When Training, Less is More (More or Less!)

The goal is to manage training stress and maintain eustress and adaptation.

As a Head Coach, Assistant Coach or Skill Development Professional, we often struggle with the question of more or less.

  • Do we give the players more sessions, more exercises, more skill work, or less?
  • Do we demand more intensity from them, or seek lower output demands with better quality movements?
  • Should we train technique, form, function, or brute power and get reps in?
  • Do we demand more sets/drills, sessions, or less?
  • Do we go longer in practice, or shorter?

Hans Selye’s example may help us with these questions.

Have you heard of Hans Selye? (Hint – He’s not an Austrian-Canadian forward playing in a European Elite loop.)

Selye should be quite notable with hockey coaches. He was a Canadian researcher and endocrinologist who defined a concept known as the general adaptation syndrome (GAS). GAS as a concept is important to us because it acts as the cornerstone of understanding physical training, exercises prescription and athletic development.

The goal is to manage training stress and maintain eustress and adaptation . . .



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Malcolm Sutherland

Malcolm Sutherland is a coach, physical educator, sport pedagogist, and SME in sports development, sports safety and injury prevention. As an athlete and player safety expert Malcolm has developed prevention tools and a program to control serious injury in sport.

He is a Chartered Professional Coach holding designation with Coaches of Canada. In hockey specifically, Malcolm is now active as a sought after development coach working internationally and nationally. Malcolm has coached at every level from professional minor leagues, varsity as well as junior and AAA levels of minor hockey.

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