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Goalie Training: Off-Ice Testing For Hockey

Goalie Training: Off-Ice Testing For Hockey

Maria Mountain, M.Sc.

Maria Mountain, M.Sc.

What I didn’t understand until I did my Masters research in University is how hard it actually is to get valid and reliable testing results.

It seems simple on the surface doesn’t it? If we do X and the athlete improves in Y, then the training works right?

If this guy can do the most bench presses, chin ups and has the fastest time in the two-mile run they are in great shape right?

Well, they may be in great shape, but they are not necessarily hockey-fit. See the difference?

In fact even at the NHL level, the players that do the best in their fitness testing at training camp are not the best players on the team where it counts: On the ice.

So should we bother with off-ice testing at all?

The answer is “Yes.” Absolutely.

Here’s what the off-ice testing tells us:

  • Who is putting in the time and effort to become stronger, faster and have more stamina
  • Is the training program affecting the attributes that can help on the ice – mobility, stability, strength, speed and stamina?

Although the athlete who tests the best might not be the best performer on the ice, maybe those improvements in testing took them from an average player to an above-average player. Maybe their testing results at training camp were enough to get them noticed by coaches. Here’s a secret … ready?

Most coaches don’t know that these tests are not really a valid measure of on-ice ability, so they think if you increase your bench by 15 reps that you are really ready for the season.

Should your scores always be going up, up, up?

No, not really, because your off-season training will have different phases focusing on different attributes. During the first few months of the off-season your standing long jump might go down slightly – that is okay, you are doing higher volume as you build your base. Don’t panic.

If it is not going up during your max strength or power phase, then you can panic a little and wonder if you are doing your training the right way. It might be that your program is fine, but your intensity is not there when you do the workouts.

You are looking for an upward trend over time.

So here is the basic off-ice testing that we do throughout the summer (every four weeks) with our off-season hockey program:

Aren’t there better tests?

Yes, there are some great lab tests that you can use to measure power output (I will show you a tool we are going to use in the gym to measure power in another article) and they are great. However, unless you have a contact at a university or sports performance lab, these are some simple tests that will give you an indication of your improvement over time.

Happy training.

Maria-Mountain-150x150Hockey 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.

You can get a FREE 14-Day Flexibility program for goalies HERE!

About The Author

Maria Mountain M.Sc.

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. Try Maria's Goalie Stretch Solution today.