If you have not been doing any speed or stamina training on a consistent basis during the off-season, don’t start now.
In the week or two before training camp, you won’t be able to make THAT much improvement, you will increase your risk of injury and you will increase your fatigue. That is a loss you will need to accept and try a different strategy.
I would suggest getting out on the ice, get the feel for moving in your gear again, see some shots, work on your technique. That will get you more benefit, as long as you don’t get carried away. If you have not built the strong foundation over the off-season, I would limit your on-ice sessions to 60-minutes per day. Focus on being technically efficient.
You can spend extra time working on your puck-handling, etc.
If you HAVE been doing your speed and stamina training…
Not much changes in the few weeks before training camp, try-outs or team practices start. Our HockeyStrong guys and gals at RevCon just keep hitting it hard in the gym and outside for their speed and stamina sessions.
But the sessions are modified slightly.
We start to move the two a little closer, trying to reinforce the skill of speed under some fatigue.
So the duration of our Stamina intervals drops a bit. Where we used to top out in the one-minute (even two-minute range) just a few weeks ago, now we are keeping it 40 seconds and under.
There is still lots of rest between the intervals (1:2 or 1:3 work to rest ratio) and there is more cognitive demand with read and react drills, so the player must respond based on visual or audible cues.
Our off-ice speed sessions are still focused on application of power, proper acceleration, deceleration and change of direction mechanics. We just add in more variety in the patterns with changes in rhythm or movement mode.
For example, we might do a micro hurdle quick step over to back over, into a five-yard acceleration with a front to back cone weave into a three-yard acceleration.
Watching that the player maintains proper movement mechanics, like staying low in the legs, getting a good positive shin angle and keeping the shoulders level.
A few days before camp…
A few days before training camp, we ease them back on the stamina work. If their training camp starts on a Friday, they will workout as usual on Monday.
On Tuesday they will do their strength/power workout (more about how we adjust the volume of their lift later this week), but no speed at all OR they will come out and just do a few reps of each drill at 90% speed. This is as much to keep the goalie healthy as anything. The risk of a silly accident is high with speed training, so it is a little superstition of mine to just avoid the risk and keep them healthy.
On Wednesday they will do their strength/power workout (more about how we adjust the volume of their lift later this week), but no stamina at all.
They will get Thursday off.
Friday they will go and dominate their camp.
You go do the same.
PS – next article is on strength and power in the pre-season. Stay tuned.