How To Get In Shape Before Tryouts
Get In Shape For Hockey Tryouts
For most of you the hockey season or training camp starts in about three weeks. This is when I start getting a flood of emails asking for the best way to get into peak shape before then. The question has a few different forms…
- I really need to get in shape before my hockey season starts in two weeks. What exercise should I focus on?
- I have been following Ultimate Goalie Training and have training camp in two weeks, what exercise should I be focusing on?
There are other variations, but those are the two genres. The player who has done nothing all off-season and is panicking and the player who has been working consistently all off-season and ‘just wants to make sure’ they are ready.
The solution is different from each hockey player; so let’s look at them individually.
I Did Not Follow My Off-Season Hockey Training Plan And Now I Am Panicking…
Well, your instincts are right, you are a little bit screwed, but hopefully your skill will let you make the team you are trying out for and then if you are really serious about contributing to your team, not just in spirit but in actual performance on the ice, you will follow this advice…
- DON’T race into the gym tomorrow and start trying to lift heavy, then go run at the track until you barf, followed by more lifting and a 5-mile run for cardio with some plyos thrown in for good measure. This will only fatigue you for camp, make you appear in even WORSE shape and exponentially increase your risk of injury.
- DO start doing something. Start following a system by beginning at the beginning. Ideally you will work with a trainer who will assess where you are and help map out a plan that gets you where you want to be by the end of the season without undue fatigue. Another good option is looking at something like the Goalie Workout Club or Hockey Workout Club which provide a new off-ice training programs to build your flexibility, stability, strength and speed on the ice. They are a bargain at well under $20
- DO be consistent, don’t get ‘too busy’ to train. You don’t have a foundation at all, so the grind of the season will wear you down and you will be at your worst by the time play-offs roll around. Even if it means only doing 1-2 sets of your strength and power exercises, keep that up.
I Have Been Training Consistently And Just Want To ‘Make Sure’…
Your instincts are WRONG; you don’t need to do anything more than follow your plan. Trust your training. You have invested your time and energy and you will get a return on that investment. Just like investing in the stock market, you have hopefully invested your time and energy wisely by following a good off-season hockey training program (not one of those get ripped fast with these brutal 90-minute workouts everyday) and you will get a solid return.
Trying to add in a bunch of extra stuff just to make sure is like Warren Buffet dumping his fortune into a dot-com start up that everyone says is ‘going through the roof’ – that is gambling with your future. So here is my advice to you…
- Stay the course
- Keep doing what you are doing
- Make sure you are getting enough rest, especially if you are skating more this month before the season starts – if these skates are good quality workouts, they can replace your off-ice speed or stamina workout for that day.
- Stay healthy; do not ignore any little tweak or ache, no matter how insignificant it seems, get a good sport physio to have a look. I guarantee you it will only get worse once you get into the competition of training camp and the season. The last thing we want is for you to start the season watching from the stands.
- Take at least two days off before training camp or tryouts start.
- Keep up with your strength and power work during the season. Try to get this done 2-3 times per week. You should be getting good stamina work with games and practices, focus on strength and power, with short, but intense workouts (20-40 minutes) that do not leave you exhausted.
So there you go – your road map heading into the last few weeks of the off-season. If you have taken the steps to be ready, you are ready. If you have missed that opportunity then remember this…
The best time to start training for this season was 3-months ago.
The second best time to start training for this hockey season is TODAY.
You cannot accelerate your gains, there is no short cut, just start today and keep going.