Speed training drills are something that every player should be focusing on, especially early teens. By twelve or thirteen, the learning curve that kids all share when they first start playing is all but gone, and on any given team the skill gap will have narrowed greatly. This means that at this age kids can’t just depend on their natural talent alone anymore to ensure they make the team or stay at the top. Doing speed training drills to maximize on-ice speed is a necessity for players looking to differentiate themselves. Speed rules in hockey. It’s what makes players dominant. So ignoring speed training at 12-14 would be a huge mistake. Here are the two main areas where players can work on their speed.
On-Ice Speed Training:
When it comes to on-ice training, the best thing a player can do for their speed is to focus on their form. With skating, small problems with form can be a huge hindrance, and small corrections can make huge differences. Have a coach film or analyze the players skating in order to identify any weak points in their form. Another option is a skating treadmill, which some hockey training facilities have. These treadmills are designed to perfect stride form, and can be of great benefit.
Off-ice training is one of the best places for players to work on their speed. All great players spend as much time in the gym as they do on the ice, because the fact of the matter is, fitness can separate good players from great players. To work on speed, focus on interval training and plyometrics. Interval training (training briefly at high intensity followed by a rest period at low intensity) will let players hit their maximum speed (and improve it). Plyometrics focus on explosive movement and are great at improving speed, power, explosiveness and foot speed.
A good training program for the gym is an absolute necessity for serious improvements in speed and general hockey fitness. Hiring a trainer is one option, but a very expensive one. A better option is a hockey specific training manual. Go to http://www.MyHockeyTraining.com to check out Hockey Speed and Power by Kevin Miehm. Kevin is an ex-NHL player and career pro, and he’s developed a complete off-ice training system, and has broken it down and specialized it by age group, including one designed for early teens.