Racehorses not Workhorses

🗣 Racehorses not workhorses. This will offend most coaches but it’s a fact. Horses that plow a field all day can’t win a race. Too many coaches take thoroughbreds and force them to plow fields. If you want a fast team (and who doesn’t ❓), treat all your horses like race horses. Train them for speed, not work. 👉 Tony Holler

Ask yourself who are the most dominant players in sport? Typically it’s the most explosive movers. For most team sports, acceleration is king 👑

Our Day One Lift with Volleyball

Here is a look at or Day 1/Monday spring lift with volleyball. Nothing crazy, just a healthy dose of the basics.

1️⃣ Box Jump – Tall Kneel OH Throw – Standing Side Toss
2️⃣ Trap Bar Jump Squat – Shoulder PreHab
3️⃣ Trap Bar DL – 1/2 Kneel KB Bottoms Up Press
4️⃣ Lateral Squat – DB Row – Suitcase Carry
5️⃣ Tempo Runs 🏃‍♀️

Monday Musings

Happy Monday! Here are a few thoughts bouncing around in my head after a week of reading, podcasts and other continuing ed. Enjoy!

hello monday

  1. In-season I have a hard time understanding why team lifts last any longer then 45 minutes, especially if you are getting a group after practice. If the team is coming in warmed up, anything longer then 30-40 minutes screams that you are either doing way to much or aren’t extremely inefficient in what you are doing.
  2. “Complacency kills more careers then anything else.” – Fergus Connolly. Spot on!
  3. Pete Dupuis was recently on Mike Robertson’s Physical Preparation Podcast and spoke a lot on niche’s, something he would know a lot about being a co-owner of Cressey Performance, with their huge baseball population. Pete said something along the lines of ‘don’t run from a niche, go after a niche’ which I think is great advice. If you are passionate about a specific subject, instead of running from it, own it and make yourself an authority on that subject.
  4. Meet as many people as you can that are smarter then you. Get into rooms with people that are smarter then you. Learn from all these people that are smarter then you – in the long run you’ll be much better off as a result of these smart people.

Weekend Week in Review

Another week, another group of podcasts and articles to read and listen to that I have dived into. Like every other week, there was a ton of content out there both in written form and through podcasts. Weekend Review

For podcasts, I really enjoyed listening to Reg Park on the Leave Your Mark podcast, who is currently a strength coach with the New York Rangers. It’s always great to listen to a couple veterans in the hockey game talk.

For articles, the Hypertrophy article that Movement as Medicine wrote when working with general population clients. A lot of times we spend so much time thinking functional etc, but adding some hypertrophy can go a long way in helping people live a better and longer life.



Leave Your Mark with Reg Park

The Art of Coaching with Kurt Hester

Pacey Performance #223 with Peter Tierney and Joe McGinley

The Pillars of Health with Kevin Carr

The Pillars of Health with Brendon Rearick


Random Thoughts by Eric Cressey

Hypertrophy for Health by Movement as Medicine

Coaching Philosophy with Tony Rolinski

How to Sculpt Stronger Abs by Simply Using Your Breath by Prevention

How You Do Anything is How You Do Everything by Brendon Rearick


1-Leg Medial/Lateral Hurdle Hop Progression

Our standard 1-Leg Medial/Lateral Hurdle Hop Progression that we use, the same progression I was taught in my time at Mike Boyle Strength & Conditioning.

Just like our Hurdle Jump Progression, our goal is to simply learn how the jump and land in proper positions, and then progressing from simple to more complex by adding gravity and/or more of a true plyometric.

  1. 1-Leg Medial/Lateral Box Hop 👉 Learn to land properly without gravity
  2. 1-Leg Medial/Lateral Hurdle Hop & Stick 👉 Learn to land properly with adding gravity and the added deceleration component into the equation
  3. 1-Leg Medial/Lateral Hurdle Hop with Mini-Bounce 👉 Add a small plyometric though the mini bounce to be more reactive to the ground
  4. Continuous 1-Leg Medial/Lateral Hurdle Hop 👉 Pure plyometric/power development

Well typically spend 3 weeks in each progression until we move on to the next ➡️ but we won’t move on to the next progression if the athlete isn’t ready.

Programming Advice: we stay at 3 sets of 3 hops each (3 medial, 3 lateral) in all 4 phases. Since each phase adds a level of intensity, we keep the volume the same throughout the progression.

Random Thoughts – January Edition

Another month, another post full of random thoughts that have been going through my head. Hope it sparks a little thought in people and you enjoy!

  1. We as a profession need to do a better job of building the profession, of being respected strength coaches and not the idiots that are loud and have athletes lift weights and run sprints. Strength coaches aren’t paid to be cheerleaders, they are paid to be professionals.
  2. “I don’t feel like I ever do enough for my athletes.” – Kurt Hester on The Art of Coaching Podcast. Love it.
  3. Culture is WAY more important then sets and reps are. Get culture right and everything else will fall into place nicely. Culture > Everything else.
  4. Piggybacking off this, make the weight room an exciting and fun environment to be in. Not every athlete is going to love lifting, but at least they won’t hate being there.
  5. Two things I can do a better job at as a strength coach. One, attention to detail, and this is in so many different aspects of my jobs as a strength coach. Two, explaining the ‘why’ of what we are doing better – I need to do a better job of over-communicating why we are doing the things that we are doing.
  6. One big change I’ve made with hockey populations is a 2:1 ratio of Pulling to Pushing and Hip Dom to Knee Dom in-season. The sport keeps you in a constant shoulders rolled forward position and a constant hip flexed position. More pulling, more hip extension.
  7. Complacency kills more coaching careers then anything else does.
  8. So many coaches go to social media to learn and follow what many others in the field are doing – yet so many coaches criticize other coaches for putting themselves out there on social media. You can’t win.
  9. It is extremely rare to find someone with good thoracic spine rotation. That said, its probably a good idea to be performing some type of t-spine mobility drill with every group every time you see them.
  10. The key to keeping hamstrings healthy is smart programming. Hamstring/posterior chain movements need to be movements that ask the hamstring and the glute to work together to create movement. The means 1-Leg RDL’s, Slideboard Leg Curls, Nordics/GHR’s, bridging variations and deadlift variations. Lying leg curls do the opposite. Manual resisted leg curls do the opposite.

Unbalanced Lower Body Strength Work with Hockey?

🗣 This is pretty straight forward ➡️ hockey is a sport that is played in a constant hip flexed position. Because of that, in order to do everything you can to keep hips healthy, I think it’s critical to train hip extension often in-season.

This year we’ve taken things a but further and been adding a little more hip extension then we have in the past over the course of our training week. The thought 💭 has been to have an unbalanced approach with our lower body strength work, having more hip extension (posterior chain work) in the program then squat variations.

How we’ve gone about doing this ⬇️ typically giving us 10 sets of hip dominant work and 6 sets of knee dominant work in a given week.

💥We Sprint twice a week, usually Timed 10’s one day and Sled Sprints the other day, somewhere between 2-4 reps. Sprinting = Hip Extension plus the added benefit of developing a faster, more explosive skater. Win-win.

💥On our Monday lift we’ll 1-Leg RDL (3 sets) to get some hinging in and some type of Slideboard Leg Curl (2 sets) to get a bridge variation in. On the other end, we’ve been performing 3 sets of a split squat variation this day. 5 sets of hip dominant work, 3 sets of knee dominant work, plus the sprinting.

💥On our Wednesday lift we’ll Sled March (3 sets) for hip extension along with some Shoulder Elevated Hip Bridging (2 sets) to get more bridging in. Well also perform another 3 sets of a 1-Leg squat variation. Again, 5 sets of hip dominant work and 3 sets of knee dominant work.

Anti-Extension Progression

What’s the most important roll of the core? Probably the ability of the core to prevent extension of the lumbar spine, not matter if we’re talking sport performance, your a weekend warrior, or you just want to feel strong and healthy.

We’ll usually train anti-extension twice a week. Once will be through a front Plank Progression and the other through a progression starting with the rollout.

Simple and effective progression that we use ⬇️

  1. Front Plank 👉 Feet Elevated Front Plank 👉 Feet Elevated Weighted Front Plank 👉 Front Plank Row
  2. Rollouts 👉 Fallout 👉 Body Saw 👉 Slide Board Push Up

No Barbell Benching with Hockey?

Probably one of the big things we do differently then other hockey programs ➡️ we don’t bench press with a barbell in-season nor did we bench press with a barbell much this off-season. The last year we have done very little barbell benching.


In my opinion most hockey players don’t have the best posture in the world, living in that classic shoulders rolled forward posture, in large part because of the demands of the sport.

Because of that, we tend to focus more on what we would consider more shoulder friendly pressing movements;

💥Landmine Press variations
💥DB Bench Press and DB Incline Press
💥1DB Bench Press and Alternating DB Bench variations (flat and incline)
💥Push Ups

When the season ends and the athlete spends much less time on the ice and we can clean up some of the sport related posture issues we may consider adding back benching with a barbell, though I don’t think we’ve lost a bit of strength by using other pressing variations and may stick to leaving it out of the program all together. Unit then, it’s a simple risk:reward scenario for us, especially in-season.