Dryland Training

by barbaragarn

Working on technique and conditioning off the ice will help your hockey game–dryland training develops and reinforces muscle memory through many repititions.
How much time do you have with a puck during a game?
Probably very little, not enough to “train.”
When you’re playing during a game, are you thinking about the game or about improving your form?
Probably about the game, not extending your leg at a 45-degree angle and completing the skate return.
Concentrating on technique off the ice will increase your power and improve your form–and your success–when you’re on the ice.

Depending on what you choose to work on with your dryland training program–and if you do it in your basement or at a specialized training facility–you’ll be improving different things, including strength in key muscle groups, shooting, form, speed, explosive starts, shooting, stickhandling, core strength, stride and game vision.

Simplest is working at home with what you have available, or cheap tools.
Just stickhandling for 30 minutes a day, with a [url=http://www.hockeygiant.com/smarhocsticb.html]specially weighted ball will provide results. Find a smooth floor and put out some obstacles and you’re in business.
If you have room, a shooting gallery is helpful too. When I started playing hockey, one of the coaches I talked to said, “Best thing you can do is shoot a hundred pucks a day.” In the driveway, in the basement, backyard–wherever you can find the space.
And one of the cheapest and easiest ways to improve wrist strength is to fill a plastic milk container with water, tie it to a string around your hockey stick and roll and unroll it. Over and over and over again. Soon you will have wrists of steel!

If you want to invest some money, there are a variety of devices that will augment your home off-ice training. There are shooter tutors that [url=http://www.hockeyshot.com/Snipers_Edge_Shooting_Tarps_p/target-tarp-015.htm] cover garage doors or [url=http://www.hockeyshot.com/HockeyShot_Shooting_system_Plywood_p/rebounder-003.htm] plywood models under $100 with wall protection.
A [url=http://www.sweethockey.com/page/show/58618-passmaster-passing-trainer]passing buddy will help you work on solid shots, right on the tape. You can also buy [url=http://www.hockeyshot.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=27&Click=11589]skate and stick weights , [url=http://www.amazon.com/Harbinger-364060-Balance-Trainer-Diameter/dp/B00074H8D6]balance trainers (this is actually way, WAY harder than it looks), and [url=http://www.hockeyshot.com/HockeyShot_Leg_trainer_Bungee_p/res-train-005.htm]leg trainers help with stride technique and conditioning.

There are also many hockey-specific training facilities with more expensive equipment– like [url=http://www.ultraslide.com/]slider boards, [url=http://www.totalprepllc.com/]Russian boxes, radar guns and coolest of all, simulated skate treadmills, ramps and the amazing [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ujm5qdn9m0Q]crossover flywheel.

Most of these facilities offer the best deals for group training. In the past, I organized this, but I’ve got enough with JMS growth right now. If your team isn’t interested in going as a group, use the thread under “Coaching and Training,” to find workout buddies at these and other off-ice training facilities. (PLEASE be sensitive about when JMS sessions are scheduled; I want to help people improve their game through hockey training, but posting “Need six more novice skaters for Burnsville dryland!” on a night when I’m trying to fill Burnsville Level 2 is just plain tacky. I pay to host this site for JMS and it’s not good business sense for me to run forums taking skaters away from ice I’m trying to fill. Thanks.)

Dryland forum:


Total Hockey
I attended several sessions with Total Hockey West (no longer in Plymouth) and this is a great workout and excellent training. Now with [url=http://www.hattrickarena.com/page/show/83755-about-total-hockey] Hat Trick Arena in St. Louis Park, Total Hockey uses a synthetic ice speed ramp with clock for times and splits. The facility offers a flex pass for open workouts, including the speed ramp, shooting, stickhandling and skating stations. The shooting area has a radar gun, shooter tutors and other specific equipment. The skating stations have slider boards–yes, you will probably fall down, but the learning curve is steep and they’re very useful.
We’ve worked with Cory Peterson in the past and he knows our needs–mention you’re with JMS and he’ll understand right away (so you don’t have to explain it’s NOT for your kid, or that you’re–sadly–NOT a pro, just an adult rec player looking to improve your game). Call Cory at 952 /303-6883 or e-mail him at Cory at TotalHockeyWest dot com.

Acceleration Minnesota
I have never been to an [url=http://www.accelerationmn.com/hockey.php] Acceleration Minnesota facility but I know others have and have said good things. Acceleration uses the patented skating treadmill [http://www.accelerationmn.com/skilldeck.php] now with skill decks. With plyometrics, players focus on integrated footwork, balance and agility drills. Upper body exercises increase strength and control, improving maneuverability. Trainers work with stickhandling and shooting, improving the mechanics of players’ shot to increase power and accuracy.
Acceleration Minnesota has facilities in Apple Valley, Arden Hills, Baxter, Eden Prairie and Plymouth. Like Total Hockey, players can go as a group or purchase individual passes for flexible sessions.

Competitive Edge/Power Plant
Home of the amazing [url=http://iris.meccahosting.com/~a0005619/ppTechnology.asp] crossover flywheel ! Located in Rogers, the dryland facility has the unique system to help players learn to trust and use their outside edges. Not just about crossovers, though, the training center has synthetic ice so all stickhandling drills are on skates in a realistic environment.
I talked to Scott Brokaw, who suggested that groups of three or four were most efficient. He has a special for first-time visitors of $40 per group for an hour of training, definitely worth checking out! Scott is eager to help adult rec players like us, so mention you’re with JMS Hockey when you contact him at 612 /875-5150 or MonopolyHockey@Gmail.com.

E-Train Hockey Systems
Located in the Bloomington Ice Gardens’ third rink (the Olympic one), E-Train has an Acceleration Minnesota skating treadmill and other off-ice work, including skating, stickhandling, shooting, explosive starts and strength training that will develop form and core strength. Contact Eric Scott at 612 /207-3742 for more information about single or group training.

Thanks to clever Ben Seipel for the idea for this post!

Post a comment to this blog about general dryland training.
Use the dryland forum thread at http://www.jmshockey.com/coaching-and-training-f9/dryland-training-facilities-t583.html#p4211 to talk about specific programs (like Acceleration Minnesota) or to organize/join a dryland training session.