This Week in Hockey Strength and Conditioning

What a week! This week we kicked off our off-season training for some of the Team Comcast youth hockey organization at our mini-facility in their rink in Pennsauken and we had several more players trickle back in to Endeavor to start preparing for next year. On top of that, yesterday I threw the gear on for the first time in too long and skated with David Lasnier a few of the junior players that we train. It felt good to get back out there!

It’s been a while since my last Hockey Strength and Conditioning Update, so hopefully you’ve been keeping up with everything. Over the last couple weeks, I’ve added an article series and several other articles pertaining to off-ice hockey training and hockey nutrition. If you missed them, check out them out at the links below:

  1. Youth Hockey Training Blueprint: Part 1
  2. Youth Hockey Training Blueprint: Part 2
  3. Youth Hockey Training Blueprint: Part 3
  4. Unconventional Approaches to First Step Quickness
  5. A 4-Step Plan for Off-Season Weight Gain
  6. Hockey Nutrition: Grocery Shopping

In the future, I plan on writing more on hockey-specific skills and what structural or functional limitations may prevent a player (or goalie) from expressing/fulfilling their full potential. If you have any areas you’d like me to cover specifically, please let me know in the comments section below.

Hockey Strength and Conditioning has been busy over the last few weeks as well. Check out what you’ve been missing:


  1. 2011-2012 Core/Hip Program: Phase 1 from Sean Skahan
  2. 4-Day Off-Season Program from Darryl Nelson
  3. Slideboard Training Ideas from Mike Potenza

Great stuff all around from these guys. I was interested to see that Potenza programs his slideboard intervals by touches instead of time, and alters the board length to achieve a different training effect, two things that I haven’t done much of at Endeavor. It’s always good to get a fresh perspective on things.


  1. 8-Second Stiffness Jumps from Mike Potenza
  2. Seated T-Spine Extension from Sean Skahan

Mike’s video is a great follow-up to an article on the benefits of stiffness that his assistant Eric wrote for the site a couple weeks ago. Sean provides a great t-spine mobility exercises, which is a restriction we see in the majority of our players.


  1. Should We Strengthen Our Toe Flexors from Sean Skahan
  2. Sport-Specific Leg Press from Darryl Nelson and Carrie Keil

Sean does a great job of explaining his rationale for training a largely overlooked muscle group. Although it’s been for different reasons, I’ve been asking similar questions as I’ve noticed that some of our players tend to lose big toe contact/pressure with certain movements. Quick Side Note: We have our players do a number of lifts without shoes on, and this is one of the reasons why. It allows us to get a better idea of how they load through their ankles and feet and how their ground-based compensations may be feeding other things we see higher up in the chain. Darryl and Carrie explain how and why they use a piece of equipment for “on-ice resistance training”. I’ve been aware of this piece for a while, but haven’t used it because of the setting I’m in. After watching the videos I’m extremely interested.


  1. Hockey Strength Podcast with Sean Skahan

The podcast is quickly becoming one of my favorite features of the Hockey Strength and Conditioning community. If you haven’t been listening to these, definitely check them out!

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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