Transfer of Sports Training to the Ice for Hockey Players

I haven’t posted in a while.  The truth is that I’ve been crazy busy and I’ve been studying my craft.  Thanks to James Smith, I’ve entirely restructured the way that we train sports performance athletes at Umberger Performance.  It’s not the exercises, it’s how and when they are utilized throughout the week.  ALL of the information is backed by decades of research done by the Soviet Union on tens of thousands of elite level athletes, not frat boys training in the student Rec center at the local college.  16oz curls don’t fall into the category of elite performance for me.    In Obama’s almost trillion dollar economic stimulus package,  not one dollar was allocated to sports performance.  We as tax payers would go crazy if $10 milli0n of our tax payers dollars went to improve the play of professional athletes. “Don’t they make enough?” None the less, that’s the status of the information coming from the United States and why I’ve turned to the “East” for the information.

One thing that’s been troubling me lately is what can I do that will translate to better performance.  In other words, what transfers to sport performance IN GAMES?  What “testing” determines  the most on field improvement?  Is it a squat, dead lift, power clean, vertical jump, broad jump, bench press, pull up, 3x broad jump, or 10, 20, or 40 yard dash time???

I could go on for hours about this topic and how it relates.  The answer is that it depends.  The difference is that with my 16,000 hours of coaching athletes I’ve learned that most situations and not one athlete is the same.  As James says, “Do what they are good at while you are fixing their structural problems.”

Here are a few plays that RJ Umberger has made in the past few weeks that are simply ridiculous.  I posted his examples because I’ve worked with RJ since he was 12.  These videos show me a transfer to sport.  I accept the fact that RJ isn’t going to be a top 10 or even top 30 player in the NHL based on points.  He has developed from a first round draft pick and has gotten better every year.  The goals/assists/ and +/- don’t tell the story of how much better of a player that he has become each and every year.

Here are some examples of how sports performance training for ice hockey players translates to on the ice production. These are all plays from this year.

This is a hit from when the Blue Jackets faced Chicago. He absorbed a lot of force and then redirected it back. The result was taking a 6’3″ 218 Brent Seabrook and “showing him the lights” for lack of a better term.

Here’s RJ accelerating away from a few players to the puck.  This is one of the most impressive plays that I’ve seen him make.  It’s not about scoring.  It’s about beating the other guys to the puck.  He’s been blwoing by world class defenseman his whole career.  He doesn’t get that respect because he’s not a 40 goal a year scorer or at the “fastest man” contest at All-Star weekend.

Here’s some on ice vision.. Making plays.  This pass was nasty! (sorry the video wouldn’t embed into this post for some reason)

Here’s a little dangle and a nasty wrist shot to display some hockey skill…