February 2016

February 2016 Programs:

At this point, most youth seasons are wrapping up. A lot of coaches make the mistake of trying to “binge prepare” for playoffs and end up doing too much (both on and off the ice), ultimately leading players into an over-trained status heading into the most important games of the season.

This is the time to keep things really simple from a training standpoint. If you’ve put in the work consistently throughout the season, you’ll be in great shape through the end of your season and leading into the playoffs.

With our Group A players, we mix and match games we’ve used throughout the year into the Phase 4 program to keep them engaged and having fun. Group B starts a new phase, but all of familiar exercises. Group C will finish Phase 6, then cycle back into the first two weeks of Phase 5, then back to the first two weeks of Phase 6 up until the week before playoffs, at which point they’ll use the recovery phase.

With the Junior programs, our team is only 1 week into the phase I posted last month, as a result of a break leading into the holidays. The great thing about this phase is that it shouldn’t be overly fatiguing and really emphasizes the qualities we want heading into the post-season. If you’re ahead of us, I’d encourage you to go back through Phase 5 (included below) again. The final phase, which I’ll post in a few weeks, will involve more low weight, high velocity work for both groups, and will be slightly lower in volume than this program (e.g. less sets).

As a reminder, our youth teams are divided up as follows: Group A  (U-10-U-12); Group B (U-13-U-15); and Group C (U-16-U-18).

A few notes:

  • In almost all cases, our teams train two times per week , either Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday. If you’re on your own, do your best to train twice, leaving one day between training days and one day between your last training day and your next game.
  • A 0-3-0 tempo (or 3s pause) means down under control, pause for 3, then up as fast as possible with no pause. The goals here are to take out the stretch reflex and stretch shortening cycle, as well as develop strength in what is typically the weakest part of the motion. A “3s negative” means going down in 3 seconds, then coming up as fast as possible.
  • The percentages in the youth programs are meant as guidelines, as we don’t test these age groups. You can think of them as “effort levels”. A 50% load should be a 5/10 difficulty if lifted once. The kids pick this up pretty quickly after a phase or two.
  • Our junior team has individualized conditioning and corrective work that they perform on a separate day. Because it’s all individualized, I haven’t included it here. Many of them will perform 2 x (10x:10/:20)/5:00 at around an 80-90% effort level on an airdyne (or anything low impact) for the next 4 weeks between their two lifting days. If you’re new to my programming, this means two rounds of 10 sets of 10 seconds on (@~80-90% effort) and 20 seconds off, with 5 minutes between the two rounds. If you’re a junior player, you can add this into the attached program.
  • With the junior programs, I plugged in “100” for all of their testing results so you can see the percentages used for the lifts. The tests used as references are 1-Leg Goblet Squat, Front Squat, 1-Leg DB SLDL, Chin-Up, and Bench Press. All are estimated 1-RMs from either our testing or from Phase 1 of their program. We regularly make adjustments based on how the guys are feeling, so use some judgement if you’re going off of those numbers. The Speed & Power lifts for this phase are intentionally very light (50-65%) as the goal is to get as many reps as possible within a specific time period.
  • With our youngest players, we’re continuing to shift toward more game-like environments and emphasizing exploratory movement and fun over “rigidity” in our programs. While we don’t put this on paper, a lot of our locomotion warm-ups will be performed “chaotically” (e.g. the athletes can move wherever they want within a confined space, but they won’t be set-up in lines and told to move straight ahead). If you work with youth teams, and have the patience to try it, I’d encourage you to do so. Taking this approach doesn’t make it look organized, but it is more fun.

Good luck!

Get the programs here:

    1. Group A: Warm-Up
    2. Group A: Phase 4
    3. Group B: Phase 6
    4. Group C: Phase 5
    5. Group C: Phase 6
    6. Group C: Recovery Phase
    7. Juniors: Phase 5 (Strength)
    8. Juniors: Phase 5 (S&P)

*If you don’t have equipment referenced in these programs, use Ultimate Hockey Training to guide you in making substitutions. If you’re still stuck, I’d encourage you to post your question to my Facebook Page here: Ultimate Hockey Training

Download Instructions:

1) Point your cursor over the highlighted program text above
2) Choose “Save Target As” or “Save Linked File” (Mac Users)
3) Save the file anywhere on your computer you’ll remember (Desktop Preferred)