The Crucial First Step in Off-Season Training

blogpost powerskating strydepowerskater Apr 26, 2024

As the final buzzer sounds, this signaling the end of another season, hockey players everywhere transition into the off-season. While it is important to take a period of time to relax and recuperate, athletes should understand that off-season is where championships are made ... in the sweat-soaked gyms & in the quiet rinks fine-tuning the details of their game. 

Enter my KJPS off-season curriculum! This is a roadmap to success meticulously crafted through my expertise & experiences of nearly two decades training hockey players during the spring & summer months. In today's post we are going to address what I believe the be the most crucial step of summer training - STEP 1 : Sacrificing Speed for Accuracy. For most athletes, the first month of off-season training should focus on honing the bottom foundation blocks of the KJPS principle pyramid (more on this pyramid can be found in KJPS ON-DEMAND). 

The cornerstone of this foundation is the 'Order of Practice'. It's about mechanics without motion, emphasizing the importance of developing proper alignment & stance. It's about technique & control, the body in motion discovering proper mechanics within each skating skill. It's about the path of movement on these skating skills, finding effective pushes & efficient recovery through what I call recovery & reflex. It's also about strength & power, which can be done on-ice & continuing the focus of building skating muscles off-ice as well. 

Imagine a house built on a shaky foundation (yikes), it may stand for a while, but eventually it will crumble. Similarly, without mastering the KJPS 'Order of Practice', an athlete's performance may plateau, leaving them vulnerable to injury & most definitely this will catch up to them as we see many hockey players hitting a point underperformance, especially in the skating department. 

Next in line on the KJPS Principle Pyramid is the 'Basic Skating Fundamentals'—a set of skills that form the backbone of a player's skating skill set. These include identifying basic edges, engaging in edgework drills, perfecting the stride, & mastering the foundation backward skating. Neglecting these 'boring' drills in favor of flashy skills is like building a castle on sand, it may turn out great at first but eventually will come tumbling down. 



With 'Order of Practice' mastered & the foundational 'Basic Skating Fundamentals'  firmly in place, attention can then turn to adding speed during what usually falls around weeks 5-8 of the off-season. However, it's important to remember that speed without accuracy is pointless. Rushing through drills or sacrificing proper technique for the sake of shaving off a few seconds may yield short-term gains, but this mindset will lead to bad habits & potential injury down the line.

Remember, in the pursuit of a successful off-season, patience is key. By prioritizing accuracy over speed in the initial stages of off-season training, players lay a solid groundwork upon which they can build their athletic ability. 

What can we be doing off-ice to support the First Step in Off-Season Training? - Off-ice training plays a crucial role in supplementing on-ice development by building strength in the specific movements required for skating. My favorite tool for this purpose is the Stryde.Hockey POWERSKATER. This innovative device allows players to develop proper mechanics & strength cohesively, mimicking the skating motion while providing resistance to build power & muscle endurance. By incorporating off-ice training with tools like the POWERSKATER, athletes can not only enhance but expedite their on-ice performance. 

For more information on the POWERSKATER visit this link & if you're interested in purchasing my favorite training tool, you can use my exclusive KJPS discount code at checkout. CODE : KATYJO