HockeyTrainingPro Trends & Predictions for 2016

As 2015 hurtles to its conclusion (was that a fast year or what??), it is time to look ahead at what will be trending in 2016. It’s been a while since I practiced my divination at Hogwarts, but I dusted off my crystal ball and here’s what I saw…

  1. Goalie gear will get smaller, meaning you goalies will have to become even more athletic and acrobatic. There will be fewer saves that accidentally find the corner of your chesty rather than the corner of your net.
  1. This goes hand in hand with #1 but …there will be those who continue to say “Now teams will just get bigger and bigger goalies, so the small guy has no chance at all!!” No matter what your size, you will still need to be even more athletic and acrobatic.
  1. There will be an NHL player who has a breakout season. They will tell the media how the used to train using a CrossFit style workout or P90X (the vision wasn’t clear for me on which one) because he really thought it was the way he was supposed to train for hockey. They will recount how they finally started training like a hockey player and their performance sky-rocketed. Everyone will finally get it.
  1. At either the end of 2015 or very early in 2016 there will be a new program for goalies that will rock their world and drive fear into the hearts of shooters world wide. I know because I am building it right now – which explains the circles under my eyes and cranky demeanor – – but it will be worth it.
  1. Even big box gyms will realize that Functional training (as opposed to sitting on a machine to do your workout) is the way to go. They will stop having all the cool gear like battle ropes, bands and TRXs locked away in the “Trainer Only” area.
  1. Recreational and minor hockey players will follow the lead of their favourite pro players and seek out professional strength and conditioning coaches who have a proven track record training hockey players, rather than signing up with the guy who has the best pecs (but always wears track pants) in the local gym.
  1. Concussion will continue to be a hot topic. Parents will continue to take more ownership of their child’s brain health and err on the side of caution when in doubt. Sport medicine clinics will continue to add specialized concussion screening and treatment programs. Elite leagues will continue to talk about how devastating it is, but still allow vicious contact that puts their players at risk.
  1. More goalie coaches and trainers will begin to understand femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) better. This will lead them to recommend preventative assessments by experienced sport medicine professionals and impact the volume and wear and tear added to the hip in training.  And it is not just goalies – we need to watch out for and protect the hips of skaters too.
  1. I think I said this last year, but BREATHING will be the next big thing in athlete training and performance – – and I don’t mean those breathing masks (they don’t work by the way – here’s the article where I explain why) – – I mean learning to actually breathe in through your nose, expanding your chest and abdomen, then breathing out through your mouth, exhaling all your air.
  1. Some kids will continue to get burned out and quit hockey by the time they are 16 because it just isn’t fun for them anymore. Because they dominated their league when they were 7, everyone told them they were the next Crosby, Stamkos or McDavid. They have been ‘training like a pro’ since they were 8 and they have finally had enough. So remember keep it fun when they are just a kid – the focus is on playing lots of sports and becoming a good all around athlete. Don’t worry, if you do that, you will not be stunting their development.
  1. The Leafs WILL make the play-offs in 2016. That’s all I am going to say about that.
  1. Players will continue to get bigger, faster and more skilled on the ice – so you better be ready for that!
  2. A certain hockey strength and conditioning specialist will continue to be right with you every step of the way (It’s me by the way)

Those are the predictions – time will tell – I know #13 will come true for sure 🙂


PS – this is more of a late 2015 prediction – – more than a few of you will be scrambling for last minute gift ideas… how about these for goalies… and for skaters