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Season Long Plan for Ice Hockey Team


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My name is Jim Fox and I run all facets of off-ice training for the Washington Pride.


Training for The Washington Pride starts in late August and concludes in April at Nationals. The team is comprised of 17 young women from across the country. Many drive hours to participate in practices 3-4 times per week.


This entails a 7 month long program that must be hockey specific, but also take into consideration the grueling day to day activities of practice, play and off-ice training. The program starts with testing which consists of some of the same tests the NHL uses to help scouts assess an athletes physical ability.


The tests are: height, weight, body fat, sit and reach, vertical, standing broad jump, medicine ball chest pass, pro-agility, max push-ups, max sit-ups, and a 300 yd. shuttle. These tests are conducted three times per year, beginning, middle and end of season.


The purpose of the tests are threefold. They give the coach needed information about each player, the tests give the athletes goals to achieve, and finally the tests tell me whether I am conducting off-ice training in a way that is beneficial.


After testing is completed regular off-ice training starts. Typically the Pride practices 3 to 4 times per week with off-ice training occuring on each of those days. The Pride does strength training, plyometrics, agility, and conditioning two times per week.


Since the team plays games on the weekend and sometimes as early as Friday we do the majority of our off-ice training Monday through Thursday. This gives the players a day to rest before competing.


A typical off-ice session happens after practice and would contain the following if we were concentrating on agility and conditioning for that day: Speed training to include drills to work on proper running technique, hill training, and speed devices.


Agility drills that would involve an agility ladder, cone drills, reaction drills with a partner or agility drills within an open area such as back-runs, shuffles etc. The final segment would contain the conditioning. This could contain 100 yd. sprints, 300 yd. shuttles, or 800 meter sprints.


Hockey contains many repeated actions over the course of a practice as well as games. In order to guard against overuse injuries from these actions one must construct a strength program that can balance out these overuse injuries.


In hockey a proper position while skating is deep bend in the knees, almost a squat, with the back striaght, not bentover. When fatiqued an athlete has a tendency to bend at the waist compromising the low back. This if repeated could cause an overuse injury. To guard against one must put into a off-ice program exercise to stretch the low back since it is in a continual state of action, as well as strengthen the abdominal muscles.


The previous schedule in addition to day to day stretching, self massage techniques ,using a foam roller, as well as proper nutrition are keys to staying healthy during our hockey season.


More about the Pride can be found here:



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Do you use different techniques for training female athletes?

Shannon. That's a good question. Men and women are different, so the approach is different as well.


Due to a man's inherent testosterone production they are able to lift more and perform alot of power based exercise at a higher level then women, but female athletes can do those same types of activities.


The approach differs more mentally then physically.


In the teenage years most young men are fueled by testosterone which can lead to aggressive behavior etc. which when coaching must be delt with in a firm but fair approach. Women at this age are basically easier to deal with, more apt to listen and go along with your plan as a coach.


I don't differ my techniques that much from men to women although I will allow for reduction of training around a woman's cycle. I hope that answered your question.




Jim Fox.

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I have been doing studies that cold showers are good for athletes before training is good and warm shower is good after. Any truth to that Coach Fox.

Richard. Research on cold showers indicates that it can boost immune system. This in general is great for an athlete due to a strong immune system being important for recuperation from training. In general warm baths, hot compresses etc. are used prior to practice to facilitate a warming of the body to prepare for activity. Cold baths or showers are used to slow down metabolism in order to speed recuperation after practice or workouts. In my years with the Washington Capitals they had a set-up at Verizon Center with one hot bath and one cold bath that guys would go from one to the other acting to exercise the muscles from the heat to the cold. I hope that answers your question. It was a good one. Jim Fox.

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