Q&A: In-season goalie training

After the post a few days ago where I outlined a quick do-at-home workout I had a few more questions about in-season training for goalies.  So this will be a little impromptu Q&A on in-season training.

Your in-season training for goalie questions answered HERE.

Q1: How often should I be training during the season?

Well, this really depends on how often you practice and play. It also depends on how challenging your practices are and how much ice time you see during games.

If you have one of those coaches who likes to talk tactics throughout the entire practice so you are just running through systems at 50% effort, then you are going to need more work away from practice than you would if your coach had you running through your drills at game speed with a good 15-minutes of conditioning at the end of practice.

If you are the back up goalie most of the time and sit through most of the games, then you are going to do more work on your own.  I always love it when a goalie tells me he/she could not workout because they had a game (even though they did not play) – what is that about?

So let’s say you have two hard practices a week on Tuesday and Thursday with two games on the weekend, say Friday night and Saturday afternoon.  Here is what I would suggest for a training schedule that week:

Monday – OFF or quick workout in the afternoon
Tuesday – practice
Wednesday – quick workout
Thursday – practice
Friday – game
Saturday – OFF
Sunday – game – quick workout after the game

During the season, nothing is etched in stone so this plan has to be flexible which is why it is great if you have a workout like I gave you the other day that you can do almost anywhere in only 20-30 minutes.

You will also have to add to the equation the time of year – if it is play-off time you will take more rest, if this is exhibition play you will not be so worried about working a little harder.  Remember, you do not need to peak for performance in October, you need to peak in February/March.

Q2:  I know you are not supposed to lift during the season because it makes you slow…


Whoa, whoa, whoa!  You built your strength during the entire off-season so you could be quicker in the crease so why will strength training all of a sudden make you slower just because it is the in-season.

You should be getting some good conditioning during your practices and games, so that can help you maintain your hockey fitness, but you do not get much strengthening from practice and games, so you need to make sure that is an element of your self-directed training.  You will also want to include some goalie specific lateral power drills to help maintain that speed as well.

Q3: Right now I am on the ice everyday for 2+ hours during training camp – should I be keeping up with my workouts in the gym as well?  I am feeling pretty tired.


No, I would take the week off your supplemental training.  Give your body as much recovery as possible so you can really shine on the ice.  You know the expression, you never get a second chance to make a first impression, so just focus on playing well, working hard in your drills and showing the coaches that you deserve to get the starting job.

Q4: Our team has a fitness coach that works with us so I probably don’t need to do extra work at home right?

Well, the answer to that question is “it depends”.  When I was the strength coach for the University of Western Ontario Mustangs Hockey team we did off-ice training as a group 2-4 times per week.  They had programs to work on when I was not with them and it was all they needed.

I have also been worked for dozens of AAA teams who have a limited budget so they can only afford to bring in a coach one day per week for off-ice training.  I don’t feel that this is very effective – doing off ice training for one hour each week is not going to really give the returns on the ice.  This is why I personally stopped working with teams at the rink. I would rather see the coaches running the players through a 20-minute circuit routine three times per week.

Then you also get some trainers who’s idea of off-ice training is to have the players run stairs ‘til they spew followed by a circuit of terrible technique push ups, planks, more push ups, more planks – rinse and repeat – you get the idea.  Also, not what you need to excel.

A special treat is coming next week…

About a year ago I created the Rapid Response Goalie Training System to be a quick, train-at-home, goalie specific workout program.  You can train as little as twice per week to as much as 4 times per week.  Most workouts will take 20-30 minutes, some are shorter, some longer.  The elite goalies I train use this as their in-season program and it has done a great job of keeping them lean, strong, quick and stable.

Next week – starting Monday I am going to run a special promotion, so if you have been thinking about buying the Rapid Response Goalie Training program, just hold off until Monday – I will send you more details about the limited time bonus that I am going to add as a little treat for you.  Stay tuned.