Tuesday, August 30, 2011

3 Exercises to Increase Power! Transform yourself from the Weightroom to the Ice.

Transfer Off-Ice strength and power to the Ice with these 3 Exercises!

Training for power requires that you do exercises in which the speed of the exercise movement is relatively high, includes a load, and is executed with some explosive intent. This might be done in the gym or on the track/field. For example, runners might use plyometric exercises like bounds and jumps and marches and footballers might use special tackling machinery and equipment.  Hockey players can use a combination of the track/ field & Football principles to achieve results, but in today's article I want to focus on 3 specific weightroom exercises that will GREATLY increase your functional strength and explosive power.

1) The power clean. In the power clean, you start with bar on the floor but you only squat half way down (mid-thigh) or higher.  Then you explode with the weight upwards, before lifting the weight to shoulders.  You will have to use your entire body to hoist the weight as well as roll your wrists over, so this is a difficult, but very effective power exercise.  Start with just the bar for technique and gradually increase weight.

2) Jump Squats. Instead of writing in detail on how to do a good jump squat, watch the video below.  The main points are to perform a normal squat, then as you rise jump in the air as high as you can.  Make sure when you land you are landing on the balls of your feet first, not flat footed or landing on your heal after you do jump squats. This will help prevent injury.  Start out by performing this activity using just your body weight.  Gradually add dumbbells with increasing weight.

3) Pull-ups: The King of Upper Back Exercises -    The greatest upper-back exercise known to man & also the most basic - pull-ups. The most important exercise for building size and strength in the lats.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

What is a "Scoring Concepts" Clinic... by the Numbers.

In our last post we looked at the difference between a typical practice and a typical game in order to quantify which would afford the youth athlete a better opportunity to develop.  Using a study by OMHA (Ontario Midget Hockey Association), it was determined that at a minimum 2 practices are necessary for every 1 game in order to achieve steady skill development.

What I want to accomplish with this blog entry is to look at my training progression, which focuses on 1. Multi-Skill and Overspeed Drills 2. Actions over Instruction aka minimal or no on-ice chalkboard session (I believe kids learn best on the pond or by doing) 3. Competitions (kids competing in teams or against one another in a fun atmosphere), in order to fully understand how my clinics match up against a game or team practice.

Let's look again at the practice numbers in the OMHA study-
The following statistics were recorded during a 60-minute Peewee level hockey game:
  • Players will have the puck on their stick for an average of 8 seconds per game.
  • Players will take an average of 1 – 2 shots per game.
  • 99% of the feedback coaches give players is when they have the puck. Ironically players only have the puck on their stick for 0.2% of the game.
  • 1 efficient practice will give a player more skill development than 11 games collectively.

And then let's look at the practice plan for my August 10th "Summer Hockey Skills Workshop" at the Arenas in Woodbridge, NJ-

6-6:05: Warmup/ Free Skate & Welcome
6:05-6:15pm: Group Warmup
* 5 Circle Drill Fwd/ Bkwd
* Iron Cross/ Knee Propulsions
* Half Moon Drill in all 5 circles
SPLIT- SKATERS/ GOALTENDERS  (goalies go on 1/3rd the ice with private goalie coach)
6:15-6:35: Powerskating

LineDrills: Snowplow/ Inside C-Cuts/ Drunken Sailor Outside edges/ hourglass/ downhill skier/ Jumps
Athleticism Drills: Horsepower circles with athletic line maneuvers/ with pucks
6:35-6:50 Partner Skill Drills
* Mirror Drill with pucks
* Attack the tripod with pucks
* Athletic puck protection with stick swings
* Figure 8 pass drill 
6:50-7pm Neutral Zone Group Stickhandling Drills (everyone has a puck)
* Shortstroke/ longstroke drill
* 1,2,3 zone stickhandling drill
* 1,2,3 1-legged stickhandling progression
* 1,2,3 figure 8 stickhandling progression
7-7:25pm STATIONS (divided by bantams and below, switch halfway through)
Group 1- In zone  1v1, 2v2, 3v3 Drill
Group2- Sweden 2v1 Drill

7:25-7:30 GROUPS of 3 Passing Drill
7:30-7:40 Pittsburgh Full-Ice 1v1 Drill
7:40- 7:52 Small Area Games ( Divide groups like the stations/ no line changes, everyone involved)
7:52- End Rubber Band Relay Race

Here's the August 10th Workshop by the numbers based upon the drills above-
* Players had the puck on their stick for a minimum of 40 Minutes (almost 300% more than the average game)
* Players participated in 47 minutes of drills involving shots. Each player took roughly 30 shots, compared to an average of 1 to 2 shots per game.
* 12 minute small area game had no line changes.  This is equivalent to the same ice time a player would recieve in a full 3 period youth hockey game if the team had 3 lines per squad.
* Players were given feedback and instructed on their powerskating (which represented 30 minutes of work at the clinic). As stated above, "99% of the feedback coaches give players is when they have the puck. Ironically players only have the puck on their stick for 0.2% of the game."