From the Trainer’s Room: How to come up with an offseason hockey training regimen
It’s time to get a little rest and let the body and mind recover. The season can be a grind with lots of games, practices, lessons and travel, and taking some time away from the ice can do a ton of good.
For teenage hockey players, I suggest a break of 2-4 weeks. This may be tough depending on tryouts, showcases, etc., but try and find some time to stay away. The repetitive nature of skating can develop certain weaknesses and limitations that can lead to injury, so take some time to let these muscles recover.
Planning for the offseason is critical. I am a big believer that your offseason program should work on maintaining your strengths while minimizing your weaknesses. Make a list of three things that you are good at and how you will maintain them. Then make list of three weaknesses and how you will eliminate them. Not sure what these strengths and weaknesses are? Ask your parents, coaches or scouts for their opinion. Compare yourself to other players. Look at the things you do well and the things that need improvement.
Now, come up with a plan for the offseason.
Whether it’s choosing a skating coach to improve your speed or shooting 100 pucks a day to hit the corners better, set a schedule and stick to it. Obtain your goals off the ice as well. All hockey players can make great strides by training off the ice. Find a strength coach or athletic trainer that is certified and knowledgeable about hockey and have them help you plan out a program that fits your specific needs. The focus may be to increase strength and power in the weight room to improve your first couple of steps or may be more focused on mobility and stability to improve stride length, speed and being stronger on the puck.
The program should address your needs and then it’s up to you to put in the work and get to that next level.
Chris Phillips is an athletic trainer and strength and conditioning specialist. He spent 17 years in pro hockey, including stints with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and Washington Capitals.
(Aug. 9, 2019)