the off-season. Pete’s an awesome guy and has a ton of experience. This was a cool feature.

Check out the video here >> Training with the NHL Carolina Hurricanes from Pete Friesen

Darryl Nelson wrote an article on core training for hockey players. I think the major concepts in Darryl’s article are commonly accepted amongst well-educated hockey strength and conditioning coaches, I don’t think the concepts have trickled down to players, parents, and coaches yet. In other words, the information hasn’t yet reached the populations that need it most. Darryl’s article highlights an important function of the true core (not what most people define it as), and identifies why a few of the most common core exercises can actually be counterproductive. Quick read with powerful implications.

Check out the article here >> Core Training from Darryl Nelson

Sean Skahan added an awesome webinar on in-season training for professional players. Hopefully the title doesn’t mislead you. Sean outlines the importance of in-season training and discusses the goals of in-season training, the components of the program, how he assesses for common movement impairments that predispose players to injuries, and details his progressions for core training, strength work, and power training for hockey players. There is a ton of valuable information in here for hockey training programs at all levels.

Check out the webinar here >> In-Season Training from Sean Skahan

The forums have had some good discussions recently too. As I said last week, because of the quality and timeliness of the training programs we post online, we’re starting to get more semi-pro hockey players signing up as members, using the programs, and posting their questions on the forums. Basically they get access to high quality programs and can have professional hockey strength coaches answer all of their individual questions. Not bad for less than $10/month! I appreciate those of you that have helped spread the word about HockeySC.com. One of the reasons I like training hockey players so much is because they’re dedicated to doing whatever it takes to get better (something Sean pointed out in his webinar…with the help of the Hanson brothers). Unfortunately, most players, parents, and coaches still aren’t aware of the resources available to them, so it’s great to have your support in spreading the word about our site.

As always, if you aren’t a member yet, I recommend trying out the site for $1 Hockey Strength and Conditioning for a week. If it’s not the best buck you’ve ever spent , I’ll personally refund you!

To your continued success,

Kevin Neeld

P.S. Just a friendly reminder that you only have a couple days left until the price jumps up significantly on Maria Mountain’s Ultimate Goalie Training 2.0. If you’re looking for a complete off-ice goalie training program, this is it!

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With 2011 officially upon us, I can’t help but reflect on what a great year 2010 was. A few of the highlights:

  1. We had an extraordinary Summer at Endeavor (awesome to watch Eric Tangradi score his first NHL goal and Colby Cohen play his first NHL game).
  2. I was able to make a trip out to San Jose to spend some time with my friend Mike Potenza, and another trip down to Raleigh to meet Pete Friesen and attend his Physio-Fitness Summit (which I recapped for a HockeyStrengthandConditioning.com article).
  3. My Ultimate Hockey Development Coaching Program was not only a big success, it was a lot of fun to do. The thing I like about doing “interviews” is that I pick up a lot of new stuff too. Joe Heiler, Jeff Cubos, Brijesh Patel and Jared Beach’s talks were especially enlightening to me, but I’ve heard great feedback about all the other talks as well.

  4. Along those same lines, the launch of HockeyStrengthandConditioning.com was particularly exciting. When I was growing up as a player, it was nearly impossible to get access to NHL coaches, players, trainers, etc. Now, the internet has made this exceptionally easy. The fact that you can now make a nominal investment and get immediate access to the guys that have help develop elite level hockey players at all ages doesn’t only appeal to me as a professional, it excites me as a former player. And the networking possibilities are unreal. When I was a senior at the University of Delaware, I wrote a letter to every US-based NHL Strength and Conditioning coaches inquiring about internship opportunities. While I wasn’t able to grab an internship out of their effort, there were a few NHL Strength Coaches that called me and spent some time giving me advice on how to break into the industry (Mike Kadar, who is now with the Pittsburgh Penguins was especially helpful). At HockeyStrengthandConditioning.com, you can post an inquiry on the forum and get responses from many of the top hockey strength and conditionign professionals in the world (including several that work in the NHL or with NHL players). Awesome.
  5. Emily and I made the move from Baltimore to Philadelphia at the end of August. My commute to Endeavor has dwindled to measly 25 minutes from what was a grueling 2 hour trek. It’s still enough time that I can go through an audio book every week, but short enough that I don’t need to wake up at 5:30 and drink 3 coffees and a spike just to make it to work (awake) by 8:30.

And finally, I’ve gotten terrific feedback on many of the posts on this site over the last year. It’s certainly come a long way from when I first started a few years back. As you continue to spread the word about this information to people you know, I continue to get more feedback to cater the content to your interests.

With all that said, here are the top Hockey Development posts of 2010!

7. Hockey Injuries: Sports Hernia Case Study

6. Hockey Training Tip to Prevent Shoulder Injuries

5. Hockey Training with the Vertimax

4. Randy Pausch, Will Smith, Kevin Neeld?

3. Video Reveals Secret to Developing Elite Level Hockey Players!

2. No One Conditions Alone

1. The Truth About Sidney Crosby

To your success,

Kevin Neeld

P.S. If you haven’t yet, go sign up for the 2011 Sports Rehab to Sports Performance Teleseminar. It’s free, and the speaker line-up is incredible!

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