The 3×3 Rule for Unstoppable Hockey Performance

If you want to reach your highest potential in hockey and take your entire game to the next level, then your life’s mantra needs to reflect performing “three sets of three” every single day. 

However, we aren’t going to do three sets of three in the traditional sense of performing a hockey-specific exercise such as a skater bound or T-stand.

The true key to hockey success is not just the result of a specific exercise, but how you live your everyday life. As Aristotle (a famous Greek philosopher) once said:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

The best hockey players on the planet didn’t become that way because they had one great workout, one good week of dieting, or one mental performance strategy. Biology does not respond to training stimulus that quickly, and therefore performance enhancement will never occur that quickly. 

Instead, these pro athletes became who they are today because of a relentless devotion to consistency. Consistency beats intensity ten times out of ten. 

One good workout will never get you results, but one great program can be completely life-changing for your hockey dreams. The difference between a “workout” and a “program” is your dedication and consistency to the three sets of three. 

With that said, let’s explore these three sets of three so that you know exactly what you need to do to unlock your next level of progression and take your hockey performance to new heights. 

Set #1: Plan Your Day

Time management is something we all struggle with as aspiring high-performance athletes. There is so much to do and so little time to do it. 

We are constantly juggling multiple things at once, and on the days we don’t prioritize and plan ahead, it feels like we’re losing time. This leads to our main goals remaining incomplete, which would have otherwise moved us ahead in life. We are left with a feeling of being busy but not productive.

There is a time management solution to this so you can accomplish everything you want in life, and it’s your first set of three:

  1. Choose your tools
  2. Prioritize
  3. Execute 

A major mistake I made in the past was always trying to remember what I had to do during the day rather than using the right tools to make planning easier. 

There are two tools I recommend for optimal efficiency: a planner and a to-do list. 

Your daily planner is where you keep track of the important appointments you make with others and with yourself (practices, workouts, healthy meals, etc.). The to-do list is composed of the goals you have for yourself to ensure you have a productive day—rather than just a busy one. 

These tools can be physical or digital; however, I personally find the physical versions of these much more personal, which makes them more “real” in my life (as opposed to a digital reminder that I can just swipe away on my phone in an instant). 

Next, you need to create your daily plan the night before and identify exactly what it is you’re going to prioritize so you can become a better hockey player. 

I find when you have your day planned in advance, you know what you need to do, where you need to be, and when you need to be there. This completely removes the beckoning call of entertaining distractions (social media, Netflix, etc.), because you already have a plan in place; breaking that plan would be admitting to yourself that getting better at hockey isn’t something that’s important to you. 

I recommend planning your day the night before, noting any planned appointments you have with others (dentist, hockey practice, power skating, etc.), any planned appointments you have for yourself (workouts, mobility drills, stickhandling sessions, etc.), and a list of your top three priorities to accomplish in order for you to say it was a successful and productive day. 

Lastly, it’s time to create a bullet-proof plan for execution.

There’s an old saying that goes “knowledge is power”; however, I think only applied knowledge is power, because knowledge without application means nothing to the aspiring hockey athlete. 

Your plan of unstoppable execution means you need to be realistic with the number of tasks you plan into your day. If you try to accomplish too many things, you will either burn out or feel disappointed that you didn’t complete your entire to-do list. 

Once you have identified what tomorrow is going to look like, it’s important to estimate how long each priority will take and schedule both a start and end time for their execution. 

I find setting start times for tasks boosts motivation, because now you know the clock is ticking. Similarly, I find scheduling end times for task completion forces me to be maximally productive, because nothing is more motivating than a hard deadline. 

Choose the right tools and then prioritize and execute all of your hockey goals. You will be amazed at what this does for your entire life—both on and off the ice. 

SECTION RECAP 

Set 1: Plan Your Day

  • Choose the right tools
  • Prioritize for maximum productivity 
  • Create a bullet-proof execution plan

Set #2: Dryland Training

Crossover Hockey Training

How you perform on the ice has everything to do with how well you prepare off the ice. 

The competition pool is too deep in modern day hockey to simply “wing it” when it comes to dryland training. Back in the ’90s and early 2000s, you might have gotten away with “winging it” if you were really talented, but with the advancement of sports science in today’s standards, you would be a fool to think you won’t have a massive advantage over your competition if you are training correctly and they are not. 

While others try and “wing it” by throwing together old-school workouts their coach used to do or trying to tag along with the football team, you will be completing your second set of three:

  1. Hockey performance training
  2. Hockey mobility routines
  3. Hockey skills drills

I won’t spend much time in this section dissecting the science behind these three pillars of dryland training, because we have hundreds of articles, podcasts, and videos already available on these topics. 

However, I do want to point out that your dryland training is a lot like a tripod. What happens when you knock one of the legs out from a tripod? The entire thing will collapse. 

Your hockey performance training workouts represent the “hard” workouts you do such as resistance training, speed, agility, conditioning, and plyometric workouts. 

Your hockey mobility routines represent your warm-ups, cool-downs, mobility circuits, injury prevention exercises, and hockey yoga sessions. 

And your hockey skills drills represent your stickhandling, shooting, and edge work routines. 

All three of these hockey performance qualities are irreplaceable if you want to be the best athlete you can be.

It doesn’t matter how strong and powerful you are if you don’t have the mobility to move like an athlete. It doesn’t matter how skilled you are if you’re so weak that you just get bullied every time you step out on the ice. And it doesn’t matter how mobile you are if you don’t have the skills to put that mobility to good use.  

Until you remain consistent in applying the best possible routines for each category, you will always have one of your “legs” missing, and you will “collapse” out on the ice during the times where you need to be your best. 

Neither one of these are more important than the others, because in today’s competition climate, you need everything if you want to be that go-to player on your team who lights up the scorecards and gets your team the big wins. 

SECTION RECAP

Set 2: Dryland Training

  • Hockey performance training
  • Hockey mobility routines
  • Hockey skills drills

Set #3: Hockey-Specific Nutrition

Healthy Fridge

Sport and exercise nutrition is a relatively new discipline rapidly gaining importance and recognition in the hockey world. 

It was only a handful of years ago where sports nutrition was a topic only covered in exercise physiology textbooks—and in most of these textbooks, it only received a single chapter.

But in more recent years, sports and exercise nutrition as a whole has gained massive traction, developing into its own mature discipline with its own scientific journals and textbooks. 

The “one-chapter strategy” of the old days only scratched the surface of what should have been discussed in exercise physiology classes. Unfortunately, this has led many old-school coaches to believe in and promote outdated methods based on non-hockey-specific research studies. 

We are aiming to change that today with your final set of three:

  1. Pre-game fuel
  2. Post-game recovery
  3. Optimal hockey grocery list

The role of sports nutrition has become increasingly more important to athletic success. The research is clearly demonstrating its role in adaptations from exercise, recovery, fueling hockey-specific activity, regulating body composition, improving career longevity, and taking athletes from sub-par performance to an improved performance measure just through advanced nutrient timing strategies alone.

It’s common sense to realize that nutrition impacts nearly every process in the body involved in energy production and recovery from intense exercise. 

You can’t just create fuel out of thin air for pre-game hockey-specific energy expenditure—and you also can’t just assume that whatever you eat post game is going to provide the nutrients for muscular and nervous system repair just because it has some protein in it.

Biology doesn’t work like that. There are specific supply and demand chains you need to meet if you want to optimize both performance and recovery in a hockey-specific way.

Having a collection of pre- and post-game recipes and specific foods on your grocery list that are beneficial for hockey performance is key to reaching your potential in this sport. 

For example, I just recorded a video recently on the Top 4 Hockey-Specific Electrolyte Whole Foods for the Hockey Training Community members. Do you know what these foods are? If not, you should—and they should already be on your grocery list, because deficiencies in these nutrients alone would create a massive performance decrease even if you were the most genetically talented hockey player in the world. 

You can’t cheat biology; it won’t perform unless you give it what it needs. 

SECTION RECAP

Set 3: Hockey-Specific Nutrition

  • Pre-game hockey recipes
  • Post-game hockey recovery strategies
  • Optimal hockey grocery list

The Complete Solution for Unstoppable Hockey Performance

You’re ready.

You’re motivated. 

You know exactly what you need to do. 

These three sets of three will guide you all the way to fulfilling your hockey potential, but now it’s time to separate the action-takers from the dreamers. 

A dreamer is the hockey player who has aspirations of making it to the big leagues but never puts in enough honest effort to make it happen. They love hockey, but they lack the amount of action required to take everything to the next level, because they only want to do the things that they enjoy most and are the easiest to do. 

The action-taker, on the other hand, loves hockey so much that they are willing to do whatever it takes in order to be that go-to player on their team and get recognized by coaches, parents, players, and scouts as the best player on the ice—the player who has earned and deserves their shot in the next level of competition.

If you’re a dreamer, that’s OK. The sport of hockey will always be here for you, and you will have a blast playing it for the rest of your life. 

But if you’re an action-taker and you’re ready to discover how to put the three sets of three into your everyday life, then I have the perfect solution for you:

The brand-new Hockey Performance Kit is now live! 

Hockey Performance Kit

The Hockey Performance Kit is priceless. These tools deliver lasting results that are exponentially more effective than what you’ll get from the latest goal-setting app.

This hockey-specific wisdom from Kevin and I, who have both worked with tens of thousands of hockey players, gives you the pillars of success for finally accomplishing your big goals.

The workouts, posters, planners, recipes, and cutting-edge hockey training and nutrition protocols you’ll receive as part of the performance kit show you exactly what changes you need to make right now to obtain the hockey success you’ve dreamed about.

This is as done-for-you as hockey success can ever get.

You’ll attract the skills, mindset, and success that you deserve and desire after all these years of hard work. This is your opportunity to rewrite the story of your life and begin living your hockey dreams.

Click here to look inside your Hockey Performance Kit and take action today.

Let’s go! 

Written by
Dan Garner
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1 comment
  • Hi coaches, you wrote you just recorded a video recently on the Top 4 Hockey-Specific Electrolyte Whole Foods for the Hockey Training Community members.
    Unfortunately, while given link does take me to the general hockey training community page, it doesn’t take me to mentioned video – which I can’t find there neither. Could you please provide a link to this video? So when I come back from shopping 1. bananas, 2. broccoli, 3. chicken and 4. brown rice I can watch and know better during next grocery shopping 😉