February 28, 2012

From NEHJ: What's a standard pregame warm-up?

By Sean Skahan

With professional players, it is not uncommon for them to have their own routine before games.  They fully believe that their own routine (and sometimes superstitions) will help give them the best chance for success. 

Sean Skahan (Quincy, Mass.) is the strength and conditioning coach of the Anaheim Ducks.

With the Anaheim Ducks, even though we have a mandatory team warm-up on all practice days, the only time where I will organize a team warm-up is on the morning of the second night of back-to-back games on the road. In this situation, we will not have a pregame skate, but we will have an organized warm-up basically to get our players out of bed and moving. 

For some players who are still young and really haven’t established their own routine yet, we will do a pregame warm-up one hour before the puck drops. This is done in a hallway outside of our dressing room whether it is at home or in an opposing arena. I usually have between 6-10 players on a given night. These players consist of mostly younger players, but we do have some veteran players who have been doing it for years now as the warm-up has become part of their own preparation. What’s interesting to point out is that there are still several players throughout the league who are now playing for different teams who still do the same routine.

Here is what we will do pregame using a 10- to 15-yard distance and a small agility ladder (4 boxes):

Movement Prep

* High knee tuck

* Heel to butt with opposite arm reach

* SLDL (stiff legged deadlift)

* Cradle

* Lunge walk + forearm to instep + arm reach/thoracic rotation + hamstring

* Reverse lunge with reach

* Lateral squat walk

* Over and under hurdle walk

* High knee run

* Buttkicks

* High knee skip

* Backwards open door skip

* Backwards run

* Forward run

Agility Ladder

* 2 in the hole x2

* Lateral 2 in the hole L/R

* Quick shuffle

* 2 in/2 out forward

* 2 in/2 out L/R

This article originally appeared in the February 2012 issue of New England Hockey Journal.

Sean Skahan, a native of Quincy, Mass., is the strength and conditioning coach of the Anaheim Ducks. He is also part owner of www.HockeySc.com, the leading online hockey training resource. He can be reached at feedback@hockeyjournal.com