OverSpeed training means ...
1) On-ice skills are practiced at an uncomfortably fast pace. By doing this the Soviet
hockey teams established their own elevated comfort zone, and opponents were
never comfortable trying to execute skills at that pace – any shift of a game.
Herb Brooks used Overspeed training brilliantly during the preparation season
before the 1980 Olympics – flow drills up and down the ice for an entire practice.
He'd skate behind the rush to teach on the fly and push the pace.
"Move east-west; Get out of your lanes," he'd yell. "Get moving. Faster. Faster."
He knew the young college kids had to be trained at high speed for months
if they were to stay up with the Soviets and other more-experienced teams.
2) Endurance training is always FAST. Building high quality neuromuscular habits
is the top priority. Therefore, metabolic-cardiovascular-respiratory factors
improve as a by-product. Those factors are usually the priority when academic
folks plan endurance workouts. Therefore aerobic training often features slow
movement, meaning slowness will be repeated in games.
Before assigning any endurance training, coaches must have a clear picture of
what is to be maintained in a game. For hockey this is high quality skill, decisions,
quickness, explosive strength, and competitiveness. Nowhere in that mission
statement is 'slowness-practice' a logical solution. But endurance is trained
this way quite often. Coaches before us have passed along some bad traditions.
3) Strength exercises are inherently slow movement of the athlete's body. The more
weight used, the slower the movement. Therefore, explosive sprints and jumps
should be combined with strength exercises in creative ways.
Post-Activation-Potentiation (PAP) is a neuromuscular phenomenon in which
100% effort in a strength set can enhance (potentiate) an explosive set of sprints
or jumps that follows. A rest period ranging from a couple seconds to 3 minutes
is required, and coaches should experiment by shortening the strength set or
lengthening the rest. This will vary from one athlete to the next.
Keep a vertek handy or jump board on the wall to test an athlete's jump after
a given strength-rest combination. Compare the jump to his/her best previous
jump to determine if more rest is needed. Weighted or unweighted jumps
can replace the strength set if the effort is 100%. For example, an athlete
might make an all-out effort during a set of weighted jumps, rest (or not). Then
sprint 5-10 meters in a designated area of the weight room. If the sprint is timed
accurately with photocells, it will be apparent if the rest was adequate.
4) On-ice endurance training should NEVER be slow. Long, torturous stops-and-starts
are counterproductive, because they repeat habits of slowness and poor skating
technique after just 10-15 seconds.