Developing a strong and powerful shot takes time, practice, and consistent effort. In order to develop an amazing shot, you need to spend time getting strong and building rotational strength and power.
In this post, I am going to show you how we progress our hockey players using a series of rotational medicine ball tosses to help develop power and coordination.
Rotational Medicine Ball Progressions
1. Stationary Drills: Anti-Rotation
The goal of these drills is to teach rotation of the upper back (thoracic spine) and proper bracing of the front leg. We want to see the athlete lock is his or her hips in place and produce rotation only from the upper back.
2. Stationary Drills: Rotation
In this phase, we are going to introduce the loading of the hips and force transfer. During this phase, we are looking to develop coordination and good full body mechanics.
3. Momentum: Rotation
The goal of these drills is to introduce momentum and teach the athlete to load the front hip efficiently.
4. Eccentric Rotation
Up and till know the emphasis has been placed on loading the front leg and hip. We are now going to begin to teach the athlete to get out of the back leg and take advantage of the stretch-shortening cycle.
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5. Momentum Rotation with Eccentric Loading
Here we combine categories 3 and 4 and begin to take a more athletic approach.
Sample Hockey Off-Season Rotational Medicine Ball Progression
Weeks 1-2: ½ Kneeling Rotational MB Toss
Week 3-4: Split Stance Rotational MB Toss
Weeks 5-6: Standing Rotational MB Shot Toss
Weeks 7-8: 2 Step Rotational MB Scoop Toss
Weeks 9-10: Step Back Rotational MB Toss
Week 11-12: 2 Hop Rotational MB Toss
These progressions will vary based on training age and coordination. Some of these advanced versions are not suited for all athletes. All athletes regardless of ability and level will start with our earliest progressions and move up the ladder during the off-season.
The focus of these drills is speed and power. The ball should be light to allow the athlete to move with max speed. If you increase the weight of the ball and the movement slows the ball is too heavy.
Keep the weight and reps low and allow for optimal recovery between sets.
Sample: 4 sets of 3 each side with 90 s Rest.
*Thank you to Eric Cressey for this awesome rotational progressions!