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Periodization is the practice of segmenting the calendar year into appropriate time intervals for preparation, competition and rest and recovery. Athletes at different stages of their development require different training plans to optimize their development through their growth and maturation. It involves progressive cycling of various aspects of a training program during a specific period.


TRANSITION PHASE  With players fresh off the season, the opening Transitional phase primarily places emphasis on recovery, regeneration and rest, with little to no conditioning done. The players will do a lot of soft tissue work, hamstring work and things that are going to prepare them to start training hard again and also correct any imbalances that may have formed throughout the year. In addition its a good time to have a Nutrition Intervention start thinking about nutrition as something to help build their bodies and refuel.


PHASE 1 Hypotonic (Weight Training)

Pre-Season Late April Early June 

Weight training no running or conditioning. Focus on Recovering weight loss from previous season. Recover muscle density and increase strength/anaerobic high intensity short duration max weight on reps.


PHASE 2 Early Summer Energy Systems

Energy system development. Increased lifting maximums 3-5 High intensity low duration combined with explosive movement at the same time. Increasing anerobic thresholds.

Centre Ice Fitness Health Club Traverse City


PHASE 3 Late July and August Energy System Development

2 Strength lifts per day and incorporate complex movements "Density Cuircut" Incorporate knee dominat lift / hip dominant lift upperbody push upperbody pull


PHASE 4 In- Season

In-season conditioning helps maintain strength levels and injury prevention. Maintaining local muscle endurance and strength levels, engaging stabilizing muscles ensures joint stability. In addition to the below categories of training skills and drills for shooting stick handling will always be a mainstay of the program.



A well developed sensory-motor system is critical to life and health. Most exercise programs fail to adequately train an individual's balance & coordination. This leaves the individual with a disproportional level of fitness and predisposes them to injury. Incorporating specific functional exercises that challenge the body's nervous system to improve sensory-motor function is advised for optimal performance and quality of life.


Proprioception refers to a sense of joint positioning. This is a subconscious understanding the brain has of its joints and limbs. Kinesthetic sense is the ability to sense where you are in 3-dimensional space. Both of these require a sensory understanding that depends on a strong relationship between the parietal lobe in the brain, spinal cord & peripheral nerves, and the muscle/joint receptors of the body.

An individual's "proprioceptive tone" refers to their ability to sense and continually adapt to where they are in space. A high level of proprioceptive tone allows you to respond to a dynamic environment quicker and more effectively. This ability allows you an increased level of freedom with your body and decreases your risk of injury.














The ability to maintain equilibrium when stationary or moving (i.e. not to fall over) through the coordinated actions of our sensory functions (eyes, ears and the proprioceptive organs in our joints);

  • static balance – the ability to retain the centre of mass above the base of support in a stationary position;

  • dynamic balance – the ability to maintain balance with body movement; speed - the ability to move all or part of the body quickly; strength - the ability of a muscle or muscle group to overcome a resistance.


Speed is the ability to move quickly across the ground or move limbs rapidly to grab or throw. Speed is not just how fast someone can run skate, cycle, swim etc.), but is dependent on their acceleration (how quickly they can accelerate from a stationary position), maximal speed of movement, and also speed maintenance (minimizing deceleration). Movement speed requires good strength and power, but also too much body weight and air resistance can act to slow the person down. In addition to a high proportion of fast twitch muscle fibers, it is vital to have efficient mechanics of movement to optimize the muscle power for the most economical movement technique.


  • Plyometric exercises mimic the motions used in sports exercises or drills aimed at linking strength with speed of movement to produce power.The benefits of plyometric regime training are primarily related to its ability to improve the responsiveness of the neuromuscular system, thereby allowing greater force production in the concentric phase of the stretch-shortening cycle of the movment. 


The ability to exert a maximal force in as short a time as possible, as in accelerating, jumping and throwing implements. While strength is the maximal force you can apply against a load, power is proportional to the speed at which you can apply this maximal force. Training to improve power can include liftingweights, throwing implements such as medicine balls, running against a resistance, and plyometrics (depth jumping and bounding).


Agility or nimbleness is the ability to change the body's position efficiently, and requires the integration of isolated movement skills using a combination of balance,coordination, speed, reflexes, strength, and endurance. Agility is the ability to change the direction of the body in an efficient and effective manner and to achieve this requires a combination of balance and coordination.

  • co-ordination – the ability to control the movement of the body in co-operation with the body's sensory functions (e.g., in catching a ball [ball, hand and eye co-ordination]).



"Missing optimum opportunities significantly affects a child’s ability to reach his or her full potential. There are identifiable stages during a child’s physical and psychological development that offer optimum opportunities to develop particular attributes such as basic movement skills (agility, balance, coordination and speed), basic sports skills (running, jumping, throwing, skating, and striking), and physical capacities (flexibility, endurance, and strength). Missing these optimum opportunities has been shown to significantly affect a child’s ability to reach his or her full potential." 


For more details on a player devlopment and their ability to reach full potential review the USA Hockey ADM program link below:



Centre Ice Fitness is a member of and participates in educational training through Hockey Strength and Conditioning. This is one of the best resources for hockey players that are taking their athletic training to the next level. All science based hockey sport specific training. If your not a subscriber of HSC they have many Youtube videos to review.

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