After hearing the same questions from hockey parents and coaches over the last couple years, it occurred to me that I should just do a quick write-up.
Endeavor Sports Performance is like a playground for strength and conditioning coaches. We have a lot of equipment that people have never seen or used before. Over the last couple years, I’ve gotten the same question from coaches and parents, that usually goes something like:
“Where can I get one of those…?”
While quality training and facilitating recovery doesn’t always necessitate lots of fancy equipment, there are a few cost-effective pieces of equipment that I think every player should own. We get all of our stuff from Perform Better, so if you’re outfitting a facility or just want to pick up a few things, I’d look to them first.
Hockey Training Equipment that Every Player Should Own
In no particular order:
I’ve probably bought over 30 of these in the last few years (they snap with the volume of use they get at Endeavor). They’re so cheap and allow us to do a variety of exercises that I feel are absolutely essential, such as lateral miniband walks and backward monster walks. When they snap, we use them for band-resisted no money drills. When they snap again…we throw them out. They can also be thrown around a beginner’s knees during squatting and deadlifting movements if they have a difficult time controlling hip internal rotation to utilize Gray Cook’s “Reactive Neuromuscular Training” concept. Not bad for $2!
To be honest, I didn’t have a lot of experience with these until I spent the week last Summer with Mike Potenza at the Sharks prospect camp. At Endeavor, we don’t use them because we have slideboards to do all the exercises we’d use Val Slides for, but slideboards are extremely expensive (for most players). While I wouldn’t recommend duct taping Val Slides to your feet and trying to slide between two walls in the house, Val Slides do allow you to do a number of other slideboard-based exercises like, reverse, lateral, and diagonal lunges (great for lower body strength, hip stabillity/control, and adductor strength), bodysaws, alternate arm jigsaws, 1-arm push-up with reaches, and army crawls. In a nutshell, they allow you to do about a dozen great core exercises that aren’t possible without them.
In my mind, this is the most important piece of equipment on this list. EVERY player should have one of these and should bring it with them on all road trips. Most of the parents I interact with at Endeavor end up asking where to buy one because their kids can appreciate how much better they feel after they use it. I think stretching is important, but nothing will help stretching be more effective than using one of these beforehand. They come in a bunch of different sizes, but I really only recommend buying the 3 foot long 6 inch circular ones. If you don’t know how to use these yet, buy one and learn. It’ll be the best thing you do for yourself.
To your success,
Kevin has rapidly established himself as a leader in the field of physical preparation and sports science for ice hockey. He is currently the Head Performance Coach for the Boston Bruins, where he oversees all aspects of designing and implementing the team’s performance training program, as well as monitoring the players’ performance, workload and recovery. Prior to Boston, Kevin spent 2 years as an Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach for the San Jose Sharks after serving as the Director of Performance at Endeavor Sports Performance in Pitman, NJ. He also spent 5 years as a Strength and Conditioning Coach with USA Hockey’s Women’s Olympic Hockey Team, and has been an invited speaker at conferences hosted by the NHL, NSCA, and USA Hockey.