This Week in Hockey Strength and Conditioning

I’ve been slacking on these updates over the last couple weeks. Between the traveling I’ve done over the last month and my work at Endeavor I find that my training hours have been cut back, but that I’m still as busy as ever!

There have been a ton of updates at Hockey Strength and Conditioning since my last post. Without further ado…

Training Programs

2-Day Strength Training Program from Darryl Nelson

Off-Season Phase 1 from Sean Skahan

2-Day In-Season Training Program: Phase 1 from me

In-Season Youth Training Program: Phase 1 from me

Complex Training from Mike Potenza

The two programs I posted are the ones we’re using with a youth organization that we’re working with locally. The first is for the oldest groups (U16-U18), and the latter, which also includes videos for all the exercises, is for the youngest kids (’02-’00). These, along with the articles series I have planned to go up over the next couple months, will provide a great template for those of you training players in suboptimal conditions (e.g. minimal space and equipment, poor coach-to-athlete ratio, etc.).

New Articles

Book Review: Spark by John Ratey from Darryl Nelson

Great Advice to Start the Season by Dan Bauer

Both of these articles were terrific. Because long-term athletic development is fresh on my mind from the USA Hockey ADM seminar last weekend, both of these articles really struck a chord with me. I actually ordered the book Darryl reviews here after he mentioned it at his presentation last weekend. I think we have a ton of room for improvement in the way we develop our kids, both as people and as hockey players, and Spark discusses some of the evidence supporting the need for a change. Dan’s article was really written for hockey parents, but as a coach or player you’ll get a kick out of it too.

Exercise Videos

Hip Stabilization Exercises from me

Goblet Squat from Sean Skahan

The hip stabilization exercises are ones we’ve used following correction of hip alignment to help reinforce a more neutral position. For those working in pro settings, or with a LONG (e.g. 10+ years) training background, mixing these in to your routine will add a little variety and still provide a great benefit. Sean’s video was pretty straight forward, but it was interesting to read about how this particular exercise is influencing the design of his programs. I’m glad he included the quick blurb along with the video.

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!

As a quick note, a while back I received an email from a reader that was frustrated because she got really excited reading these emails, but didn’t like that the content was “membership only” because it felt like a tease. is a membership site. It costs $1 to try it for a week and then it’s $9.95/month after that. Honestly, these posts are MEANT to spark your interest in it. I don’t do this in an effort to trick you into registering for the site; I would never be deceptive. I write these posts because such a large proportion of my site visitors are members and appreciate getting updates in case they haven’t checked in for a few days AND I truly believe that EVERY single one of you that isn’t yet a member should make the investment to try it out.

I think the overwhelming amount of information on the internet has lead some people to downplay the quality of membership sites. Honestly, to get a glimpse of what Mike Potenza and Sean Skahan are doing at the NHL level and what Darryl Nelson is doing with the US National Team Development Program is absolutely invaluable. Aside from their current positions, these are all guys that have worked with players at all ages over the years and have successfully DEVELOPED world-class players. I emphasize develop to distinguish this from the strength coaches that work with elite level players AFTER they achieve elite level status. That’s certainly not to undermine the work of coaches that work with these players, as players at that level have a ton of special considerations that warrant high level coaching expertise, but it’s even more impressive when a strength coach can help develop young players into elite level competitors AND still have the expertise to help take elite players to the next level. Mike, Sean, and Darryl all fit that mold.

To put it in perspective, for the price of a new set of skates, you could have a membership for about 5 years, and the information would benefit you for a lifetime. For the price of a single graphite stick, you could have a membership to the site for 2 full years. The monthly bill comes out to about the cost of a skate sharpening and roll of tape. I don’t think the cost of membership could be any more reasonable, and the information could be career changing, for players AND coaches! I apologize for the rant (kind of), but it’s important you understand where I’m coming from. When I started my site several years ago, I do so with the intention of providing FREE quality information on hockey training and athletic development AND in providing anyone that reads my site with information on great resources that could benefit them. Hockey Strength and Conditioning fits the latter. Give it a whirl today and you’ll understand why.

To your success,

Kevin Neeld

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