Ice Hockey – In-Season Strength and Conditioning Considerations

by Tammy Kovaluk, CSCS
NSCA Coach June 2023
Vol 10, Issue 1

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This article provides some practical applications to minimize the negative effects associated with a long intensive ice hockey season on ice hockey athletes.

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This article originally appeared in NSCA Coach, a quarterly publication for NSCA Members that provides valuable takeaways for every level of strength and conditioning coach. You can find scientifically based articles specific to a wide variety of your athletes’ needs with Nutrition, Programming, and Youth columns. Read more articles from NSCA Coach »

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  2. Astorino T, Tam, P, Rietschel, J, Johnson, S, and Freedman, T. Changes in physical fitness parameters during a competitive field hockey season. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 18(4): 850-854, 2004.
  3. Bird, S. Sleep, recovery, and athletic performance: A brief review and recommendations. Strength and Conditioning Journal 35(5): 43-47, 2013.
  4. Buck, D. Seasonal changes in various performance measurements in ice-hockey players. The Swedish School of Sports and Healthy Sciences, 2013.
  5. Brunner, R, Bizzini M, Niedermann, K, and Maffiuletti, N. Epidemiology of traumatic and overuse injuries in Swiss professional male ice hockey players. Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine 8(10): 2020.
  6. Charest, J, Grandner, M, Samuels, C, Bender, A, Cook, J, and Walch, O. Associations between time zone changes, travel distance and performance: A retrospective analysis of 2013-2020 National Hockey League Data. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport 25(7): 2022.
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  8. Delisle-Houde, P, Chiarlitti, N, Reid, R, and Andersen, R. Relationship between physiologic tests, body composition changes, and on-ice playing time in Canadian collegiate hockey players. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 32(5): 1297-1302, 2018.
  9. Ebben, W, Carroll, R, and Simenz, C. Strength and conditioning practices of national hockey league strength and conditioning coaches. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 18(4): 889-897, 2004.
  10. Gannon, E, Higham, D, Gardner, B, Nan, N, Zhao, J, and Bisson, L. Changes in neuromuscular status across a season of professional men’s ice hockey. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 35(5): 1338-1344, 2021.
  11. Green, M, Pivarnik, J, Carrier, D, and Womack, J. Relationship between physiological profiles and on-ice performance of a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division 1 hockey team. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 20(1): 43-46, 2006.
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  14. McKay C, Tufts, R, and Shaffer, B. The epidemiology of professional ice hockey njuries: a prospective report of six NHL seasons. British Journal of Sports Medicine (48): 57-62, 2014.
  15. Nordstrom A, Bahr, R, Clarsen, B, and Talsnes, O. Association between preseason fitness level and risk of injury or illness in male elite ice hockey players: A prospective cohort study. Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine 10(2): 2022.
  16. Ornon, G, Ziltener, J, and Fritschy, D. Epidemiology of injuries in professional ice hockey: A prospective study over seven years. Journal of Experimental Orthopaedics 87(7): 2020.
  17. Roczniok, R, Stanula, A, Gabryś, T, Szmatlan-Gabryś, U, Gołaś, A, and Stastny, P. Physical fitness and performance of polish icehockey players competing at different sports levels. Journal of Human Kinetics 2(51): 201-208, 2015.
  18. Ronnestad, B, Nymark, B, and Raastad, T. Effects of in-season strength and maintenance training frequency in professional soccer players. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 25(10): 2653-2660, 2011.
  19. Skein, M, Duffield, R, Edge, J, Short, M, and Mündel, T. Intermittent-sprint performance and muscle glycogen after 30 h of sleep deprivation. Medicine and Science of Sports and Exercise 43(7): 1301-1311, 2011.
  20. Tyler, T, Nicholas, S, Campbell, R, Donellan, S, and McHugh, M. The effectiveness of a preseason exercise program to prevent adductor muscle strains in professional ice hockey players. American Journal of Sports Medicine 30(5): 680-683, 2002.
  21. Waterhouse, J, Reilly, T, Atkinson, G, and Edwards, B. Jet lag: Trends and coping strategies. Lancet 369: 1117–1129, 2007.
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  23. Whitehead, P, Conners, R, and Shimizu, T. The effect of in-season demands on lower-body power and fatigue in male collegiate hockey players. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 33(4): 10035-1052, 2019.
  24. Williams, B, Clarke, R, Aspe, R, Cole, M, and Hughes, J. Managing performance throughout periods of travel. Strength and Conditioning Journal A39(4): 22-29, 2017.
About the author

Tammy Kovaluk, CSCS

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Tammy Kovaluk has over a decade of experience as a strength and conditioning coach. She has worked with both teams and individuals in most sports with ...

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Available to:
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