Certainly any opportunity to hit the ice and hone your skills offers up a good day. I’m not talking about how we might skate with our spouse or significant other while at Public session. Rather, I’m speaking of focused development of your on-ice skills. I’m NOT talking about random, speculative movement in hopes of complimenting development, (not just hours of skating the circles in one session) – no I’m speaking of an intentional, purposeful step-wise approach and progression towards complete development. To be the best that YOU can be, in order to bring a level of competition to the ice that consistently elevates those around you and provides the sport with a bettering landscape.

I’ve often criticized the mentality of “doing something is better than doing nothing”. Unless perhaps, it solely relates to the person who would otherwise do nothing but sit on the couch. However, for you, an athlete or trainer; “Doing the correct thing that elevates your sports performance, over rides the former statement every time”.

Much like intentional on-ice sessions and practices, you must not discount the value of off-ice/dry land strength and conditioning training’s role in attaining your highest levels of performance. There must be a balanced effort that provides a balanced effect. (As opposed to “rocking the boat” more so to just one side.) YES – it is important to skate, skate, skate. But it is also important to TRAIN, TRAIN, TRAIN. It is just a matter of engaging in training programs and progressions that intentionally serve your sport, and never allow for stagnancy. (Learning how to design and administer these programs however, requires some creativity and tenure.)

Look, let’s not be naive. There is always going to be the need for a general, baseline fitness and athleticism element, as well as prehabilitative protocols present in every program. Yet; one must strive to progress development as aggressively as possible while maintaining both a Performance AND Longevity mindset. Sometimes the; “As long as you don’t get anyone hurt” approach, devalues the goal of actually elevating performance to the highest potential levels, as well as stifles our creativity out of fear. But learning to weave mobility, strength, power, speed, lifts, plyometrics and agility in a fashion that ACTUALLY translates to support and compliment the sport movement to perpetuate skill – THAT IS AN ART FORM!

Don’t train (or skate) just for the sake of “logging hours” – Do Everything with a purpose!

SOME ESSENTIAL TIPS:
Reality is – unless you live in a fantasy world; time (and funds) is always of the essence. So each session MUST be intentional to improve upon your ability to perform at your highest level during your forty-five seconds (or more). During this shift, no coach wants to see ANY facet of your performance suffer. Not your speed, agility, body control, stick handling, passing or shooting accuracy. So therefore you require the neuromuscular and energy system conditioning required to support the aforesaid expectations. So please read the next point.

Train off-ice/dry land to compliment the sport:
Assuming you have already built quite a competent general athleticism and fitness base; Have intentional progressions for mobility, speed, strength, power, balance and agility that both immediately and effectively translate to your sport – ice hockey. Don’t engage in randomization that only feeds base-line fitness, merely gets you sweating or solely spikes the old heart rate. You must pay attention to the demands you will have upon you during practice and games. You must build the facets of performance in accordance to the energy system requirements during your shift (the immediate and anaerobic energy system) as well as switching between strength, power, explosive strength and explosive power for; stopping, starting, chasing, overcoming, breaking away, checking, etc.

Variables Should Dictate Your Programming Options:
Realizing that you can actually only control what happens during you session, it is crucial to consider the other volumes and concentrations that are present in the athlete(s) life. Will you be lending to, or avoiding actual risk exposure? Things like – “Sets”; how many rounds you perform of a given movement with repetitions therein. “Rep Range” – how many consecutive repetitions of a given movement within a set. “Magnitude” – effort exerted across the sets and repetitions in the sense that; were theses sets and/or reps performed at maximal effort, resistance levels, near failure, failure, etc.? Examination of these variables will begin to paint a pretty good picture of overall “Volume” (collective amount of the sets, reps and resistances). Ultimately, then considering how much of the aforesaid related work is collectively performed over a given span of time (like within a day, week, month, etc.) will equate to overall “Concentrations”, and thereby provide a fairly accurate representation of potential “Exposure” to risk of injury. This is where you start to correlate ALL of the aforesaid information in determining the presence of one (or more) overworked performance element(s) to that of another like; that of linear vs. lateral speed. Now we can begin to determine and formulate the most effective, interventional programming options to avoid potentially looming imbalance injury resultant to repetitive practice and/or training patterns.

Resources Available to You:
Advances in the performance training industry like; ever-evolving education, and especially Tsunami Barbell (flexible barbells) can now be utilized both on and off the ice. Don’t be shy! Reach out to our staff and see what of our resources may be available to you. For more on Athletic Performance and Fitness Training, please register for my one-day seminar “Developing the Modern Athlete & Client” on May 18, 2019 at Perform Better’s PERFORMANCE TRAINING INSTITUE in Rhode Island, USA.

Make sure to attend the great seminar hosted by Coach Massi and his team:
https://www.performbetter.com/2019-Developing-the-Modern-Athlete-and-Client-May-18-2019

About the author: Guy Massi is the Director of Operations, Athletic & Curricular Development for Massi-Machado Strength & Conditioning, LLC (with two locations in New York), and has been developing clients and athletes for over twenty years. He is also on the Tsunami Bar © Board of Advisors in a programming and application oversight capacity, as well as serves in a network affiliate advisory capacity to Haven Physical Therapy, PLLC & Sofos Chiropractic, PC also of New York. Coach Massi is available for speaking engagements, training, education and workshops by e-mailing mmscny@gmail.com. For a complete bio, list of projects and services please visit www.mmscny.com

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