Welcome, my name is Daniel Harmes – Strength & Conditioning Manager for the ISBHF. Throughout the next few articles beginning in 2018, I am going to give you an insight into the world of off-court training methods, alongside all of the other regimens and resources that can take all players to the next level of performance!

An Overview:

Individual Goals: this should be completed through discussing with your player the areas of performance that they feel they need to improve upon, and for you to provide the feedback and direction necessary to show players the areas and role/s that they play within the team structure; providing a clear understanding of what is expected from them in the role/s.

Team Goals: every team session should be to the benefit of all players. Not every player will need to always improve in the same areas of the game, but this is the reason why the above point is so critically important.  The work accomplished in the group training sessions should be executed in a way that requires guidance with such as plyometrics.

Goaltender Specific: in many sports the goaltender often receives inadequate training attention, with drills and exercise often geared toward the ‘runners’. So, when planning a training session, there must be exercises and an understanding of the training requirements for the goaltender. As important as every player is, without a goalie who is able to improve and support the entire team, overall performance will be proportionately enhanced and team morale strengthened through the leadership of developing a top-tier goaltender.

Club Development Programs:

As important as the national team’s development is for the countries progression in the sport is, without a solid structure in place for clubs to use and develop future players at a national level,  international teams will not progress ether. This should be accomplished by engaging all club coaches with the tools and skills in order to plan and deliver sessions that match the needs of their teams, but also the end goals of the national team. This must come from top-down and be delivered to the correct level, otherwise teams will not recognize a reason to change what they already have in place. This is why the creation of a program to guide the clubs is just as important as developing the player when they are in camp.


This topic can sometimes seem very ambiguous, but the key points to remember with regards to nutrition;

Hydration before the session/game is the most important guidance that a coach can offer players, as without hydration, players will not perform to their peak performance level.

Hydration during a session/game – this is also important, because when pushing players to their maximum, players must replace what fluids are lost in order to achieve max performance.

Recovery after a session/game – this again is also critical, otherwise the body will not repair itself and recover in time for the next session, or worse the next game in a tournament.

Mental Health:

This can be considered an avoided, or even very taboo topic to bring up in the team environment, but it is an area that all players & coaches need to be very aware of.  The most important thing to remember is, that all players are people first and to make note of any/all changes in the players demeanour, and if you are worried ask to speak to them privately.

Daniel Harmes
ISBHF Strength & Conditioning Manager

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