Game On Magazine September 2015 - Page 12

The Importance of In-Season Training A A.J. Zeglen Photo by Jeff Miller 12 GAME ON SEPTEMBER 2015 s summer draws to an end so do your off season strength and conditioning programs. With the arrival of fall comes the start of another hockey season and, unfortunately for a lot of players, the end of their training until the next summer. This should not be the case. Proper in-season strength and conditioning programs have many performance benefits and are beneficial to the long-term development of an athlete. If you remember the “CUP analogy” from our Truth About Speed articles from last season’s issues of Game On, you will remember that strength is the engine that makes all other athletic attributes go. To stay explosive, powerful and fast you have to stay strong. If you don’t train during the season your strength drops and your speed and power will decrease accordingly because you won’t be able to produce as much force. That’s the short term negative effect that not training will have on your game. The long term effect is that when you go into your next off season you’ll have to spend a lot of time at the beginning of your workouts just trying to bring your strength levels back up to where they were at the end of your previous off season. The hockey off season is not that long and you’ll want to be effective and efficient with the time you have. Imagine the long term positive changes to an athlete’s development if he or she doesn’t have to spend the first half of his/her off season trying to back up to last year’s numbers. Compound that over multiple years and the athlete that has been training in-season will be much further ahead of the athlete that has been taking the in-season off from training. Some athletes worry that in-season training might cause them to tire out so they won’t be fresh for the ice. Many are concerned that in-season training could lead to injuri \˂