Speed is the variable of success for Hockey Players.
We live by this motto at Relentless Hockey and often have hockey players come to work with us to specifically to enhance their agility and athleticism.
While enhancing agility or athleticism is multi-faceted - many players get seduced by just focusing on "footwork drills" that put players through different sequences as fast as possible. Often time these drills lack a structure that specifically challenges athleticism and instead just gets players better at repeating a scripted movement sequence.
This is why the "speed ladder" gets a bad rep.
Coaches will often have players do dozens of reps of the same pattern that, while leaving players sweaty and tired, often fails to actually challenge athleticism.
So why commit an entire video to the speed ladder then?
While it's misuse has led to it being often demonized by strength coaches, the ladder is still a useful tool to improve basic footwork and kinesthetic awareness.
Often times ladders can pay huge dividends for younger players who are still developing these traits and their base athleticism. For older players, even pros, ladders can still be a helpful tool for a) warming up the CNS and get moving fast before a workout/skate, b) refresh the movement mechanics that promote "light feet and low hips."
Because of this, we'll often use ladders in some capacity in our workout program - and video takes a dive into some of our favourite ladder drills specifically for hockey players!
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.