Coach Nielsen's Ice Hockey Drills

Speed Strength Size Conditioning (S3 Formula)

From time-to-time I am offered to participate in different hockey specific programs . Coach Weiss is offering a $50 OFF deal on his S3 Formula training. Take a look at his website by clicking the image below and see if you are interested. Enter code MOTHERSDAY50 if you decide to purchase. This may be something you want to pass along to your players for the off-season.

Here is a short link you can give to your players if you think they might be interested

The sale is just for this weekend so take a look.

Jeremy Weiss the developer of the S3 program is an excellent coach out west and a former high level hockey player. He has a college education in athletic conditioning and nutrition and is someone I respect for his knowledge of the game and how to improve your ability. Check out the videos and move forward if you find it to be of interest to you or your players.

Filed under: Conditioning, Nutrition

Game Day Nutrition Part II


I was always told to "Carb" up the night before and during pre-game meal. Seemed good to me. I could crush all the French Fry’s, Coke, and chocolate bars I wanted in the name of creating an energy burst out on the ice. Not good. Lead me straight to the fat bike for 45 minutes after every practice in Juniors. Carbs can be complicated to figure out with the glycemic index, fiber, and cooking choices available. So what carbs do you want to eat and when? Here’s a little excerpt from the book 7 Pre-Game Habits of Pro Hockey Players.

Behind hydration, complex carbohydrates are next in critical importance for athletic performance. These are found only in products made from plants. If you’ve ever been on a hockey bus throughout Canada or the Midwestern US, then you’ve seen the fields of wheat, barley, beans, and others that go into producing complex carbs. Bread, pasta, cereals, grains, fruits, and vegetables contain complex carbohydrates rich in important micronutrients of vitamins, minerals and trace elements. In terms of athletic performance, carbs provide glucose for energy before and during performance. They also provide glucose for glycogen synthesis or energy storage for any future activity.


  • Athletes should strive to get 55-65% of their calories from carbs (20-25 cal per pound).
  • The best foods to choose are the ones least processed. In other words the fewest steps foods are removed from nature the better. Organic is a far better choice when available and the budget allows. 
  • Remember: Refining and processing grains reduces nutrient values and raises their glycemic index.
  • Look for 3g of fiber per serving or more on the label. If it DOESN’T have it, put it back and find something that does.

Digestion of Foods

Liquids as well as some foods get absorbed right away. Other foods are worked over by your intestinal track for hours before getting digested. If you want to feel light on your feet then eat the foods on the left side of the timeline below. If you want to feel sluggish and lethargic like you do after a Thanksgiving meal then eat the foods on the right side of the below timeline. Study this timeline and begin to develop pre-game meals and snack plans for game day.

Digestion time line:

Shortest                                                          Longest       


Liquid fruits vegetables starches fats


  • The closer you get to game time means you eat items on the timeline’s left side. These foods and liquids require the shortest amount of time needed for absorption through the digestive system and excretion of excess waste.
  • It takes 1-4 hours for peristalsis to push food out of the stomach and into the first part of the small intestine. The foods on the right side of the timeline should be eaten 3-5 hours before the puck drops so enough time can elapse.

Game Day Hot Tip: Get back to grains, vegetables, and some fruit as your main source of energy versus the traditional steak and mounds of chicken pre-game meal. There’s more protein in some of the grains, fruits, and vegetables than you realize.

courtesy of Brett Henning

Filed under: Nutrition, , ,

Game Day Nutrition Part I

How come sometimes you feel like your flying around the ice and other times it feels like a piano is strapped to your back?

For the most part it’s the food you eat and fluids you down leading up to the game.

Although there is no substitute for good daily eating habits, the foods you eat and amount/type of fluids you consume in the 24 hours before a game will determine your energy levels.

I am in the finishing stages of putting together a book and one chapter deals very specifically with this concept.  Here is excerpt from the book that is a tip sheet for game day hydration. (It’s kind of long so foods will be covered next newsletter.)


Key #1

I’m sure you’ve all seen Man Vs. Wild, where Bear Grylls defies death in every region of the earth. That guy is world class lunatic. I have every episode Tivoed. Part of me wants to see the Nascar crash, where he battles it out with a carnivorous bear in some deep backcountry wilderness but that’s another story. While shooting an episode in the Australian outback he stated an amazing fact. He said that “humans can only survive a few hours in that heat without water”. In this episode Bear goes as far as drinking his own pee for hydration. (Please don’t try this at home.) But the fact of the matter is you can live around 5 weeks without food but without water a human can last only 5 days in normal circumstances. On average, the human body is about 60% water. Our brains are 70% water, our blood is 80% water and our lungs contain about 85% water. (It’s hard to believe, but Dicky Dunn wrote it so it must be true.) Only oxygen is more vital to sustaining life. Throughout the day we lose water through regular perspiration, going to the bathroom, breathing, and of course perspiration by exercising. Hydration is by far the most important factor in your game preparation. If you’re not properly hydrated your athletic performance will suffer. Even minor dehydration impairs contractile strength in the muscles, speed, concentration, coordination, reaction time, and stamina. Remember this, the human thirst mechanism is faulty, so waiting until you are thirsty to drink is TOO LATE. Hydration must be a priority for peak performance.


  • As a guideline try to drink 1/2oz -1oz per pound/per day.
  • 190 lbs = at least 95 oz fluid per day (2.75 – 5 liters per day).
  • Weigh-in before and after practices, training, and games. There shouldn’t be a drastic change either in weight loss or gain. (This is especially true for goalies. I remember hearing that Glen Healy lost 14 lbs in water weight during a game in the 1993 playoffs. Not only will this effect performance during the present game but also any future games.)
  • Given the nature of a hockey game with 2 intermissions, athletes should consume electrolytes to enhance absorption and prevent cramping. Choose a carb/electrolyte drink for 16 oz- of your replacement fluids perhaps during an intermission, but then the rest of your fluid needs should be met with water. You don’t need to replace all your fluids on the ice.
  • Carb/electrolyte drinks- the concern with a number of the electrolyte drinks on the market is they are a combination of non-purified water, sucrose, glucose, fructose (sugars manufactured by factories from corn) and artificial colors with electrolytes (potassium and sodium) thrown in. More research needs to be done on the nutritional value of them. (With the explosion of new drinks onto the market including “energy drinks”, you can drop a lot of money with little to no effect. (Might as well be drinking tap water) Some feel that they do more harm than good. You can’t go wrong consuming natural mineral or spring water, fresh vegetable juice, or diluted fruit juices. But good ‘ole water is still the best bet. Nothing replaces pure water for hydration. Try to get the other nutrients you need from your meals, not from marketed sugar drinks.
Pre-event Immediately prior to event During event Immediately Post event Post event recovery
1-2 hours 0-10 minutes Drink early (6-8 oz) & at regular intervals (10-15 min.) when possible Take in carb/protein drink (2:1 or 3:1 ratio) & banana Re-hydrate: 20 oz per pound lost during competition. Tomato juice is good choice for part of this replacement
17-20 oz 7-10 oz EAS -Myoplex
Water/shake Water/electrolytes Nutrilite – meal replacement
Make your own: see recipes

Game Day Hot Tip: Monitor your hydrations level by the color of your urine. The clearer the color, the better … if you have bright yellow urine or it has a strong smell, start pumping the fluids.

courtesy of Brett Henning

Filed under: Conditioning, General, Nutrition



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