I called it.
10 days ago, I told you how Team Finland was gearing up for the U18 World Championships in Grand Forks, ND with one goal in mind…
And last night they did, beating Sweden 6-1 in the final after a convincing performance.
A personal highlight was watching three of the players I trained this season – Kasper Kotkansalo, Emil Oksanen and Urho Vaakanainen – celebrating on the ice after the final.
All that hard work and the hours they put in on and off the ice obviously paid off.
With our U20 National Team clinching the WJC title just three months ago, I’m proud to say we have produced a new generation of WINNERS.
So join me in congratulating Head Coach Jussi Ahokas and the entire U18 National Team for the World Championship.
Well done, boys.
If you want to experience the “World Champion approved” workouts I use with my Junior National Team players, check out:
Time for some mo’ hot Q&A action today…
QUESTION: Yunus, what are your favorite bodyweight exercises?
I’ll be traveling over the summer, so will rarely have access to a gym with weights. Looking for exercises to do on the road.
YUNUS: Ye good ole push-ups, chin-ups and dips work extremely well for that.
Buy a pair of gymnastic rings plus a weight vest to make things challenging if bodyweight is too easy.
Best training investment you’ll ever make.
QUESTION: Hello coach….
Can u give me some list good exercises and mobility for tennis elbow?
YUNUS: This is outside my area of expertise. I’d recommend working with a qualified physical therapist for best results.
QUESTION: I’m ready to hit it hard off the ice this summer. Thanks to your training tips I know what to do.
My question: how often should I lift in the off-season?
YUNUS: Anywhere from 2 to 4 heavy training sessions per week depending on your age, training age, strength levels, time available and a host of other factors.
I cover all those factors (and many more training topics) in my Next Level Hockey Training System.
More info at:
My man crush on Jaromir Jagr, that is.
At age 44, Jagr became the oldest NHL player to score 60+ points in a single season.
And after recording his 200th playoff point against the Islanders last night, it’s a safe bet I’m not the only one fascinated by this prolific hockey player who hoisted his first Cup before I knew what an offside was.
He may have stopped rocking that trademark mullet of his back years ago, but his hockey IQ, speed and level of competitiveness are still very much on par with the demands of the game in 2016.
Much has been written about how #68 still keeps breaking scoring records three decades into his illustrious career.
But his success really bears no mystery when you think about it…
Dude’s a friggin’ work horse.
Never mind that he can work on his skating, passing and shooting for hours each day outside of team practice.
He sneaks into the gym after midnight to get a lift in, when the rest of the NHL is sleeping.
His work ethic is as endless as his love of the game.
So much so that unlike most of his peers, he never got married or decided to start a family. Just so he could focus 100% on his career.
Though he has been known to enjoy the company of attractive females (like any well-off bachelor should).
Apparently scoring chicks 20 years your junior won’t hurt your chances of lighting up the red lamp in front of 20,000 people.
Which he has done 749 times since entering the league in 1990 (I’m talkin’ ‘bout putting the puck in the net; as far as I know, NHL.com doesn’t cover his stats in the female department).
Even the best of the best didn’t achieve 2 Stanley Cups, 5 Art Ross Trophies and 3 Lester B. Pearson Awards on talent alone.
So what got Jagr to the top?
And what’s keeping him there 25 years and counting?
Burning desire to be the best.
Saying “screw you” to complacency.
And always, ALWAYS working on getting in better shape than he was yesterday.
All those happen to be qualities I love to see in the young hockey players I coach.
If you also possess those qualities, then my Next Level Hockey Training system is for you.
It’s all about putting in the effort and becoming the strongest, most athletic version of yourself so you can go on to play the best hockey in your career.
To access it, lace up, put your jersey on and skate over to:
What’s the best way to win a hockey game?
Ask ten coaches that question, and you’ll hear answers like:
“Score more goals than your opponent.”
“Aggressive forechecking, tight defense.”
All important, no doubt.
But they’re not the MAIN difference between winning and losing.
So what is?
Having your best players healthy and in the lineup.
History is full of examples of this…
The Buffalo Sabres looked a strong candidate to win the Cup in 2006.
But then they had to play the Eastern Conference Finals with four of their top defenders – Teppo Numminen, Dmitri Kalinin, Jay McKee and Henrik Tallinder – on the injured list.
The Carolina Hurricanes plowed through the injury-ridden Sabres in Game 7.
And went on to hoist the Cup that summer.
9 straight wins to kick off the 2015-2016 season, and Canadiens fans were already planning the club’s 25th Stanley Cup parade along the usual route in downtown Montreal.
Then Carey Price suffered a lower body injury in November, sat on the shelf the rest of the season and the Canadiens missed the last playoff spot in East by 11 points.
At the apex of his career, Sidney Crosby dominated the first half of the 2010-2011 campaign and was on pace to score 132 points that season.
Then he suffered two concussions in back-to-back games, which left him sidelined close to a year.
The high flying Penguins transformed from a Cup contender to a first round exit the moment Dave Steckel’s shoulder connected with Crosby’s head in the final minutes of the 2011 Winter Classic.
Sure, not every injury that occurs in hockey can be prevented.
But it’d be foolish to overlook the importance of doing everything you can to keep guys healthy.
One silly injury to your starting goaltender, #1 center or top offensive D-man could mean the difference between winning and losing.
Especially in the playoffs.
For a great resource that keeps your best players healthy and playing at the top of their game, go to:
Here we go…
1. On chin-ups, think of driving your elbows down and back to properly engage the lats instead of just pulling with the arms.
2. Wave volume and intensity over time for best gains in strength, size and work capacity.
This goes out to all y’all bangin’ out 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps or 5×5 for six months in a row.
3. On single-leg movements like split squats or reverse lunges, think of pushing the heel of the working leg through the ground.
This helps with maintaining stability and allows you to lift more weight.
4. Add slow eccentrics into your workouts.
But be sure to limit them to the off-season. Guys hate how the subsequent muscle soreness makes their legs feel heavy on the ice during hockey season.
5. Do push-ups, dips, rows and chins on rings to maximize upper body development.
One look at a male gymnast’s upper body tells us everything you need to know about how effective the rings are for that.
To learn how to use these (and many, many more) tips in your off-ice workouts for the best results, hop over to:
I’m sure you’ve heard the breaking news already…
The ENTIRE Russian U18 team got caught one day before leaving for the World Championships in the biggest mass doping scandal in hockey history.
Kids these days…
Funny thing is, there are much better (not to mention healthier!) methods for improving performance than ye ol’ “Russian way” that involves gagging down a plethora of pills your coach hands out after practice.
How do I know this?
For starters, I trained three Finnish players that won silver at the 2015 U18 World’s since last summer.
All of them made great strength gains and took their game to the next level this season.
Two of the guys were called up to play in the Finnish Elite League, and the third won gold at WJC 2016 as well as the MVP title in the Finnish U20 league.
Another three of my athletes made the roster for Team Finland at this year’s U18 tournament starting next week.
And rest assured, not a single paper cup filled with colorful “vitamins” was ever given to these players in the locker room.
All you need to make great performance gains is a solid off-ice training program.
No doping required.
Grab yours at:
Here’s something you may find interesting.
One of the things I talk about in my Next Level Hockey Training System is the importance of getting strong (relative to your bodyweight)…
And how becoming strong will help you better perform on the ice.
It’s amazing how many hockey players don’t get this.
They’ll run laps and lift puny weights all day long because they listened to some clueless “training guru” on the internet.
Here’s the kicker…
A study from 2011 compared off-ice testing results and game performance of 24 members of an NCAA D1 men’s hockey team.
Among a battery of fitness tests, the researchers found only a few tests to be predictive of player performance.
* Leg press
* Bench press
* Repeat sprinting ability
While I personally don’t value the leg press for athletic performance (a squat variation would be better in my honest, but ALWAYS accurate, opinion), the proof is in the pudding…
Lower and upper body strength combined with speed and explosiveness maketh a hockey player.
It’s what I’ve been saying all along.
To become the strong, fast, powerful hockey player you were meant to be, check out: