What they said about hockey players

Just on the flight back to Toronto and then in to London from Denver after the NSCA Training For Hockey Clinic in Colorado Springs and I am pumped!!

Not only was I pleased with how my lecture and practical session on off-ice training for goalies went.  I will admit to you – don’t tell okay? – that I was pretty nervous for this one.

Presenting to the best of the best was daunting, but I kept reminding myself that these are ‘hockey people’ and hockey people are good people.

So I pulled up my big girl pants, channeled my inner Bono and went for it.  It was fun, don’t know what I was getting myself so wound up about.

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to learn from hockey strength coaches who I look up to and respect like Brijesh Patel (Quinnipiac), Sean Skahan (NHL/NCAA), Matt Shaw (Denver), Justin Roethlingshoefer (Miami Ohio), Anthony Morando (Altru Health/EXOS), Mark Fitzgerald (NHL) and Doug McKenney (NHL/CoachMePlus).  It was awesome.

I got to give a brand new hockey strength coach, Donny, a lift back to Denver from Colorado Springs.  He peppered me with questions about getting started, how I over deliver on value, training flow, making your own path, expanding the business and developing good people first.  His practice is guided by his values and they look in check to me.  I know he will do great.  If you live in the Spokane area and you are looking for some training, Donny is your guy!

But the focus of the weekend was really on you guys and gals – the hockey players.  And I can’t tell you how many times I overhead other strength coaches talking about how much fun it is to work with hockey players because you work so hard, you are courteous…in short, you are good people.  I couldn’t agree more.

Here are my top 5 take aways from the weekend…

  • The best of the best are abundance minded and happy to share.   There is no secrecy, no back stabbing.  The goal is to make everyone stronger, because again, it is about helping you!
  • There are some amazing metrics coming out of the NCAA looking at acceleration, decelerations, impacts, up/downs for goalies and heart rate.  Programs are using this data to make their practices more closely resemble their games.  I think this is especially relevant to the goalies because a typical practice will not reflect the typical profile of a game in terms of volume and intensity.
  • Goalies very rarely get above 90% of heart rate max.  They spend more time in the 70-85% zone than other players, but less time in the red zone.
  • The pendulum is swinging back to aerobic fitness (but still not long boring cardio).  You don’t really have to change anything because I never jumped off the aerobic fitness wagon, it has always been in my programs – but I got a few new ideas on how I might program it.
  • You can always get better by working fundamentals.  Brijesh Patel from Quinnipiac (2nd in this years Froze Four if you recall) did a great job of running us through some drills working on putting force into the ground and maximizing the contact time to put more energy into the ground.  He ran an awesome practical session that I fully participated in because it is always good for the coach to get coached.

That’s it gang.  Next stop on the tour this summer is the Buffalo Sabres Development Camp in July.