Accelerate your recovery when you come off the ice

Recovery when you come off the ice is key during tryouts, training camps, games or practices.  If you have a better recovery routine, it means you are better prepared for your next opportunity, so read on…

If your goal is to become “Elite” at anything, you must develop the habit of excellence.  No one accidentally becomes elite.

I know, I know, there are current NHL’ers who eat Ding Dongs before the game and go out boozing afterward and they are all-stars.  There are outliers in every profession, for the sake of argument, let’s just say you are NOT one of them.

So here’s what to do to recover your body and your brain so you can be ready to go again…

  • Rehydrate and Refuel
  • Self Myofascial Release
  • Static Stretch/Breathing
  • Debrief

Rehydrate & Refuel

As soon as you come off the ice you should be sipping water or your preferred electrolyte drink – ideally you will measure your water loss during the on-ice session by weighing yourself before and after practice.  You will drink 250-500mls of fluid for each pound of body weight lost.

You will also get a snack that includes approximately 40g of carbohydrate and 20g of protein.

Protein gets all the glory – some of the really popular “post-workout” shakes you see NHL’ers use, don’t even include carbs (or not enough).  So make sure you check that.

You need to not only replenish your carbohydrate (primary energy source) stores, but you also need the ‘sugar’ to trigger the insulin response which helps drive the nutrients into your cells where the protein will help repair and rebuild your muscle and the carbs will top up your tank.

Self Myofascial Release

Then get out your foam roll, lacrosse ball, Stick, whatever and give yourself a good roll, make sure you get your Glutes (and origin), TFL, Hamstring, Calf, Hip Flexor, Lats (you can roll other areas too) – I wouldn’t spend too much time or get too aggressive rolling your groins because they have been used pretty hard on the ice, so it is okay to give them a light roll, but don’t dig in there if it is tender.

Can’t see the video – – is your foam roller blocking your vision? or maybe you just need to click here >>

Static Stretch/Breathing

Now it is time for a static stretch circuit where you will gently hold each position for 30 seconds.  Make sure you get your:

  • Lats
  • Hamstrings
  • Hip Flexors
  • Quads
  • Glutes
  • Adductors (groins)
  • Hip Internal and External Rotation

NOTE: there is a little static sound toward the end of the video – not sure why, maybe because it is a ‘static’ stretch circuit 😉 

If you cannot see the video above… you probably need a new mobile device 🙂 or just click here >>

Focus on your breathing throughout the static stretch circuit – breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth taking big full (but not forced breaths).


Now it is time to debrief, to put a line under the day and move on.

Here’s what you are going to do…

  • Get your training journal (yeah, you have one of those)
  • Write down the date and what it was – game, practice, tournament, tryout, camp, etc at the top
  • Write down 1-3 things you did well and how you got good at it, for example:
    • “the work with my goalie coach to keep my good glove position is paying off, we practiced it the last two weeks, I used the mantra “Big Glove” today on the ice and I made two great glove saves – it felt awesome, it felt easy.”
  • Now write down 1-2 things you could have done better and what you are going to do to do better next time on the ice, for example:
    • “Instead of focusing on staying square to the puck, I was thinking about where the puck carrier was going to pass the puck next and trying to look for their sniper. Next time out I will say to myself – “Square Puck” when the puck is in our zone to keep me focused on this task.”
  • Then you will add any other notes – how you sharpened your skates or any new gear you tried that had a positive or negative impact on your performance. Maybe you felt really good energy on the ice, so you will write down what you ate and drank during the day before the game so you can remember.
  • Finally, you will draw a line under the day and close the book, that is the end of it. You can review it tomorrow if you wish, but you cannot make changes to it.

The key with this exercise is to be constructive.  Even with your “needs improvement” portion, you cannot say things like “I suck at… xyz”.  Just address the struggle and then come up with a strategy to improve it for next time.  If you are not sure how to do that yourself, then ask your goalie coach for help.

So that is how you will get #OneDayBetter

You will never achieve excellence or elite status using average habits.


PS – if you want more ways to guarantee your success this season, you might want to read this article showing you how to gain momentum during the season so you can stamp your ticket as the #1 goalie come play-offs >> click HERE