To maintain what our athletes have earned in the off-season, an in-season training plan can not be dismissed.
During the off-season, we worked at a very high training volume (sets x reps). Our in-season training will be done at a lower volume, while maintaining periods of high intensity. The goal of our in-season hockey training is to keep our athletes 'fresh' and not overly sore or depleted from the gym. Additionally, our programs are designed to prepare our athletes to be ready and feeling 100% come the weekend, when performance is key. In-Season Training Goals: 1. Maintain physical qualities (continue to increase in lesser trained players) 2. Reverse negative changes in soft-tissue length and quality (via Myofascial release techniques & R.O.M) 3. Facilitate recovery
These goals are important in facilitating sport performance and minimizing the risk of injury.
For example, below are injury statistics obtained over our six year working with the Nanaimo Clippers Junior 'A' team
*Before Prime’ was in charge of athlete performance and strength and conditioning 2012/13 season: Man games missed due to soft tissue injury: 15 2013/2014 season: Man games missed due to soft tissue injury: 18
*Prime takes over as strength & conditioning and performance coach 2014/2015 season: 1 2015/2016 season: 0 2016/2017 season: 0 2017/2018 season: 0 2018/2019 season: 0 2019/2020 season: 0 We are proudly heading into our seventh year as head of player performance.
That is a 94.5% decrease of soft tissue injury in the first year of Prime’, and 100% decrease the following years.
In-Season Training Composition If a player uses their off-season program and follows it throughout the competitive year, they will be completely overloaded, and burnt out before Christmas. The off-season is about developing strength and capacity. The in-season is about maintaining capacity, while correctly loading movement patterns that are non-sport specific, and correctly identifying movement patterns that need to be offloaded in order to facilitate injury prevention.
Three In-Season Program Changes 1) Speed and conditioning work is done on the ice During off-season, we sprint twice per week and condition between 2-3 times per week, depending on the phase. In-season, the players speed and conditioning work should be done on the ice. If players perform drills at a high tempo, they’re getting the most hockey-specific form of speed training possible.
2) Avoid excessive rotation This is anti-sport-specific training at its finest. Hockey players rotate several hundred times per week during practices and games, to turn, give and accept passes and hits, shoot, and orient their eyes in a more optimal position to read the play. Like speed work, rotation-based core work should be limited in volume and frequency.
During this time, however, it is extremely important to maintain rotation-pattern mobility. Hips and thoracic spine, as well as other areas, tend to stiffen up as the season prolongs. Maintaining mobility is a top priority and should be done as close to daily as possible. In our training setting, we have built our warm-up to encompass these points so we know they’re hitting them every time we see them.
3) Strength and Power is Key In general, the physical qualities stressed on the ice during the season are: multi-directional speed, low load power, and work capacity/conditioning. When designing a program that compliments on-ice work, it’s important to consider what qualities ARE NOT being stressed on the ice. Strength and high load power are visibly absent from the list above. ALL in-season work should be LOW volume, but there should be a greater proportion of the total training program allocated to these qualities, than the others which receive more on-ice attention.