The minor hockey system seems to get more and more scrutinized each year. With all of this attention comes a heightened level of specialization in the athletes because they are being taught that being a better hockey player in controlled spaces will give them a better chance to get ahead of the game. The reality is this: the better their general athleticism, the higher the capacity to adapt, grow and perform as a hockey player. With this advanced specialization in practice, drills and off ice protocol comes increased risk of injury due to overuse, not to mention burnout.
It is our belief that off ice conditioning for these athletes should be about making them better fundamental athletes, and increasing their work capacity. As athletes fatigue, their mental energy and ability to make effective decisions is diminished first during games. For this exact reason, conditioning in our program is more about diminishing the time it takes to recover; the best athletes are at their best when it matters, when others grow tired or nervous. Those players who “step up” are simply resorting to the performance mode that they have spent the most time in.
The philosophy behind Shiftd Hockey’s combine is to establish baseline testing results with field tests that are easily repeatable. The athletes will be brought through a battery of tests assessing their general athleticism. The less fancy the materials, the more the focus lends itself to what the root importance is; who has the highest potential for becoming the long term winner. There are many factors that go into the development of an athlete, long term. At Shiftd, we believe strongly in the following three:
Self Awareness (Track) : The athlete produces results and is ranked amongst their peer group, assessing where they stand, what to improve and where their strong points lay.
Discipline (Hack) – The attention to detail, and focused energy on improving for themselves specifically. Cookie cutter programming will not do anyone any justice, and the fact that they have all tested individually is a testament to that fact. This is where the ‘how-to’ of programming becomes vital, because as individual results become important, the unique process for each human being comes to the forefront.
The Process (Attack) – Ability for the athlete to plan the work, and then work the plan. Patience and effort are the keys in this phase. Steady progress and staying the course of action is a skill that accompanies many of the best athletes and professionals. The progress is the crucial part of development. The athlete will spend about 80% of their time in this mode, and roughly 20% in performance mode, and so it only makes sense to train them to master the development mode, and allow them to build the tools it takes for the performance to be excellent and replicated.
The combine on April 13th, 2019 will be cover these testing parameters:
- Upper body strength and power relative to weight
- lower body power and strength relative to weight
- core stability
- aerobic capacity
- fatigue index
Along with the tests performed, the athletes will be informed with many effective activation, training and recovery principles that our team has used and tested through years of purposeful practice.
Including a proper dynamic warm up, muscle activation, training protocols, conditioning methods, advanced breathing components and mind/body recovery techniques that will ensure they are getting the most out of their off-seasons, and working to improve their individual testing results.
The goal is to get these athletes to build self awareness and to be able to implement their action plans in order to perform at a higher level and give themselves a better opportunity to succeed.