Conditioning For Shootout Perfection, Featuring Thomas Vanek | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Conditioning For Shootout Perfection, Featuring Thomas Vanek

February 18, 2011

If the shootout is the most exhilarating play in hockey, Thomas Vanek is the most dangerous man in the game. The Buffalo Sabres shootout specialist  remained flawless in post-overtime action this season, notching a tally in Round 2 of a dramatic 10-round shootout victory over the Montreal Canadiens earlier this week, making him 5-for-5 on the year.

Nothing fancy about this goal: Vanek glided down the ice and fired a laser of a wrist shot under the right pad of Canadiens goalie Carey Price. The Sabres’ leading point-getter straight up overpowered the netminder.

Many would attribute Vanek’s shootout prowess to his elusive dekes and fancy stickwork. There’s no denying his skills in those areas are major contributors to his unblemished streak this season.

But in a game like this, where the Sabres battled back from a 2-0 deficit in the third period and then gritted out a five-minute overtime period, Vanek’s superb endurance stands out as the reason he reigns supreme in the shootout.

Two exercises that keep Vanek a step ahead of defenders and goaltenders are the Power Step-Up and 180 Reverse Bench Jump. The Power Step-Up, which Vanek performs under resistance, reinforces proper ground-force application in relation to the skating motion.

The 180 Reverse Bench Jump is a plyometric exercise that “mimics the forces applied when you’re stopping or changing directions,” says Cal Dietz, strength coach for the Minnesota Golden Gophers hockey team, where Vanek played collegiately and returns to train in the off-season.

“At the beginning of summer, we jump forward in that movement, and then laterally,” Dietz says. In other words, start with more basic movements and work your way up to the 180 Reverse Jump. The same goes for the Power Step-Up: perform without resistance in the first few weeks of your training, and progress to performing with resistance.

Perform 4-6 reps of each exercise for 2-3 sets. Rest is especially important between sets of these power movements; aim for 60-90 seconds rest.

Photo:  life.com

Zac Clark
- Zac Clark is STACK Media's Custom Content Manager. Prior to joining STACK in September 2008, he served as an editorial assistant for USA Hockey Magazine...
Zac Clark
- Zac Clark is STACK Media's Custom Content Manager. Prior to joining STACK in September 2008, he served as an editorial assistant for USA Hockey Magazine...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

5 NBA Players Who Found Their Game After Losing Weight

Get in Shape With 5 Intense Lower-Body Finishers

Get in Basketball Shape With the Right Workout

Can You Pass Drew Brees' Conditioning Test?

Advanced High School Football Summer Conditioning Program

The Mount Everest Treadmill Challenge

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Fartlek Run

Alternatives to Boring Cardio Training

Get in Game Shape With 4 Conditioning Combos

Training Secrets of UFC Champion Johny Hendricks

7 Footwork Drills That Give You an Advantage

Improve Your Aerobic Fitness in the Off-Season

Off-Season Conditioning: Full-Body Med Ball Workout

How Much Conditioning Do You Really Need?

STACK Challenge: 5 Minutes of Treadmill Torture

Who Invented the Burpee?

How to Avoid Hockey Conditioning That Slows You Down

LeBron James's Insane Conditioning Drill

STACK Challenge: 500-Meter Row

Full-Body Conditioning Workout: 3 Loaded Carry Variations

Understanding the Benefits and Risks of Altitude Training

4 HIIT Workouts That Will Get You in Shape Fast

Win the Fourth Quarter With These Basketball Sled Push Finishers

Test Your Toughness With the Who Dat? Challenge

In Defense of Cardio

Can You Survive the

4 Simple Drills to Improve Your Endurance

Baseball Conditioning: Why You Need an Aerobic Base

5 Brutal Sprint Drills That Push the Lactic Threshold

In-Season Baseball Pitcher Workout Program

Can You Survive These 4 Crazy Plate Push Finishers?

STACK Challenge: The 10/10 Treadmill Challenge

STACK Challenge: Finish Strong

How Sporting Kansas City Stays 'Sporting Fit'

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: The Hill

LaTroy Hawkins' Epic Battle Ropes Workout

Get in Shape With This Basketball Conditioning Workout

A Slo-Mo Must-See: Ike Taylor's 4-Man Battle Rope Squats

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Interval Sprints

Training with the Elevation Training Mask 2.0

High-Intensity Interval Training: How Much Is Too Much?

Train Harder With Hill Sprints