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Nate lewis
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Nate lewis   My Press Releases

Strength Coach Thoughts on In-Season Training for Hockey

Published on 12/4/2018
For additional information  Click Here

Craig Edwards-From

I had this Friday off so I decided to put together a quick little brain-dump on in-season training with hockey players. Nothing new or outside the box, but some good reminders for other coaches working with hockey as well as a lot at what we are doing on a weekly basis.

#1: Don't Underestimate the Importance of Diaphragmatic Breathing


“If breathing isn't normalized no other movement pattern will be.” Karl Lewit


This is simple: diaphragmatic breathing is probably the simplest and easiest thing we can perform with our athletes when it comes to changing and improving movement and performance.

Proper respiration leads to better posture. Better posture leads to an athlete that is more resilient to injury and leads to better performance. More resilient + better performance = better athlete. Don't miss out on the low hanging fruit.


#2: Consistently Sprinting On and Off Ice

Acceleration is king in most sports and hockey is no different. Winning chases to loose pucks and stops/starts are all acceleration based. If you want to be fast in short distances you need to consistently working to improve being fast over short distances.

Consistently timing 10 yard sprints is one of the best additions to our off-ice program that we've ever made (thanks Tony Holler and Michael Boyle). We've always performed acceleration work, but the intent has improved (a night and day difference) when the athlete is sprinting versus the timer.

With the way our week is set up we have been able to consistently time 10's off-ice every Monday. We have done some timed sprints on-ice this fall but not as consistently as we'd like or probably should. In a perfect world, with our current weekly set up, we'd like to time 10's off-ice on Monday's and on-ice on Wednesdays.



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#3: Anti-Extension for Hip/Groin Health

We perform a lot of things year round to help maintain hip/groin health. Some are smaller 'prehab' type things we'll perform as part of our daily warm ups (tissue quality work, Cook Hip Lifts and other bridge work, different Foam Roll/Pilates Ring groin squeezes, various hip flexor strengthening/function work, etc.) while others are training staples like anti-extension core work with movements like rollouts, fallouts, front plank variations and body saws.

Long story short, our goal is to create balance;

- overworked/tight hip flexors can pull the pelvis into an anteriorly tipped position

- creating stiffness through the anterior core with anti-extension core work does the opposite, pulling the pelvis into a more superior position



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#4: Training Power Outside the Sagittal Plane

Hockey is played in different planes, so we train power in different planes. Do we Olympic lift or perform loaded power exercises? Sure. We still hang clean, dumbbell snatch and do jump squats with the trap bar, but we also spend just as much time training power outside of the sagittal plane. We throw med balls in various planes three different days (Monday/Wednesday/Thursday) over the course of each week.....Join today to read the rest of this article and more.....

Craig Edwards - 2017-18 Women's Ice Hockey Coaching Staff - University of New Hampshire

Craig Edwards


Craig Edwards
Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach

Phone: 603-862-3993

Craig Edwards was named the assistant strength and conditioning coach in August 2014.


He supervises, directs and trains student-athletes in regards to exercise and lifting techniques. Edwards also works as a coordinator for Healthy UNH, specifically as the instructor for noon-time faculty/staff strength and conditioning. Healthy UNH’s mission is to promote a campus-wide initiative that encourages faculty, staff and students to improve their health while decreasing health care costs. Read more from Craig Edwards and some of the best coaches in the world. Join today!

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