Guest Post: How Elite Midget Players Should Train

future pro goalie training

And we are all still smiling at the end 🙂

What’s shakin’ today my friend?  Just wanted to get this guest post up from my friend Nick Olynyk – you might remember we did this interview last year about how young players can make it to Junior.  So today he is back with his thoughts on off-season training.

My off-season training is in full swing 🙂  Steve McKichan and Jason VanSpronsen from Future Pro Goaltending were kind enough to take me out on the ice yesterday for my first ever on-ice lesson.  It was awesome and they were both very kind to me – I learned a ton, had a fantastic time and got a great workout in!  Thank you boys!

Okay, now I am going to turn it over to Nick…

Everyday I get emails from players asking me how they can get scouted by junior teams. (That is what my site is about, after all!) During the off-season, these players often wonder what they can do to get themselves ready and scouted in the fall. And there are a couple of tricks they can use to help them prepare.

Here are common questions and answers about preparing during the off-season…

When Should Players Start Training?
Realistically, May is the time to start. Some guys start in April, but it’s also important to take some time to recharge your body after the season. Let injuries heal and gives the muscles a break. Remember, midget players are still growing.

Should Players Get A Personal Trainer?
Off-season training has advanced a HAY LOAD since the days of Bobby Hull and Gordie Howe.

Most guys nowadays work out together in groups at sports specific gyms with a trainer in group. The gyms are more expensive, but you save cost on the trainer. Players are better off with a qualified trainer.

The biggest intangible I got from going to one of these gyms was being around NHL, pro players and other elite hockey players, literally, every day. That was very motivating. Also, once your son is protected by a junior team he’ll probably get some protocol from the team’s trainer. I’d talk to the team and lean more on their advice than that of anybody else.

Your son should know or learn how to train properly. He’ll get so much more out of his efforts, and a good trainer can help him do that. The investment could pay off down the road.

Should Players Attend Scouting Camps and Combines?
It certainly doesn’t hurt.

The whole point of scouting camps is to get lesser known/seen players a look from junior teams. Scouting camps are put on privately. A bunch of scouts are invited to the camps and players scrimmage in front of them. If you’re a AA player especially, these camps can be helpful.

Chances are if you’re playing AAA you’re getting junior invites already, so it becomes a matter of getting the invites you want.

Now, when it comes to combines, I definitely think your son should attend. Combines are events put on by the junior leagues themselves. They serve as an opportunity for the leagues to measure the talent they already know is out there against one another. Often you have to apply to them. If your son gets invited to one, definitely attend it.

Should Players Get On The Ice During The Off-Season?
Some people will hate this answer, some will call it old hat…

There are SO MANY options for minor hockey players in spring and summer nowadays. Traditionalists say don’t play summer hockey, do other sports, etc. Others–those organizing the spring leagues included–say join spring league to get scouted, raise your game, etc. There are benefits to both sides of the argument.

This is how I see it: Most junior players start goofing around in mid-June/July, and then start hitting the ice seriously at the end of July through August. (Seriously means 2 – 4 times per week until conditioning camps.) If you’re playing bantam or midget spring/summer hockey to get scouted, you’re probably playing in front of the same scouts as during the winter anyway… However, you ARE playing in front of scouts more than other players.

Your son will know what he wants to improve in the off-season and how much he wants to play. Choose the path that leads him to his goals.

Nick Olynyk is the author of He also has a book by the same name. Click here for more information.



Thanks Nick – that is some great advice.  If you and your child are trying to navigate the muddy waters to Junior hockey, Nick has some great stuff for you, it is important to talk to lots of people who have been there to help you make these decisions.  I want to also make it very clear that if you buy Nick’s book by following the link above, I do earn a commission, but that is not why I am passing along this article, I think it is good advice from a different voice.

Okay, have a great day!