Off-Ice Training for Youth Hockey Players
April 11, 2013 | Sean Cromarty
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Off-ice hockey workouts are a staple of any serious hockey player development program. In the past, they were reserved for athletes who were mature and fully committed to the game. Now, young players are increasingly taking the time to improve their on-ice game off the ice. (See the 3 Pillars of Hockey Training.)
Off-ice hockey workouts for your athletes should focus on training the fitness characteristics that directly transfer to hockey skills and tactics. Strength and endurance are obviously important, but you must also incorporate balance, deceleration and stability components into your athletes' programs.
You objective is to educate and introduce sport-specific fundamentals and techniques. Exposing young athletes to a wide variety of training modalities stimulates healthy physical development and increases functional capabilities, motor skills and knowledge. It also limits early specialization and adaption. (See how Henrik Zetterbergs trains off the ice.)
As athletes grow and progress to a full training program, the foundation of all subsequent motor skills is built with solid physical preparation. Athletes become better prepared to handle more intense and advanced workouts, which they must perform to compete at an elite level.
When planning an off-ice training program, you must avoid overtraining. Workouts should be spaced out to allow for proper rest and recovery.
Here are two simple off-ice hockey workouts designed for youth hockey players. Have your athletes do each workout once per week.