2020 hc active with adam

Active with Adam – Speed

Hockey Canada’s lead strength and conditioning coach shares tips and tricks to help players stay active at home and start preparations for next season

Jason La Rose
March 30, 2020

While the 2019-20 hockey season was forced to an early end due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no reason why the focus cannot begin to shift to next season.

One positive of social distancing is the opportunity for players of all ages and abilities to focus on improving away from the rink.

Off-ice training is just as important for hockey development as being on the ice. It allows for athletes to focus on bio-motor abilities (speed, power, strength, flexibility, conditioning) that will enhance their on-ice skills.

Let’s break down the ways to improve these specific areas at home to make sure players are ready to lace up the skates in the fall.


There are two main components of speed – acceleration and max velocity. Hockey is a sport with a lot of stops and starts, which makes acceleration an important ability. When training acceleration, there are a few key concepts to consider:

1. Keep the sprints short and explosive (think about accelerating over three-to-five steps, or short distances of five to 10 metres).

2. Vary the starting stance (forward facing, side-facing, laying down).

3. Rest is best! When training speed, give yourself time to recover between repetitions. You are not conditioning, so make sure that each time you sprint that your body is well-recovered and able to push with 100% intensity and effort.


Falling Starts: Stand with feet together, with the weight on the balls of your feet. Keeping your body in a straight line (tall and tight), allow yourself to fall forward (without breaking at the waist). When you feel like you can’t fall any further, drive as hard as you can into a sprint. Challenge yourself to fall as far as you can before you take off.

½ Kneeling Lateral Starts: Start in a tall kneeling position on the ground (right knee down, hips and shoulders stacked over the knee, left foot on ground in front of body). Maintaining this ‘tall and tight’ position, drive off your front foot and sprint in the opposite direction. By starting in this position, you can mimic the direction of push that is similar to accelerating off the inside edge of your skate blade.

For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

[email protected] 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

[email protected]

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

[email protected]

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