Using A Medicine Ball To Develop Stability And Agility
It is a great tool for both on and off the ice as long as there is a clear goal for the use of the tool and a precise load and dose for the drill. We use medicine balls in the RevCon gym to achieve many training outcomes: Rotary power, stability, linear power, lateral power and just plain old overload.
I like using the medicine ball with goalies to add some overload to their power and agility drills. I think in my earlier days working with goalies I didn’t fully account for the weight of the gear in transferring gains off the ice onto the ice. I am not saying that every speed or power drill needs to have overload to mimic gear. That would be a mistake but there are times when we want to do that.
This is one of my favourites drills with the medicine ball because it provides overload that the goalie must stabilize. This is different from wearing a weight vest, which provides overload, but not much need for additional stabilization (some, but not much):
With the ball held off the chest there is an increase demand on the goalie to maintain a stable torso while limiting their ability to use their hands as a driver.
As a coach you can easily see if the goalie is keeping his/her shoulders square and keeping the hands quiet.
Start with three sets of three times 10 seconds completing the drill above and 50 seconds performing a front plank on the first rep, right side plank on the second rep and left side plank on the third rep.
Do not go for the heaviest medicine ball possible. I suggest starting with six pounds and building up to 20 pounds, but your progression will be based on technical competency.
Hockey strength and conditioning coach Maria Mountain, MSc specializes in off-ice training for hockey goalies. As the founder of www.GoalieTrainingPro.com and the owner of Revolution Sport Conditioning in London, Ontario, Maria has trained Olympic Gold medalists, a Stanley Cup Champ and athletes from MLB, NHL, AHL, CHL, CIS and more.
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