5 Apps Every Hockey Player Should Have on Their Phone
Updated: May 21, 2020
Unless you’re on the ice, it’s likely that over any given 24-hour period you’re always within arm’s reach of your phone.
A study from 2015 found that people check their phones an average of 46 times per day (1). Nowadays with your buddies blowing you up on Snapchat, and a 24-hour stream of Instagram stories – this is likely even higher.
While your parents/grandparents/anyone 40+ has probably told you to put “down the phone for a bit” – I’d agree with a little bit more “airplane mode” time would do us well. But, instead of demonizing smartphones, why not explore how you can use apps productively to help you become a better hockey player.
1) Headspace/Insight Timer: Guided Meditation
Meditation is growing in popularity, but while a lot of hockey players still consider it “fluffy” they don’t realize it’s common practice in a lot of top performers. It’s been popular in basketball for decades with the Chicago Bulls hiring the first “mindfulness coach” in during the championship years. Since then, athletes such as Kobe and Lebron have used meditation to enhance their emotional and attentional control.
When I was at the University of Toronto my research was based on meditation as a performance enhancement tool for elite hockey players. We gave 2 Junior A teams (OJHL) use to Headpace, and found a lot of interesting benefits & and a lot of guys really enjoyed it.
Headspace breaks down meditation into just 10-minute sessions and has entire sections aimed at sport performance. Not only is it a relaxing and centering focus away from the rink, but it’s a tangible way to train the mental traits such as awareness and emotional/attentional regulation.
PS. While I love Headspace, Insight Timer actually has more free meditations on it!
We have entire articles on gaining or losing weight, and they all preach the same concept: “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”
Whenever we tell an athlete that we’d like them to track what they eat for a week or two, they quickly learn how easy it is rack up 2000 calories by lunch. This goes the other way with our skinny guys who are “eating a ton” but end up barely meeting surpassing their daily requirements.
MyFitnessPal is the tool we most often recommend for nutrition tracking. It has a super extensive database of food (with ALL the nutritional info) that you can log and does all the math for you. While it’s rare we preach year-round nutritional tracking, we find it a valuable tool for players who have body recomposition as a training objective. Saying that some of our more elite athletes track their nutrition year-round so that we can monitor the nutritional influence (both macro/micronutrition’s) on various performance metrics.
Regardless of how you use it, it’s worth trying.
3) Nike Training Club
People are often surprised when I recommend a free workout app, but I’m a big fan of the Nike Training Club App. Workouts are designed by Ryan Flattery (The Head of Performance at Nike) who works with ultra elite football players in the states.
Saying that the app features all bodyweight workouts, each with its own objective of either strength, endurance, mobility. With personalized in-app recommendations, you can tailor workouts to be from 15-45 minutes, and the app will lead you through the entire workout with video tutorials and timers.
While this doesn’t replace well-structured Strength & Conditioning, and doesn’t take into the account the demands of hockey performance, these workouts can be great for days that players miss workouts or want to add in some extra work to their morning/school routine.
I’ll use this app myself if I’m on the road and want to get in a hotel workout or, more frequently for some of their mobility programmings on days that I just want s
Most players don’t think of yoga when it comes to supporting performance but yoga is an essential type of strength and mobility training. For iPhone users, this app also syncs with Apple Health if that is one of your main workout/health trackers.
4) TSN GO and NHL
Most hockey players likely already have at least one of these two apps.
Are they productive to support your performance? Maybe. I’ve always thought that there’s value in watching highlights and studying what the guys at the top level are doing. I know one of the pro defensemen I work with actually likes’s to go through highlights thinking about how he’d handle that situation. It might sound cheesy, but identifying different looks/setups/players is valuable.
Saying that I totally believe in escapism. Maybe watching hockey highlights won’t make you a better hockey player, but between school/work/hockey, sometimes it’s just good to tune out and watch something you enjoy.
5) The Relentless Hockey App
Sure this is shameless self-plug here, but I wouldn’t recommend anything I don’t feel adds value players. And, having designed this app solely with the objective of helping hockey players get better, I feel like it takes the cake.
This is the most comprehensive Strength & Conditioning platform in the industry, from custom-tailored programming, to video tutorials, to performance tracking and monitoring with your coach (likely me) – this delivers professional-quality Strength and Conditioning available anywhere you are, 24/7.
Again, I might be bias – but I authentically proud of this service, so have no shame plugging it.
That’s our current top 5! If you have any other recommendation, we’d love to hear them in the comments!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kyle Kokotailo, B.Kin - Performance Coach & Founder of Relentless Hockey
Kyle is a Hockey Performance Specialist who’s worked with hundreds of hockey players from Peewee to Pro. A former elite hockey player, Kyle earned his degree in Kinesiology before becoming a Strength Coach that specializes in hockey performance. Today, he runs Relentless Hockey where he works with players across the world, including pros in over 20+ leagues including the NHL, KHL, and OHL.