Should hockey players push heavy sh#t?

When and how to use overload – should you push cars?

There is a tendency to believe harder is better.  There is a tendency to take a perfectly good agility drill and add resistance to it…to make it harder.  You have probably even seen athletes doing this by wearing weight vests for their sprint training or pushing cars in the parking lot.

If you are an NFL defensive lineman, pushing a car in the parking lot is probably a pretty good drill for you – lots of ground contact time, stabilizing with the torso and upper body while driving with the legs.  There isn’t the same degree of unpredictability, but it is a pretty good idea.


If you are a hockey player or goalie…not a good exercise for you at all.

Hard? Yes.
Good? No. 

Same goes for wearing a weight vest to do you your sprint training.  It actually increases your ground contact time and increases the vertical force input rather that the horizontal force input, which is what makes you faster.

The only time I have ever used weight vests for agility training or on-ice training was to simulate the load of a player’s equipment.  We incrementally increased the load over about 6-weeks to add the 17lbs that the equipment weighed.

We do use parachutes for resisted sprints as they add just a slight overload in the right direction – horizontal plane.  I actually like the unpredictability of them as well, if the wind changes direction slightly, the player is pulled slightly to the left or right; very nice dynamic stabilization.

We do use sleds, but if we are training speed, they are relatively light, so the player is still using a quick tempo and getting good speed.

Do we push heavy, heavy sleds sometimes?  Yes, sometimes, but this is used for our strength training, not speed.

The EOTW this week shows you how we add just the right amount of resistance to an off-ice goalie agility drill – SEE IT HERE.  I’ll am thinking an article on tire flipping will be next – stay tuned!


PS – make sure you keep an eye out for Team RevCon athlete Damian Warner as he competes in the Decathlon at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland next week #HesOneOfUs

off ice hockey training for goalies

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