I hope you had a great week. This has been a really exciting week for me personally. If you follow me on Twitter and/or read this site regularly, you may have noticed that I frequently allude to the fact that there is a lot more to the concussion story than is being recognized. At the beginning of last week, I got the idea of putting together a presentation on the topic, which I had an opportunity to record a few days back. Other than my garbage mic making me sound like a pre-pubescent boy, it came out pretty well. Look for that early next week.

Yesterday I got an email from an old teammate of mine saying he was flipping through a Men’s Fitness while waiting for a haircut and saw a hockey training piece that I wrote. I didn’t even know it was printed! Pick up a copy of the April issue of Men’s Health (see pg 104).

Finally, early in the week I was asked to contribute to a chapter in the new Men’s Health Book of Abs. I’m sincerely humbled to have an opportunity to work on this project and am really looking forward to seeing the finished product. I’ll keep you in the loop as it nears completion.

Just as a final reminder, today is the LAST DAY to test run theĀ Elite Training Mentorship for $1. As I’ve said over the last couple of weeks, to have an opportunity to learn from Eric Cressey, Mike Robertson, BJ Gaddour, and Dave Schmitz for a buck is a no-brainer. Eric and Mike are two guys I’ve regularly looked to for great training information over the last 5 years. I still bounce ideas off Eric on a regular basis. I’m really happy these guys are doing this. Any way their information can reach more people is a positive in my book. Check out this link for more information: Elite Training Mentorship

On to this week’s hockey training updates…

If you haven’t already, check out these posts from the last two weeks:

  1. Athletic Development Things You Should Read
  2. Elite Training Mentorship
  3. Metabolic Training (Free Video!)
  4. Dissecting Muscle Function: Force Production
  5. Dissecting Muscle Function: Influence

We’ve been busy at Hockey Strength and Conditioning over the last two weeks.

To kick things off, I added our final youth program of the year. The focus of this program changes somewhat drastically toward more mobility and regeneration work in the interest of recovery. The goal is to taper and generally unload the body so that the kids can hit the playoffs full steam ahead. Now is not the time to push off the ice; it’s more a time to showcase the hard work the players have been putting in over the season.

Get the program here >> 2-Day In-Season Training Program: Phase 5

Darryl Nelson added a video of what I would classify as a low load high velocity power exercise. These types of exercises have a lot of carryover to different components of hockey, but I generally frame it within the context of shooting. High speed hip rotation and core transfer are two keys to shooting power.

Watch the video here >> Medicine Ball Baseball Pitcher

Anthony Donskov wrote a terrific piece on the state of youth hockey. This is a message that I don’t think can be shouted too frequently. Things are NOT okay in youth sports, and youth hockey has been one of the front-runners in leading the craziness. I’m proud of USA Hockey for stepping up and taking serious action to help right the ship with their new ADM model. Ultimately, though, it’s up to us-coaches, parents, educators, etc. to adopt what they’ve put forth. Anthony’s article is filled with a lot of simple facts about the odds of a youth player reaching the pro ranks, and has guidelines for 60-minute practice that maximize development and fun. This is a MUST READ!

Read the article here >> Adult Values + Child Activities = Burnout

Mike Potenza added a video with two interesting exercises. Both strike me as great ways to train and/or test (or “audit”) multi-segmental stability. I’m looking forward to playing around with these over the next couple weeks and potentially mixing them in to future programs.

Watch the video here >> Leaning Tower

Sean Skahan wrapped things up with an All-Star Break Program. This is a great program for those in youth hockey to look at, not to simply steal it and use it as is, but because the program is built around body weight exercises. The only pieces of equipment this player had was a foam roller and stability ball. In all of the years I’ve worked training youth teams, I’ve only had any appreciable equipment for this past season. It’s important that these players to learn how to move properly and to get a training effect, both of which can be accomplished with relatively basic body weight exercises if they’re programmed and coached well. Sean’s program is a good template for that.

Get the program here >> All-Star Break Program

Don’t forget to log-in and check out the forum as well. Check out these discussions:

  1. Flexibility Help
  2. Post Game Snack Variety
  3. NHL Concussions
  4. United States Anti-Doping Agency
  5. Hockey Skill Warm-Up Drills
  6. Planning and Periodization for Playoffs

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

P.S. I have lots of great stuff coming your way next week, so make sure you check back. In the mean time, test drive the Elite Training Mentorship and let me know what you think!

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This week has been crazy, both for me at Endeavor (we had about a couple dozen new hockey players start), and over at Hockey Strength and Conditioning. In the last week, we’ve added 6 new articles, programs, and videos, including a couple REALLY great ones from Mike Potenza and Sean Skahan.

Before I get into that, I want to let you know about a new product from my friend Mark Young that some of you may be interested in. As you know, I’m big on using research to design my hockey training programs. Amongst other things, research can provide insight into injury rates and mechanisms, how to correct movement pattern impairments, and more effective program design strategies. Unfortunately, a lot of research is also crap and is almost invariably MISQUOTED by the media. In other words, a lot of the research findings we’re fed are, well, wrong. I had a chance to review Mark’s “How to Read Fitness Research” a few weeks ago and was impressed. He provides a framework to critically analyze research in light of your goals, and presents it without boring you to tears (something I can’t say of some of my old college professors!). This certainly isn’t for everyone, but if you’re a fitness professional, it’s worth looking into. And he’s offering a 40% discount that ends tonight at midnight, so you’ll have to act quick. Click the image/link below for more information.

Click here for more information >> How to Read Fitness Research

On to today’s post on Hockey Strength and Conditioning:

Scap Stability Exercises Part 2 from Mike Potenza
A follow-up from Mike with more videos of scapular stability exercises that hockey players should be doing to keep their shoulders healthy and performing optimally.

Off-Season Weight Gain: Eat that Elephant from me
It’s not what you think…actually maybe it’s exactly what you think (who doesn’t enjoy a delicious elephant steak every now and then?). You’ll have to read to find out. This article provides a birds-eye view of my approach to helping the dozens of players that come through our doors with lofty off-season weight gain goals stay on track and get results.

Youth In-Season Introductory Program from Sean Skahan
This is an addition to our new “Youth Hockey Training Program” feature to HockeySC.com. Sean lays out a great program for youth players and includes videos of all the exercises. The idea with these programs is to provide structure for the thousands of players at the youth level that want to start training, but don’t have access to a well-equipped gym or strength and conditioning coach. Following a program like this from a guy like Sean is certainly a much better approach that perusing the internet and downloading some bodybuilding program from a guy that probably doesn’t train anyone.

Identifying Strength Qualities for Your Training Program from Mike Potenza
This is a monster from Mike. The first time I ever saw Mike, he was presenting at a conference at Northeastern (I think it was the 1st Boston Hockey Summit) and discussing the system he uses for categorizing his athletes based on their training age. It was a brilliant, objective concept and shed some light on the complexities of his job at the NHL level…and some light on how poorly some players train at the youth levels. This articles outlines the qualities that hockey players need to focus on at different training ages and provides a common language for strength and conditioning coaches and hockey coaches. One of the best articles to date.

Grier Persevered to Carve Out Lengthy NHL Career from Mike Potenza
A feature story on Mike Grier that holds a lot of lessons for up and coming hockey players. Potenza, Sean Skahan, and Mike Boyle have all worked with Mike Grier during the off-season. Grier is a great example of what consistent, focused, hard work can get you.

Changes to the In-Season Program from Sean Skahan
This was an awesome article from Sean that highlights some of the difficulties that NHL Strength and Conditioning Coaches face when implementing in-season programs. Sean points out that there are times when he’s more of a “recovery coach” than a “strength coach.” This articles dives into how Sean has made a pretty significant change to the Ducks’ in-season training program this year based on their schedule. Good read.

Remember that the BSMPG is offering HockeySC.com members a $50 discount on admission. It’s cool of them to do it and well worth every penny. Download the coupon at the link below:

>> BSMPG Hockey Symposium Coupon <<

I hope to see you there!

That’s a wrap for today! If you aren’t a member yet, shell out the $1 to test drive 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

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