What is over speed training and why does it work?

Over speed was developed by the Soviet’s where coaches and trainers developed a system of training that paralleled itself with the actual game of hockey. It consisted of conditioning the player’s athletic abilities such as strength and cardio to perform as if they were actually playing a game.

Most often in the game of hockey there is a ratio of work to rest (approximately 1:4). A hockey player during a game will sprint for about 30 seconds and then rest for about 60-70 seconds. This is where the concept of over speed comes into play. Over speed drills are quick short intense drills rather than slow and repetitive. Players are attempting every drill at an uncomfortably high speed. It encourages them to break out of their comfort zone and find the zone above that of the average player. 15-20 seconds of sprinting are followed by1-2 minutes of rest. A drill is never practiced for endurance purposes. If a drill were to last longer than the recommended time, lactic acid will build up and create muscle fatigue. Skating skill and speed would then be compromised. Quality of repetition is the responsibility of the players and the coach. Once overspeed drills have been practiced over a period of time, familiarity with the patterns will increase therefore so will speed. In a game situation, the player only has one chance to execute. It is better to fail at a high speed than to succeed and do drills at a slow pace. Execution will come with practice and will stimulate the ability to become a faster decision maker with the puck in a game situation.

Overspeed training enables players to enhance the combination of their skating abilities such as power and edgework with their other skills like shooting, stickhandling and passing. To be a strong and fast team, ALL players must be conditioned athletes with the ability to handle high tempo because that is what the game of hockey is.