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A lot of hockey teams training wrong?



I watch a lot of hockey, which is a natural thing for me because I write about hockey – mostly about the KHL though and varied subjects connected to the hockey.

However, I have noticed a few things at least, and I had to ask if it was just me or if someone else had noticed the fact that there are so many injuries in some leagues such as the Swedish SHL and the Finnish liiga.

I tossed out the question of why there are so many injuries in these leagues for example and I was replied to by Leif Stromberg who has been coaching in the Swedish SHL and the second league, Allsvenskan.

More about Leif Stromberg’s statistics you can read here

Stromberg told me that we have to dare to make the training individual, dare to stretch out the limits, dare to rest and increase the pulse.

He also mentioned that pretty much everyone is formed in the same mold, which means that everyone is training the same way, the STAC training method, and 3D training.

Teams want also only to practice the physical part with elements of hockey rather than build up the foundation with conventional strength training.

You often forget why a house stands in the storm….the foundation

Another reliable source, a male hockey player who wanted to be anonymous this time, told me pretty much the same thing as Leif Stromberg said.

This hockey player I have no cause to doubt because I know that he has been playing in varied European leagues, even a few games in the NHL and is a still active player in one of the best European leagues.

He told also that there is so much business in all these training concepts. Many of these trainers are pounding themselves on the chest and saying that they are the best physical trainers, to try to sell their own training concept as much as possible.

“Most of these physical trainers have unfortunately not been trying these exercises themselves or been playing hockey at all, only went through fine educations, so they wouldn’t know really, ” said the source to me.

Another addition from the hockey player as well:

“Many players are lazy and try to find a detour to success instead of making real plans for the physical part versus ice training.”

I also asked him how they train over in the NHL. He said that in the NHL they often train to keep themselves in shape and for keeping down the weight.

Very interesting points of view and it gave me also a greater understanding why a lot of injuries turn up.

From the NHL I receive an answer from another reliable source with deep insights in the league, and the game schedule in combination with all the long travels is to blame in their case, said this source to me.

However, I brought up with Leif Stromberg another aspect of this injury matter I have noticed myself during all the years. It happens also in the KHL and NHL apparently but because of different reasons and not at all as frequently is it because of the lack of skill or bad timing.

In the Swedish SHL and the Finnish Liiga, there are often very badly timed checks, which are caused by the lack of skill in judging  when to set in a check or when avoid the check.

My opinion, though, such as it is, is that if you are a good defender, you don’t have to check that particularly often or that hard, only close the way or give a nudge to the opposing player so he or she lose the balance and the puck.

Stromberg told me though that they must educate the players in early stages how to receive a check and how to give one, in other words, the technique of checking  in both aspects.

As a comment on the checking aspect, it’s also a lot about respecting each other on the ice.

With that said, injuries happen and it’s unavoidable due to the nature of the hockey game, but I am somehow convinced when I received Stromberg’s point of view on this that the teams and the players can do a lot to cut the injuries down.

Perhaps, in the bottom line of all this, it is up to the player to think in different ways how to avoid as much as possible being injured.

Ask yourself why some players are seldom hurt and some all the time.

It can’t be only bad luck on the ice, even if that does occur, of course, more rather about habits in the training and preparing for the season and the games.

Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit






Arto Palovaara, Sunday Chronicler for Sports Rants Europe. Previously, he contributed for the betting company Betsafe, Svenska fans, Get real hockey and Ice nation UK. He is also an educated archaeologist and life coach who loves literature and history. Not to forget: probably he is the only sportswriter that plays the banjo.