Let’s rewind to about 14 months ago.
I got the opportunity to work with a Junior hockey organization to provide their strength and conditioning program.
I was obviously excited because I played hockey growing up and have taken in interest in training hockey players.
For those that do not know Junior hockey is one of two ways to play in college. There are the unicorns that are good enough playing in high school to get a scholarship but most college coaches do not really care how an athlete is against 15-16 year olds. The other route would be to go to prep school for a year after high school graduation.
Juniors is typically kids ages 18-21 playing against each other. This is a lot of high level talent squaring off and no freshman and sophomores to feed off of. These kids are good.
Knowing this, we can give them a little bit more of an advanced program that recognizes their game schedule but also gets them performing at a high level.
So, Day 1 comes and the kids are bringing in their medical history forms. Flipping through, there was an overwhelming amount of shoulder separations and dislocations. As the season went on, even more started to appear.
For a team that is in-season the primary goal is to keep them healthy and able to play at a high level. Giving athletes exercises that is going to jeopardize that is bad training and irresponsible.
In my latest article for STACK.com I have outlined a quick assessment that you can do at home and the exercises that should go along with the results of that assessment.
Not every athlete should be performing whatever exercise they feel like and that becomes even more important when we know that a quality of the sport is that shoulders get injured.
Is your program setting you up to succeed or causing more problems?