Confessions Of A Junior Hockey Coach – The Value Of In Season Off Ice Training

There seem to be much confusion on how much off ice training is to be done, or how it is do be done during the season.  I talk to the players, the coaches, the trainers and the answer is the same at the highest levels.

Off ice training is supposed to maintain fitness, overall strength and flexibility of the body in order to minimize the potential for injury during the long season.

This is the very simple explanation is it not?  For many of you though, you do not truly understand what this say.

What it DO NOT say is that the off ice training is designed to exponentially increase strength and muscle growth during the season.  There is a very big difference between how you to train during the season, and how you to train in the off season.

The off season is meant for the large strength gains.  The in season is meant for maintenance.

So when I go to the gym in the morning to walk the treadmill and see half the team in the gym in the morning at the same gym working out I have to ask myself why they going through a two hour power lifting and strength training workout at this point in the season?

When I visit another city and the coach is pushing players through the most strenuous off ice workout possible, I have to ask why is this coach so stupid?

When I attend midget tournament, and parent is in hotel workout room yelling at the child to push through the workout as though his life depend on it I have to ask why?

NHL player do not do insane workout during the season!  Get the understanding people.  You not in the NHL if you reading this, so do not presume to think you know how to train you young player.

Training hard is meant for the off season.  Memorize this.  It is not meant for the in season.

When you train too hard in season you body do not have time to recover from the game and the practice.  It is simple health science and physics.

You can always get the extra training by working on skills.  The passing, the shooting, the skating all can be improve with extra work.  That extra work come on the ice and is not the stressful muscle work of heavy weight lifting, or insane over fitness training.

Should you be in the gym during the season?  Yes.  But you should not be doing the off season workout in season.  If you want to improve, train properly and do it at the right time of the year.


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