How to Train Like a Pro Hockey Player: Tips and Workouts

Richard M. Coleman
4 min readDec 29, 2023

Hockey is a physically demanding sport that requires strength, speed, agility, and endurance. Aspiring players must undergo rigorous training regimens that mirror those of professional hockey players to excel on the ice. This article will explore tips and workouts that can help you train like a pro hockey player and elevate your game to the next level.

1. Set Clear Goals

The first step in training like a pro hockey player is to set clear and achievable goals. Whether improving your skating speed, increasing your shot accuracy, or enhancing your endurance, having well-defined objectives will provide you with a roadmap for your training program. Professional hockey players focus on specific aspects of their game that need improvement, and you should do the same.

2. Develop a Comprehensive Training Plan

Pro hockey players don’t just hit the ice for practice; they follow structured training plans encompassing various fitness and skill development aspects. Your training plan should include strength training, cardiovascular conditioning, flexibility exercises, and skill-specific drills. A well-rounded approach is critical to becoming a well-rounded player.

3. Strength and Conditioning

Strength and conditioning are crucial components of a pro hockey player’s training regimen. Focus on compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and pull-ups to build strength. Incorporate resistance training to target specific muscle groups essential for hockey, such as your legs, core, and upper body.

Additionally, cardiovascular conditioning is vital for hockey players. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) can help improve your stamina and endurance on the ice. Include sprints, shuttle runs, and cycling in your workouts to mimic the stop-and-go nature of hockey.

4. Skating Skills

Skating is the foundation of hockey, and pro players dedicate significant time to improving their skating skills. Practice your stride, crossovers, and tight turns regularly. Work on your agility by setting up cones or obstacles on the ice and navigating through them with quick and precise movements. Skating drills should be a staple of your training routine.

5. Stickhandling and Shooting

Developing your stickhandling and shooting abilities is essential to excel in hockey. Set up a shooting area in your backyard or local rink to practice your accuracy and power. Work on your puck-handling skills by performing drills challenging your agility and control. Repetition is critical to improving in these areas.

6. Core Strength

A strong core is crucial for stability and balance on the ice. Include core-strengthening exercises like planks, Russian twists, and leg raises in your training routine. A solid core will help you maintain control of the puck during battles while making quick directional changes.

7. Recovery and Rest

Professional hockey players understand the importance of recovery and rest. Overtraining can lead to injuries and decreased performance. Make sure to incorporate rest days into your training schedule to allow your body to recover. Prioritize proper nutrition, hydration, and sleep to ensure you are in the best physical condition possible.

8. Mental Toughness

Hockey is not just a physical sport; it’s also a mental one. Pro players develop mental toughness to stay focused and perform under pressure. Work on your concentration, visualization, and resilience. Consider working with a sports psychologist or mental coach to enhance your mental game.

9. Off-Ice Workouts

Only some of your training needs to take place on the ice. Off-ice workouts are equally important. Incorporate plyometrics, agility drills, and balance exercises into your routine. These workouts will improve your explosiveness, quickness, and overall athleticism, essential attributes for a pro-level hockey player.

10. Seek Professional Guidance

If you’re serious about training like a pro hockey player, consider seeking guidance from coaches and trainers with experience working with hockey players. They can provide personalized workouts, offer technical advice, and help you develop a training plan tailored to your needs and goals.

11. Stay Committed

Becoming a pro-level hockey player is a challenging endeavor. It requires dedication, hard work, and consistent effort. Stay committed to your training plan, and don’t be discouraged by setbacks. Keep your goals in mind and push yourself to improve every day.

12. Study the Game

Physical training, immerse yourself in the sport by studying the game. Watch professional hockey games, analyze players’ strategies, and learn from their techniques. Understanding the game’s intricacies will help you make smarter decisions on the ice.

Training like a pro hockey player requires a well-rounded approach that includes strength and conditioning, skating skills, stickhandling, mental toughness, and dedicated off-ice workouts. Setting clear goals and following a structured training plan will be your roadmap to success. Remember that becoming a pro-level player takes time and commitment, so stay focused, work hard, and never stop striving to improve. With dedication and the proper training, you can elevate your game and inch closer to the level of professional hockey players.

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Richard M. Coleman

Richard Coleman worked at the Medical School of Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts. Additionally, he worked at the Stanford University Medical School.