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Critical thinking is the art and science of rationalism.  It’s the foundational belief that science starts and ends with problems.  The goal of the pursuit is iterative in approach with each failure leading closer and closer to a better explanation.  The result is a temporary theory or conjecture.  Supreme theories offer superior explanations and are tested/criticized more often. The “game” of science is a game with no end. 

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Posted by on in Programming

What makes a great skater?  This is a complex question to answer. The truth is, no two strides are the same and there is no perfect answer.  Skating, like playing the guitar, is a skill.  There are plenty of players playing at high levels that have unorthodox stride signatures.  The game of hockey is complex, and although skating comes at a premium, one also must consider hockey sense, technical, and tactical tendencies as all may lead to efficiency on the ice. 

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Posted by on in Coaching Development

The hockey stride has been described by bio-mechanists as biphasic in nature consisting of alternating periods of single leg and double leg support.  The single support phase corresponds to a period of glide, while the double support phase corresponds to the onset and preparation of propulsion (Marino, 1977).  Ankle mobility may play a role at increasing stride efficiency.  Increased range of motion, in particular dorsiflexion (think toes pointed up towards the sky), may aid the skater in assuming a lower skating position, thus reducing air resistance, while simultaneously increasing impulse, or the time the player has to produce force.  In addition, pre-stretching the achilleas may increase kinetic energy thus increasing propulsion.  Using electrogoniometers, researchers measured foot kinematics on the ice during a parallel start from defensive-zone face-off circle to offensive zone face-off circle.  The acceleration phase occurred during the first 5 steps with steps 6-10 representing steady state.  The following findings were recorded based on the average measurements of the sample size:  (Pearsall et al., 2001)

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Posted by on in Coaching Development

 The purpose of this brief article is to explain our testing rationale for the hockey playing population at Donskov Strength and Conditioning.  Each respective practitioner has his/her own unique reality.  The goal is to allow one’s unique reality to dictate the model used for the planning of training, monitoring and testing.  All models are wrong, some are more useful than others.  When it comes to testing, I tend to ask myself the following questions: 1.) What test(s) are the most relevant for our hockey players?  What testing resources do I have at my disposal?  Do I have access to ice?  How long do I have to work with the athlete?  How much time, away from programming do I want to allot for testing?  Is testing necessary? 

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