One of the hardest things to do while on the road with a professional hockey team is to get strength training sessions in.
It is already very difficult to get quality strength training in while at home. Whether it is a one-game road trip or a 5-game road trip, training on the road is very challenging.
When I first started working in the professional environment in 2002, I would bring our own foam rollers, bands, and other smaller items to with help us with getting our players prepare for games and implement rehab protocols. I would borrow a pair of dumbbells from the home team and try to get some strength training in with our healthy scratches and injured players. (Healthy scratches are those players who may be with the team but not playing in the game (scratched)).
Sometimes, we would go to a local gym or heath club and do the best we could to replicate a team training session. Although these weren't the best situations, we did the best we could.
When the season started after the lockout in 2013, there was a rule put in place that every team needed to provide the visiting team with strength and conditioning equipment. PowerBlock assembled a cart that was easily transportable that contains several pieces of equipment that allows the Strength and Conditioning Coach to implement better training sessions while on the road.
Perform Better provided the equipment for the cart which contains:
- 1 barbell
- 2-45 lb. and 2-25 lb. plates
- foam rollers
- mini bands
- Bosu ball
- agility ladder
- lacrosse balls
- stability balls
- 2 pairs of adjustable dumbbells (up to 50lbs each)
- and other smaller items.
There is also a pull up bar attached to a nearby wall and 3 exercise bikes.
The cart is available in every visiting locker room. Some “weight rooms” are better than others. Some rooms are spacious while some are no bigger than a closet.
For my programming, it has become an awesome addition to the life of the strength and conditioning coach on the road. Players will use the foam rollers, lacrosse balls, massage sticks, and stretch out straps on their own to help them prepare for practices and games. The bikes will be used for warming up as well as conditioning for healthy scratches and injured players.
Although I do find it difficult to get an entire team through a team training session, we make it work the best that we can. It has allowed me to get quality work done with our healthy scratches and allowed us to get some strength circuits in as a group. I am not the biggest fan of circuits while we are at home but on the road it becomes a necessity from a logistical perspective. Most times when I have a large amount of players who want to get a lift in, we may have a bus to the airport in 10 minutes. The reality is that as the season goes on, something is better than nothing.
Here is an example of what we have done with our healthy scratches recently during 2 games:
|Kettlebell Swing- 3x8
|DB Snatch- 3x5ea
|Pair with Plank with Reach- 2x8ea
|Pair with Ball Roll Out- 2x12
Dumbbell Split Squat- 3x8ea
Kettlebell Goblet Squat- 3x12
Pair with Pull Up- 3x8
Pair with 1-Arm DB Row- 3x12ea
Feet Elevated Bosu Push Up- 3x12
Dumbbell Curl and Press- 3x8
Pair with 1-Leg DB SLDL
Pair with Slideboard Leg Curl- 3x6
Strength and Conditioning Coach- Minnesota Wild
Author of Total Hockey Training