How To Run Hockey Team Workouts

hockey team training

In this article, I’m going to show you an easy-to-follow formula that you can use to start creating team workouts for hockey. 

Life can be a little tough on a coach sometimes in real-world scenarios. 

In most cases, the information provided to hockey players can be excellent, but not always applicable to what can be realistically performed in practical life. 

For example, squatting a set of 3 and then going immediately into a 100-meter sprint for your superset is something that can’t be done at almost every commercial gym on the planet.

And even if it could be done, how would a coach set up enough squat racks to be able to accommodate for his/her entire team so they can workout together? 

Sometimes, what’s “optimal” is just never realistic.

What happens next is a coach then has to make his/her own workouts – which is super tough all by itself. 

The world of strength and conditioning is a science, it’s not something you can really “pick up” on your downtime. 

Most coaches have full-time jobs, families, and “life” obligations thrown at them already. Then they are also put there to fulfill the role of being the skills coach (shooting, skating, creating plays, etc.) and NOT the strength and conditioning coach. 

Just like no one would trust a strength and conditioning coach to run the team through advanced edge work drills, no one should trust the coach to properly create a hockey-specific periodization system to enhance performance progressively. 

These are apples and oranges and is why here at Hockey Training, I focus on the dryland training side of the equation, and Kevin covers all of your on-ice needs. 

Today, my goal is to bring my knowledge of hockey training to the coaches who live in the real world and provide you a framework you can use to run your hockey athletes through to enhance their physical fitness in a practical way that is still hockey-specific. 

Creating Hockey Team Workouts

Getting a team together to perform a workout involves some preparation designing the workout but also consists of some preparation of getting the athletes to understand what they are doing. 

Going back to the “real world” examples of life – every single coach out there who is reading this all has a story about how they repeated what drill they were doing a hundred times and then when it was time for the drill to be executed a handful of kids still had no idea what they were doing or where they needed to go. 

For this exact reason, I always explain before the team workout even starts that each athlete needs to be looking at the next station while they are performing their current exercise. 

For example, they may be at Station 2 and performing bodyweight squats, but during their squats, they need to be watching the Station 3 athlete doing burpees, so they know exactly where to go next and what they are doing without any confusion. 

This cue alone will make for a more productive workout for you and your team, and probably save you a few grey hairs. 

Another way you can direct very clear transitions between circuit stations is by the simple use of your whistle. 

For example, a verbal yell of “Go!” could be to begin the exercise, but a tweet of a whistle could be to stop the exercise. 

So, if you were performing a 45 seconds “on”, 15 seconds “off” circuit (45 seconds at each station with 15 seconds time off in between sets to give each player enough time to get to the next station) – you would yell “go!” and all of the athletes would begin their exercise, but you’re going to need a piercing “tweet!” of the whistle to disengage movement because it will become very loud and noisy while all stations are in motion. 

Again, just making life easier for you and your athletes so you can get maximum productivity per unit of time invested into training. 

Expanding on these tactics, you can format highly functional hockey conditioning circuits for large groups of athletes. 

I can personally attest to these tactics as I have used them myself with groups that were greater than 50 in attendance, all running through a massive circuit. 

If I can control over 50 people by myself, what do you think you can accomplish with a motivated hockey team?

Hockey Team Training Formula

The most crucial component of training a whole hockey team at once is keeping things simple, but never make the mistake of thinking that simple means easy. 

Coaches and trainers have a need to overcomplicate things in modern times.

Let me tell you something I always want you to remember:

Sophisticated does not mean complicated.

You can have a highly advanced and sophisticated training system without needing all of the needless “nitty gritty” details of minute anatomy biomechanics, tempo counting, or artificially intelligent training technology. 

Just create the workouts and execute – leave the more technical work for your in-the-gym systems under professional supervision.

How To Create A Hockey Team Dryland Circuit

1. Use six exercises:

Station 1: Cardio (e.g. Carioca) 
Station 2: Balance (e.g. One-legged anterior reaches)
Station 3: Total body kinetic chain (e.g. Medicine ball squat-curl-press)
Station 4: Push movement (e.g. Push up variations)
Station 5: Pull movement (e.g. Bodyweight inverted rows)
Station 6: Lower body movement (e.g. Bodyweight split squats)

2. Set up as many circuits as you need to accommodate all your players. This could mean that you have three athletes at each station at the same time, or, you have three identical circuits set up so that every athlete has their own station. 

3. Set up your circuits in a circle and don’t have them running all over the place/crossing each other’s path. 

4. If you need a few more stations to make things simpler for the equipment you have available, cardio calisthenics work perfectly here (e.g. Jumping jacks, split jacks, mountain climbers, burpees, etc). Don’t overcomplicate this for yourself or your hockey team. 

5. I find the athletes get great workouts working at a 30 seconds “on”, 15 seconds “off” format – then as they become more fit, you can bump this up to 45 seconds “on”, 15 seconds “off” 

6. Once they have done every station, rest for 60-120 seconds and repeat for 4-6 rounds. 

Example Hockey Team Workout

A1: Split jacks x 30 seconds with 15 seconds rest

A2: Alternating T-stands x 30 seconds with 15 seconds rest

A3: Medicine ball vertical chops x 30 seconds with 15 seconds rest

A4: Close-grip push-ups on medicine ball x 30 seconds with 15 seconds rest

A5: Superman hold’s x 30 seconds with 15 seconds rest

A6: Prisoner reverse lunges x 30 seconds with 15 seconds rest

After running through the circuit each player should rest 90 seconds and repeat for 3-5 total rounds. 

Conclusion

The above framework can be used to provide your hockey team a great hockey-specific workout that they can all do together in a simple yet effective manner. 

When the athlete gets to practice, they need to put their bag away, put their phone away, and pick a station. 

Each station is going to have a sport-specific movement for them to do (e.g. some skater bounds would apply here for hockey players), or just a general strength movement (squats, lunges, push-ups, etc). 

Put your yelling voice on, grab that whistle, and keep this thing rolling from start to finish.  

Ready For More?

If you liked today’s article and want access to more information and workouts just like this to improve the performance of your entire hockey team, then you have to check out the Hockey Skills Accelerator today. 

Written by
Dan Garner
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