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Summer Training Thoughts

Posted by Kevin - Filed under: Comments & Thoughts
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The summer is here, and many players are now enjoying the “off-season.”  This is the time of year where good players become great.  This time of year separates the players who are serious about the game, and those who are not.  I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been asked “what should my player do this summer” – and I’m sure many other coaches out there hear it all the time.  I wanted to share some quick thoughts on how to approach the off-season.

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Off-Ice Training for the Off-Season

Posted by Kevin - Filed under: Cool Links
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It’s no secret that training during the off-season can make you a better hockey player.  The issue most players/coaches have is they don’t know WHAT to do.  Friend and fellow hockey training professional Jeremy Weiss has put together a program called S3, and has released FREE videos to explain what he’s got.  You can watch the first video of his by clicking the link below.

Watch the first Video Here – Weight Lifting & Periodization for Hockey


Note: Yes, this is an affiliate link, and I do get a percentage if you end up purchasing the product.  However, as many of you already know, I don’t promote products I don’t believe in or haven’t seen.  I’ve seen the product he’s  put together and think it’s one of the best out there right now.


Agility Ladder Drills for On-Ice Quickness

Posted by Kevin - Filed under: Hockey Drills,Instructional Video
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We put together a new video featuring three of our favorite off-ice agility ladder drills to help players develop their quickness and foot speed.

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20 Stickhandling Drill Videos

Posted by Kevin - Filed under: Hockey Drills
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Sometimes some of the best content on the web is hard to dig up.  While looking for some off-ice stickhandling drills, I came across a 20-part video series offered free online by USA Hockey.  This series is part of their National Team Development Program training.  The videos do a nice job of explaining the drills and showing the execution.  The videos can be found at the following link:



How to Approach Off-Season Training

Posted by Kevin - Filed under: Comments & Thoughts
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Often when the season wraps up, I’ll get asked the question: “Coach, what do I need to work on in the off-season?”  I usually respond to this by reversing the question and asking them what they think they need to work on.  When they look at me with a blank stare, I usually try to guide them through a series of questions to help evaluate their play and identify “holes” in their game – and of course share my feedback with them after they’ve started to identify things for themselves.  The off-season provides a great opportunity for committed players to develop and improve their fundamental skills.  I believe players need to approach off-season training in the following sequence:

1) Players must identify the areas of their game they want to improve. This needs to be done with honest self-evaluation. Most older players know the areas they struggle with – younger players will need to be given more guidance. A list of two or three skills to improve is typically more than enough. Identifying too many areas is a recipe for disaster and disappointment.

2) Once players have their weaknesses, they should work with their coaching staff to come up with a training regiment. This doesn’t necessarily mean the coach should be giving out complete summer training programs for each player (although, this would be great), but most coaches will be more than happy to share ideas on ways to train.

3) Players need to follow through consistently on the plan.  If a player improves just a little bit every day, the results/success will compound. Repetition is the mother of skill – get out there and consistently take action!  It is OK to take days off – in fact, depending on the training, it may be better for the body to take time off.

4) Players should seek educated instruction/direction during their training for both safety and habit reasons. If someone takes 10,000 shots with terrible technique, they’re not doing a lot other than re-enforcing bad habits.  However, if he or she take 10,000 shots with some guidance, instruction, and correction – they stand a much better chance of developing their skills.

5) Identify on-ice training opportunities to evaluate how the training is working. Many areas of the game can be worked on off-ice: stickhandling, shooting, foot speed, balance, hand-eye coordination, acceleration, power, reaction time, etc.  However, it is a good thing to get players on the ice from time-to-time to see how their training is working.  This can be something as simple as open hockey or a public skate.

6) Work hard and smart.  One thing a lot of players get wrong is mistaking hard work for smart work.  Players must understand – working hard on the wrong things won’t help once the season rolls around!  Players who come in bragging about how much they improved their bench press or bicep curl have indeed wasted a lot of time and energy.

The depth players should take these guidelines depends on age and competition level. An eight year-old obviously should not be doing an intense weight program – but instead occasionally stickhandling or shooting pucks in the driveway will go a long way.  Midget players with aspirations of continuing their career, on the other hand, should be looking to be hitting a weight room and getting on the ice more frequently to hone their skills. Not sure what to work on? You can never go wrong with working on skating technique!


Off-Ice Drills to Develop Quick Feet

Posted by Kevin - Filed under: Hockey Drills
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Developing “quick feet” is essential for hockey players.  Players with quicker feet can typically accelerate, turn, and re-accelerate faster than other players – giving them a distinct advantage.  One of the best and most simple tools we’ve come across is the Dot Drill Mat.  It’s basically just a thick rubber mat with dots drawn on it (photo below).  You can certainly draw the pattern on the ground with chalk, but I will say it’s very handy to have the actual mat.  We have them in our workout facility for our team, and use them on a weekly basis.

Here are some resources we’ve found from around the web.  Hopefully these resources give you some new and fresh ideas when working with your team to develop quick feet.




If you’re interested in purchasing a Dot Drill Mat, I would recommend getting them through Power Systems.  Here is the product link:  http://tinyurl.com/yfhoom2



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