Random Thoughts: May Edition

Another month, another post on some random thoughts that have been going through my head. Some of these thoughts come from books that I am reading, podcasts I have been listening to or working day to day in the weight room and coaching athletes.


  1. Vertical Integration Program: we always have a thread of everything in our program at all times. We may be focuses on particular quality more then others, but everything is always in the program.
  2. If you asked me a year ago I would have told you that I do very little specific shoulder prehab work with hockey – but that’s changed. If you work with hockey you realize shoulder issues are common and as a result we do a decent amount of shoulder prehab and T-Spine work. We also have gotten away with doing a ton of pressing with a barbell – though we still do it, we’ve added more shoulder friendly pressing options like dumbbells, landmine presses, and push ups.
  3. Piggybacking off the previous thought, we have also increased the amount of pulling that we do. In the early off-season we are close to 3:1 pull:push and as the off-season progresses we’ll probably end up around a 2:1 ration.
  4. A lot of coaches talk about it but I don’t know how many really do it and do it consistently, but I think there is a ton of benefit to getting outside of the sagittal plane in training for athletes. Sports aren’t played on two legs in the sagittal plane – so I don’t know why so much training would be.
  5. I truly believer arrogance is the number one reason coaches don’t succeed in this field.
  6. Getting strong is a game-changer for many athletes. But adding more to someone’s bench press or squat isn’t always the answer.
  7. “Power is plane specific.” Eric Cressey talks about this a lot and it makes a ton of sense. If you want to build power in a specific plane (think shooting a puck or throwing a baseball) and have it carryover to sport, then you need to train power in that plane. Cleans and snatches are great and have their place, but aren’t the end all be all for power development.
  8. Athletes don’t lift for any other reason then to stay healthy and have their training carryover to sport.
  9. Impulse time on the ice with hockey players is longer then it is with sprinters or any athlete that is sprinting. As a result we have added jump squats to the off-season program with hockey as the impulse time is similar to that on the ice. Game-changer? Probably not. But every little bit helps.
  10. Working with overhead athletes (volleyball) one thing is apparent; shoulder and elbow issues are a real concern because of the repetitive motion of hitting a volleyball. Knowing that, and I think there is a place for traditional external rotation training, I don’t understand why we don’t do more shoulder prehab type work overhead where the athlete tends to have issues – it’s where they play there sport isn’t it?

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