In our fifth presentation for The Community (now Strength Coach Network) UMASS Lowell’s Devan McConnell breaks down the applied sports science work that he’s utilizing with his hockey team. In this presentation Coach McConnell breaks down their model for development and gives an overview of the sport science program they’ve designed.

Being a small market team in a blue-collar town plays right in with how they have built the program there based on the idea of the aggregation of marginal gains. This leads directly into their movement based approach to training that is set up in a very repeatable system. Much of this is determined by filling the buckets that aren’t filled in practice, so that Devan can continue to develop the student athletes throughout the year without pushing them too far in the area’s covered in sport practice and competition. This leads to a walk through to the training they do off ice, with video’s showing many of the means and methods he selects for his student athletes.

The next portion of the talk Devan shares with us how he evaluates his student athletes to provide better programs. He gives examples of what evaluations he utilizes including strength tests, conditioning tests, and different jump tests he looks at. How the numbers are looked at, and broken down is described and shown with an actual example of his set up with his hockey players. This leads directly into how they “monitor” the guys.

The monitoring plan/system they utilize includes questionnaires, HRV, weigh ins, TRIMP scores, sRPE, RSI, and weighting out of activity. Devan breaks down each method/piece used, why they selected this, what they’re looking for in each, and what is communicated with the staff to help them make better decisions for the athletes along with what drives decisions in the weight room with the guys.

This is an awesome talk breaking down the entire program that Devan uses with the Men’s hockey team at UMASS Lowell. If you’re a coach who works with hockey players, or one looking to add in some sort of athlete monitoring to your program, this talk is full of nuggets to help you put together the best possible plan.

We are hoping to provide the best possible content for strength coaches with each of our shows. If feel this could provide value for anyone else in the strength and conditioning field please feel free to share.

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