One of the debatable topics among coaches of all ranks is, the determination of how to properly condition players for hockey. Most hockeys experts agree on developing strength, speed and power in young hockey players, when it comes to planning an off-season training program. But the only disagreement that they face is on the topic of how to best develop conditioning in players.
The game of hockey involve high-intensity efforts combined with short duration of rest. Some of the common elements that are found in best hockey players are strength, agile and powerful characteristics. Remember that hockey is not an endurance sport. At times, the best players of the game are those who perform poorly on off-ice tests of endurance.
As most hockey players focus more on increasing their endurance in the off-season; act as one of the main challenges for them. Though, the players are able to increase their endurance but this enhancement will come at the expense of their ability to perform at the highest intensity level consistently throughout the game.
Finally the decision on proper conditioning for hockey, comes down to selecting between players who are aerobically ‘fit’ or those who are strong, fast and powerful. Therefore, the players for the game has to balance-out certain things, when it comes to conditioning. Though, physiologically achieving both the qualities is simply impossible in athletes. The players can either possess a high endurance level or high level of speed and quickness.
The players who want to do well in hockey must try to enhance their speed and power as athletes. Instead of focusing their ability to go for long distances at a moderate pace, they must try and develop their ability to perform better, with high-intensity intervals and maintaining their ‘jump’ and explosiveness.
Since, in most cases players aren't aware of the fact that endurance training can actually reduce their overall performance in the game. Therefore, every young player must try to focus their attention in long-slow distance training instead of high-intensity interval-based training activities.