Who Is Graig White?

TCS: Strength & Conditioning for the Hockey Player


So, you say you want to get better, do better, I ask just what are you doing to make that happen? If you honestly say “nothing” this piece is for you. Let’s talk procrastination, this concept can keep you from addressing issues that may get in the way of you achieving goals you say you are working towards. “I’ll do it later”, tends to give people a false reassurance it will get done, so you can put the task you are avoiding out of your mind. When you find, yourself procrastinating it’s best to start by identifying the cause of you doing so. Sometimes there are valid reasons as to why you are putting off the task, could be something we might not have to do.

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Winning a championship at most levels can be challenging. In order to increase the odds you as a player have to do everything in your power to be a positive force on your team. The coach, in that same spectrum must do all they can to create strategies that will help lead to victory. When it comes to structuring comprehensive training protocols please believe that there is a lot of work that should be done.

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When you think of some of the qualities that good hockey players should have what comes to mind?  Speed, balance strength, skill...maybe?  To me a quality that comes to my mind is grit which hockey athletes have to be some of the toughest people in the galaxy, but how do they get that way? Sources for grit can be found in many places such as surviving a tough situation, the weight room, the rink, a great book or movie or any number of other avenues. But the source isn’t really the issue, the issue tends to be whether you have it or not.

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“Weak legs command, strong legs obey.” Those are the words spoken by Gil Reyes, foremost conditioning coach of tennis athletes in the world. This concept can be applied to hockey. Weak legs, once they are tired, will command the body to stop competing. You won’t get to those pucks you need to get to. Your ability to compete is greatly diminished. With strong legs, you will be able to, in times of need, be able to find that extra gear to not only out skate your opponent to the puck but also be able to do things with them you might not have been able to before.

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I am of the belief that there are four possible outcomes to any sporting competition. You can win, lose, tie, or get beat. When this concept is proposed to athletes who are working with me for the first time, more often than not they ask, “Isn’t losing and getting beat the same thing?" I thank them for asking and then I impart some knowledge. “Have you ever played in a game, and just played out of your mind. You know you are just lights out” I ask. I get a positive response, then I take it to the next level. Same scenario but this time your opponent plays just a little better than you. Did you lose or did you get beat? That is the difference. As an athlete, we’ve all been in games where we were totally in “the Zone” and sometimes we are playing people who not only are in “the Zone”,  it’s like they live there. You have done everything you could possible do and still do not win. On the flip side though, if you go out and stink the place up and don’t win that is what we call a losing.

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When first entering an exercise facility more often than not, the first thing you will see is the cardio equipment; this may consist of bikes, rowing machines, elliptical machines or even upper body ergo meters, machines of this type are designed to strength your lungs and heart and are good for “warming up” the body in preparation for getting ready to raise your training intensity. These machines are also quite beneficial at burning fat, increasing basal metabolic rates, decreasing your risk for heart disease and increasing your overall sense of well-being. No activity or machine is better than another, the effectiveness is based on how hard, how often, and how long you engine in your chosen activity.

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So now, let’s get back to earning that muscle, the “quickest” and “easiest” way to get faster, stronger and better to give yourself enough time. The mistake a lot of athletes make is waiting to late to start getting ready to compete. I was getting questions from players last year in August about getting ready for the season two weeks before the season started. If they had started preparing in June or July then trying to get ready in two weeks would not have been an issue because they would have been closer to being ready then they were. 

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