5 key elements for hockey tryouts and training camps


Greg Revak

Greg Revak is a Certified Level 4 USA Hockey Coach. Greg coaches with the University of Akron and University School (Ohio). You can find him on Twitter @CoachRevak. or sign up for his Hockey IQ Newsletter.
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We've included some actionable ideas too.

It’s that special time of year. The weather is starting to cool, corn is high, and rinks are starting to fill again with youthful energy. At this time, you are either gearing up for tryouts or the beginning of the season training camp.

In this post we are going to cover all of the essential elements and give some actionable ideas for each. Let’s go!

For every hockey player those are the three important facets of the game. Thus these are the ones coaches should look for during tryouts and train their players for during training camp. Below are the key elements to cover:

  • Speed of foot:
    • Overall fitness
    • Skating
  • Speed of hand:
    • Passing
    • Shooting
  • Speed of mind:
    • Battle/Compete
    • Game situations
    • Interviews

1. Fitness tests

Everyone from players to coaches to parents knows the fitness test is coming. Hockey is a physical sport and physicality is important. It’s plain to see which players took their offseason training seriously. It also can show off which players will be able to best last the rigours of a long season.

Depending on the age and availability of equipment, this could include 40-yard dash times, lifting, agility, or anything else you think of when teams do a combine. Here are some ideas:

  • 40 yard dash for acceleration and ability to hit top speeds.
  • One-mile run for cardio levels and endurance.
  • Agility shuttle run to understand change of direction and general agility. Cones can be set at five yards apart to create a 5-10-5 yard shuttle.
  • Pushups in one minute for upper body strength.
  • Vertical jump or long jump to understand lower-body explosiveness.

2. On-ice skills

The basis of any hockey player is their skating ability. If they can’t skate they can’t play, as they will struggle to get where they need to go. There are two key spots here, skating speed and edge control:



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