Tag: Manchester Rec Hockey


An update & Off Ice Workout

A bit of an update from the Jets and some workout tips…

It’s been a while since we’ve had a post up on the site, if you play rec hockey or follow it you know summer is the busiest time for us. We’ve had head coach James Ashton putting us through our paces on training sessions to ensure we’re all ready for the upcoming games. We’ve entered into the annual Swindow rec hockey tournament taking place over Sat 5th & Sun 6th August with the intention of picking up silverware! Keep an eye on our Facebook page for fixtures, it’s always free to watch. Jake Harrison (Of the Jets, no official title but proper committed ‘helper-outer’) has been working really hard to organise games for every weekend in July. So get down and show your support! We all really appreciate seeing you turn up!

In other news we’ve signed up new players, been getting them kitted up and making sure everyone has a Jets hoodie! (Thanks to Victory Hockey UK)

We’re also in the initial stages of arranging a charity shield match at Altrincham, more details to follow!

Anyway, for our off ice workout digest. The following article is credited to Jimmy Smith. Hockey players have a very specific athleticism. The following workouts are specially designed around your core and explosion strength.

“Even if hockey isn’t your favorite sport, these workouts will make you slap-shot ready. Improve your core and explosive strength with this hard-hitting workout!

For the majority of sports fans, the NHL might take a backseat to the NFL, NBA and UFC. Sports fans should know, however, that hockey players might well be the most-conditioned athletes in the world. So, the next time you’re bored, flip on a hockey game and watch how agile and explosive the athletes are, especially someone like Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks.

Hockey increases the demands on areas of the body that most people never get around to training. So, if you’re wondering why someone who has no desire to get cross-checked would want to know about hockey workouts, consider what parts of your body might be in need of some extra work.

These tips and workouts will not only give you a better understanding of the intense training that hockey players submit to, but will also add some spice to your bland workout routine. They might also help you shed those New Year resolution pounds.”



We can all agree that training the same way, workout after workout after workout, can be excruciatingly boring. To add some spice to your bland routine, try some more explosive training methods that will increase your power while giving you a surprisingly good cardio workout.

By combining a traditional exercise with an explosive exercise, you stimulate more muscle fibers in different ways. Medicine balls are my preferred tool for explosive strength work, but if your gym doesn’t allow medicine ball throws, there are other ways to incorporate explosive movement into your exercises. Simply accelerate the weight as quickly as possible.

I caution you to refrain from using bad form. When you lift the weight, raise it as fast as possible, but control how you lower it.


There’s a growing trend in core training to not train the core for movement. This avoidance measure is okay, initially, for people with low-back pain, but it doesn’t do much for those of us who want dynamic strength.

A good example of core movement is how a hockey player performs a slap shot. In order to perform a slap shot, a hockey player needs to have enough movement in his core to generate torque, which is relayed to the extremities to create power, which is released from stick to puck to create velocity. The initial torque must be generated by the athlete from core power. Strength and stabilization in the back and shoulders is required for the torque to flow into dynamic power and, ultimately, velocity.

By training your core to move, you increase the strength of your low back stabilizers and improve your dynamic power.


Day 1: Rest 45 seconds between sets
Day 2:
Day 3: Rest 45 seconds between sets



Day 4: Rest

Day 5: Rest 45 seconds between sets


Day 6:
Day 7: Rest
Pre-Game Routine

Pre-Game Routine

With the summer rec hockey league getting ready to gear up we have a look at a coaches guide to pre-game routine.

Former NHL and KHL coach Mike Keenan once said “the most important job we have as coaches is to get the right players on the ice at the right time.” Without question, this is crucial to team success – not only in the short term but in the long term as well. In the same presentation, Keenan talked about how preparation for the next game started as soon as the buzzer sounded in the last game.


When it comes to game preparation, nothing is as important as the few hours leading up to a competition. This is key coaching time to get a team mentally and physically ready for playing their best. Here is a checklist of things to consider in your season plan when it comes to pre-game routine:

1) Fueling the engine. Nutrition and hydration are crucial parts of being able to compete and perform at a top level. All players are different when it comes to their preferences about when to eat but as coaches, we need to give some guidelines. There are lots of resources online on this topic for all age groups. In a perfect world you will be able to have your team eat as a group before a game with a set menu. As well, encourage players to have some healthy snacks close to game time and even between periods. You must make sure your athletes are not playing below potential because they are not fueled properly.

2) Create pre-game rituals. It’s important for players to understand the timing of pre-game. In other words, make a schedule for what the hour or hour and half before the game looks like. Arrival time, pre-game talk, off-ice warm up, “dressed and ready” time, on-ice warm up, pre-game speech, are all pieces of the pre-game ritual that need to be scheduled and routine. One thing I would caution about: players don’t like downtime that is created by arriving too early. Don’t make players be at the rink fifteen minutes before needed just in case someone is going to be late. Just make sure everyone is on time.

3) Communicate key points early. I always get the team and staff into the dressing room at the beginning of the pre-game routine to talk about what is most important about that game. These might be things we need to focus on in our team play, opposition players we need to pay attention to, really anything that will contribute to our success that day. Whenever I talk to a team I do my very best to limit my points to three. I might expand on those three points but players can digest and continue to focus on three. Communicating these points early allows players to think about them during the rest of the pre-game routine.

4) Make off-ice warm up a coaching staff led activity. I never feel like players can truly run their own off-ice warm up appropriately. For it to be done well you have to have the right team leaders. Best to have a staff member run the off-ice warm up. Designate one coach to be in charge of the warm up. This is a key time for mental focus and as such should not be a goof around, run in the parking lot dodging cars time.

5) Turn off the music! Music blaring in a dressing room setting only contributes to lack of focus. It simply raises the volume of everything in a small space. This does two things: it gets the energy level cranked up to a point where it is not productive and, it creates an environment that is distracting and unfocussed. I always set a time when the stereo needs to be shut off – typically 15 or 20 minutes before I come into the room to talk. If players absolutely need music to prepare mentally then they can use a set of headphones (preferably ones that don’t leak music to everyone around them).

6) Communicate a countdown. Make sure all players know when they have to be finished dressing. I will make sure I announce “dressed in 30 minutes”, “dressed in 15 minutes”, “dressed in 5 minutes”. This accomplishes two things: players aren’t panicked to get dressed at the last minute and they are ready for the coaches to come in to say some final words before the game.

7) Being “Knute Rockne”. Coach Rockne was the coach at the beginning of the 1900’s with the University of Notre Dame football team. He was famous for his rousing pregame speeches and his “win one for the Gipper” halftime speech during the 1928 Army game is one of coaching lore. As a coach, you don’t have to be a perfectionist when it comes to your pre-game speeches. First, every game isn’t a critical one, so don’t feel like you have to be awesome every time you send your team out to battle. Sometimes just a smile, a quick joke, an instruction and a “let’s go!” is all that is needed. But, this is also a great time to review the three points you made earlier. Second, when it comes to the “big game”, your athletes will know the magnitude of the competition. Truly, as a coach, you don’t have to remind them that it is a championship game. They will be getting themselves ready without having the big “rah rah” speech from the coach. Often, it is in these games, that athletes need more of the settling speech than the motivational speech. The “Knute Rockne” speech usually needs to come at a time when you don’t think your athletes are as prepared, motivated and focused as you would like them to be.

Pre-season is a terrific time to put in place a pre-game routine schedule for your team. Occasionally there needs to be some modification but sticking to rituals like this pay dividends throughout the season.

Credit to: Rick Traugott


Off Ice Training Tools

Ice time in the UK is at a premium with general skate sessions taking the bulk of it. This means hockey players often don’t have enough time to practice their skills, whether that be skating, stick handling, shooting or passing. You can however use off ice training instead!

We’ve listed below some brilliant bits of kit you can use to train off the the ice, like you were on the ice! Lots of them you could probably make yourself if you’re handy! Check out the video below that rounds them all up!

1. Marsblade

MARSBLADE is the first training tool that truly offers an ice-like feel without actually
skating on ice. The unique rocking motion simulates the rounded shape of the ice hockey blade,
allowing skaters to use the same agile movement pattern as in ice skating. By activating the
same muscle groups used for ice skating, MARSBLADE helps skaters prepare for the upcoming
season, prevent injuries and become overall better ice hockey players.

Where to buy? https://www.icelocker.co.uk/marsblades

How much? £165

2. Hockey wrap around

The Hockey Wrap Around is a hockey stick blade protector that has been designed and developed
specifically for hockey players. It will protect your hockey stick blade during use on any
rough surface while training off the ice. Hockey Wrap Around will allow you to use your
favourite hockey stick on any surface without causing damage or reducing the lifespan of your
stick blade.

The Patented design of the Hockey Wrap Around allows it to wrap and contour to practically ANY
current hockey stick blade shape. It doesn’t matter if you have a square or rounded blade,
left or right handed, Hockey Wrap Around does it all.

Where to buy? http://hockeywraparound.eu/collections/wraparound

How much? £25

3. The Green Biscuit

The Biscuit that started it all! And still the best off-ice puck to practice your
stickhandling and passing.

Slides effortlessly on virtually any rough surface so you can play on driveways, parking lots,
streets, basements, tennis courts, etc.

Where to buy? https://www.amazon.co.uk

How much? £15-£20

4. Training balls

Any coach will tell you that puck control practice with a ball is the fastest way to improve
your stickhandling technique, speed up your wrists and work on your nifty moves. It’s great
for basic and complex stickhandling drills. Works on any surface!

Where to buy? http://www.hockeyshot.eu/Pass-Stickhandling/Hockey-Pucks-Balls.htm

How much? £5-£15

5. Sauce Kit / Sauce Toss

The Hockey Sauce Kit is the Premier Game, Trick Shot and Training Kit all in one box. They can
be used on the beach to the ice and everything in-between.

Where to buy? http://www.saucetoss.com/

How much? £130-£190

6. Snipers Edge Shooting Tarp

The Sniper’s Edge Hockey Shooting Tarp continues to be the world’s #1 selling hockey shooting
tarp. You can practice your Chara like slapshot or your deadly accurate wrist shot, while your
house, garage, and walls stay free from dents and holes.

Where to buy? https://www.snipersedgehockey.com/

How much? £150

7. X-Deviator

Customizable, durable, and fun! The xDeviator™ is the ultimate training aid for developing
puck control and stickhandling skills. Whether on the ice or at home, players of every age and
skill level can create challenging obstacles of any shape to improve quickness, toe drags, and
dangles. This essential coaching tool will help enhance your team’s skills and creativity
during practice.

Where to buy? http://www.xhockeyproducts.com/x-deviator.html

How much? £100