As I promised last week, we’ve gotten the new “youth hockey training program” addition of Hockey Strength and Conditioning underway by adding a team dynamic warm-up that players can use before every practice, off-ice training session, and game. Each exercise specifies the exact distance or repetitions to use and has a video. I thought adding a dynamic warm-up was the best place to start as this is something that EVERY player and team can implement immediately.
With warm-ups, consistency is key. The more players can internalize the process, the more it becomes part of their regular routine. This provides them an opportunity to go through something that is physically beneficial before games, but also allows them a time to mentally prepare for the game. Routines are great in this regard.
Get the warm-up here >> Team Dynamic Warm-Up
San Jose Sharks Strength and Conditioning Coach Mike Potenza added an interesting piece on post-game conditioning options. There is some room for debate regarding to what degree players should be conditioning in-season. This really depends on the player’s situation-number of ice slots per week, tempo of practices, playing time in games, and at the youth level-whether they’re playing other sports or not. Naturally, total stress to the body needs to be accounted for. The advantage of using a post-game conditioning strategy is that the team is already together and in “performance mode.” By clumping activity together during one time period of the day, you can maximize the recovery time throughout the rest of the day (at least, as much is possible in the professional setting). The thing I like about Potenza’s article is that he breaks down the conditioning protocols based upon the number of minutes his players play in a game. In this way, the conditioning is specific to the needs of the player and not just a one size fits all approach.
Check it out here >> Post-Game Conditioning
Lastly, my article “Dissecting the 1-Leg Squat” went up this week. The article outlines why I’ve completely abandoned the “pistol” variation of 1-leg squatting, how we lead up to 1-leg squats, and how we progress them. In my opinion, this version of the 1-leg squat is easier to perform, maintains a more optimal alignment of the involved segments and is easier to progress. The article spawned a forum rant about whether the traditional “thigh parallel” identifier of full squat depth is what we should be using.
Get the article here >> Dissecting the 1-Leg Squat
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To your continued success,
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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.