USA Hockey Regional Camp Recap

As I mentioned a couple days ago, I spent the end of last week and the weekend in Colorado Springs working at a USA Hockey Regional Camp. If you weren’t already aware, earlier that week wild fires in Colorado Springs took a turn for the worse. The last I heard there was something like 32,000 people evacuated and over 350 homes lost. Fortunately, it seems as though the worst is behind us.

I thought this was bad.

Until someone sent me this from a few days prior

Interestingly, the smoke wasn’t even the scariest sight. Check out this abandoned gas station turned massage studio. Who doesn’t love a nice rubdown behind a boarded up fence with gasoline-heavy aromas?

Stress Away Massage Therapy

When I was out in Colorado Springs earlier in the month, I had taken a tour of Air Force’s ice rink and training facility, as this was the intended area for me to train the USA Hockey players at this camp. Because Air Force evacuated early in the week because of the fires, I found out Tuesday night that I may not be making the trip at all, only to find out on Wednesday that Scott Caulfield and the National Strength and Conditioning Association had stepped up and offered to host the training at their facility. This was a big character move on their part, and I couldn’t say enough good things out my experience with Scott and the rest of the NSCA team I met there. Likewise, Jeff Kipp, the Air Force S&C Coach that works with Men’s Hockey (among other teams) volunteered over 10 hours of his time to help out. Having Scott and Jeff was a huge help as teaching 45 14-year olds proper movement and lifting technique at once can be a tall order for one person.

When I arrived Thursday afternoon, I presented twice, each time to half of the camp (~93 players, as well as a couple coaches and parents) on the importance of off-ice training for hockey. Instead of recapping every point, I thought I’d share a PDF of my power point with you. If you’re a member at Hockey Strength and Conditioning, I’m going to be posting all of the videos for the presentation on there in the near future.

Download Presentation Here >> Hockey Strength and Conditioning Presentation

I was EXTREMELY impressed with the attentiveness of the kids. While the later group had a couple dozers (understandable after a 12 hour day of activity), there was essentially zero talking, text messaging, etc. during my talk. Even more impressive, several of the kids were taking notes, and many asked really good questions afterward. The next day I had 4 roughly 90-minute training sessions with ~45 players in each one. My goal was to introduce them to the process of a comprehensive training program. Again, all of the kids demonstrated a work ethic and maturity that was beyond my expectations.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get a picture of them doing lateral miniband walks

Interestingly, well over half of the kids had said they were or have trained with a strength and conditioning coach or personal trainer in the past.  I was pleased to hear this, but disappointed in that it was clear they hadn’t been coached in basic movements before. I heard some rumblings of CrossFit and P90X, and I suspect the majority of the rest of the kids were probably enrolled in some form of generic “we’ll throw a bunch of sprinting and jumping exercises at them until they’re tired” type of program that placed a heavier emphasis on QUANTITY than QUALITY, the exact opposite approach that I’d take with this age group.

I’ll address this and share some of the questions I got there with you in a future post. In the meantime, take a look through the power point and post any questions you have below!

To your success,

Kevin Neeld

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