In recent years, ‘strength and conditioning’ has become a bit of a buzz term for any sort of training. Here at the English Ice Hockey Association, when we say ‘strength and conditioning’, we are referring to any form of physical preparation that our athletes undertake. At our dedicated dry-land training camps, strength and conditioning falls broadly into two categories.
Firstly, we take the fitness testing of our athletes very seriously. Proper fitness testing allows us to effectively plan future training sessions, prevent injuries, monitor athletic development, objectively select squad members, and assess long term athlete development. Fitness tests are carried out throughout the year by highly qualified and experienced staff, and the results are analysed by the coaches to help with selection, the therapy team to help with injuries, and the strength and conditioning team to help with physical preparation.
Secondly, we aim to educate our athletes: the benefits of correct nutrition, the importance of sleep, injury prevention, muscle activation techniques, training methods, concussion awareness – all areas are covered to ensure our athletes understand what is expected of them, and to help them prepare for competition as part of a national team.