All of our hockey players made awesome gains in strength, power, speed and mobility over the summer. Many finished at the end of August as they prepared to travel back to school or college. Some of our local players have continued to train and prepare for the season.
As hockey season gets underway, many athletes and parents start to get concerned about staying healthy and game-ready in a very long and physical season. For the most part, hard contact injuries are unavoidable and will just be a part of playing the sport. On the other hand participating in a well structured strength and conditioning program that enforces smart progressions in both mobility and strength can greatly reduce a number of common hockey injuries such as groin and hip strains that often lead to sport hernias and back pain.
It can be a challenge for any athlete when the season begins. You will be very busy. You will get home later than normal. You will be tired. You might miss dinner with the family and have to stay up later to get your studies finished.
In order to keep the body (and mind) from breaking down during a long season There are certain key components to a strength program that must be kept in mind when it comes to an in-season hockey program.
At the start of the season there is a lot more time spent on the ice and even off the ice with the team. This will result in the athlete getting fatigued with travel time, games, practice, not to mention school and homework (the mental fatigue).
A main point of the in-season program should be creating a program that is short, concise, yet progressive. This will make it much easier to fit into a manageable routine.
The “average” athletes will quickly stop training. “I’m too busy” will be the norm. Those who want to be above and beyond average will continue with an in season program.
“Average” won’t help you achieve excellence. A “C” in school is average. If you graduate high school with a “C Average” you options for college will be limited.
This is why we train the way we do. The training is about life, NOT just sports. We want to help build our athletes into stronger people, NOT just athletes who are only known for sports success.
So, when the time comes, it is up to you to rise above and keep training and keep studying. Don’t settle and accept being just “good enough”.
I see it EVERY season for EVERY sport. Athletes get weaker, lose their confidence, lose positioning to a stronger athlete or worse gets hurt…..
Then we have the athlete who shows up simply 1x week, for 30-40 minutes. When you follow a carefully crafted, 30-40 minute strength training session catered specific to your needs, you get the edge over everyone else.
Lastly, a very big part of any in-season program is an open communication line between the sports coaches and the strength and conditioning staff. This line of communication should also include the athlete and the parents. This is especially important to prevent over training and getting burnt out. The discussions should include practice information, travel information, big tournaments and most importantly how the athlete is responding to play, practice and training.
There are many ways that the strength coach can manipulate the program from day to day as long as he is kept in the loop about outside factors.