Why is it Important to Train Hockey Specific?
The physical demands of hockey require players to be masters of their own bodies; they need balance and agility to keep up with the fast pace of the game. They need well-conditioned, all-around body strength to battle the opponent turn after turn, shift after shift. They need power and speed create time and space for themselves on the ice. And if that’s not enough, hockey players also need to have a highly developed anaerobic capacity in order to recover quickly from the previous shift and maintain a high tempo over 60 minutes of play.
It’s no wonder that the best athletes often make the best hockey players. It’s with that in mind that an off-ice program must be designed. A solid athletic foundation is the precondition for sports-specific training and performance. Off-ice hockey training should be carefully crafted to address the on-ice demands of the player. Each off-ice exercise should serve a specific purpose by preparing the body for the on-ice demands of the game.
Just like a baby learns to crawl before walking, a well-designed off-season program must follow a certain set of steps. There is an important progression involved in designing an effective program; training cannot be haphazard or random. A quality off-season program starts by first bringing the athlete up to a sound athletic base. Once the base is properly established, the training progressively builds and improves upon that foundation. In the final phases of training, it is critical to perform specific exercises in order to meet the exact needs of the individual sport of hockey.
Let’s look a little more in-depth at each conditioning component that is addressed in the Complete 16-Week Professional Off-Season Hockey Workout.