Sound advice for hockey players at all levels of play.
Total Hockey Conditioning is a comprehensive guide to conditioning that includes both theory and specific training programs for all age groups. Written for coaches, players, trainers, and conditioning specialists, this book explains how to increase strength, power, speed, energy, flexibility, and agility. By applying these principles, players will compete at a higher level while avoiding injuries and recovering more quickly from fatigue.
Key features of this book include:
Detailed and highly informative, this book is illustrated with 450 tables, figures, and diagrams. Practical advice is provided for planning a year-round fitness program.
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Why this book?
When Russia almost beat Canada in the famous Summit series of the early 2970s, North American coaches and players began to realize that a year-round conditioning program, similar to that used by the Russians, was essential to the development of hockey players. Although the Russians were highly skilled, they dominated many of the early games of the eight-game series, especially in the later stages, primarily because of their superb conditioning. After this series, year-round conditioning programs were developed and produced for North Americans, although many were not well thought out and not sport specific. Today our knowledge of training programs is scientifically-based, and it is very rare that an older, elite hockey player is not participating in a year-round conditioning program of some type.
Physical conditioning is an aspect of sport performance that all can achieve, although peak conditioning can vary among individuals. Physical conditioning delays the onset of fatigue, which is a key element in the deterioration of a hockey player's skills (technical) and mental judgment tactical) in a game. Fatigue is also a negative factor in motivation and determination, and the ability to focus and concentrate on the task at hand. A fatigued athlete is also more susceptible to injuries because movements are not as quick to avoid potential injuries. Fatigue cannot be eliminated from the game, but a highly conditioned athlete can resist fatigue for a longer period of time and can recover faster from its negative effects. On the other hand, a poorly conditioned athlete will always fatigue first and make more tactical and technical mistakes.
Good conditioning = high game efficiency = success
What you will learn from this book
Everyone knows how complex the game of hockey is. Technical and tactical skills are very intricate, while both the body and mind are taxed to their limits.
Although there are many facets of ice hockey, to assist you in training your players to the highest level of physical conditioning, we refer only to the extremely important elements of fitness. Players will play a more effective game when they have a superior level of conditioning. They will also make fewer technical mistakes, improve their tactical abilities, be more refreshed mentally, and should play a more intensive game when they are better trained physically.
Consequently, the intent of this book is to expose you to the best conditioning methods for ice hockey. This book will familiarize you with all the fitness components necessary for hockey: strength and power, speed and agility, flexibility, and specific endurance.
Many aspects of conditioning are discussed in this book. We will introduce you to one of the most important concepts in training - periodization. Once you have a strong grasp of this concept your planning skills will improve. You will know what and when to train in a given training phase, resulting in a better yearly program. We will also discuss another important aspect - training the energy systems. This means we will analyze which energy systems are dominant in hockey and in what proportions, and show you how to train them in a given training phase. We also have a very important chapter on Evaluation of fitness on and off the ice, which makes this as simple and practicable as possible. This will help you better monitor your players' improvement.
There is not much need to demonstrate why nutrition and mental training are so important for all hockey players. Even if you do not believe the old adage of "mind over body" you will certainly recognize the need for proper psychological preparation. As well as discussing nutrition from an abstract position, we will actually suggest how your players should eat to be more energized for their game.
This book is one of the few that discusses and suggests fitness training programs for all ages. Most papers, and the two to three books available on the market for fitness training, refer only to training highly skilled players. Few however, address the extremely important element of how to train fitness in young players. It is at this level that we make most training mistakes. While we recognize and discuss this extremely important element of fitness training, it is of greater importance that we actually suggest year-round fitness training for different age groups! We start the program from the elite (professional, university, national) level, and go down through the age group levels. Even if you are not interested in a training program for an elite team, we strongly suggest that you read the introductory pages of that program, since they contain general information that is valid for all age groups.
How to Use This Book
For improved understanding and retention, and most importantly better application of the concepts discussed in this book, we suggest that you read the first part of the book before looking at the actual training programs. An intelligent coach will always attempt to understand a concept before applying it. Application relies heavily on comprehending an idea; therefore, please learn or refresh your knowledge in all of the dominant fitness components for hockey. Part 2 of the book presents specific age group programs from Pee Wee (age 12, 13) to junior, professional, university, and elite level teams. Guidelines are provided for training players under 12. Your understanding of the concepts we used to plan the fitness programs of your interest, will enable you to decide what changes, if any, you need to make to adjust our suggested programs to meet the needs of your players. By going through this book you will reach a very high level of knowledge in fitness training for hockey.
Who Can Use This Book
This book is designed in such a way that it addresses the fitness training needs for coaches and hockey instructors. Since the language and presentation are as clear as possible, parents who want to help their children become the best hockey players possible can also use this book. Similarly, this book can be used successfully by individual hockey players themselves, especially those playing at the elite level.About the Author:
Tudor O. Bompa, PhD is a training expert and author of Total Training for Young Champions and Serious Strength Training.
Dave Chambers, PhD is a former coach with the NHL and Team Canada. He is the author of many articles and books including Hockey Conditioning.
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