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J Strength Cond Res. 2011 May;25(5):1183-92. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318217650a.

Physiological characteristics of National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I ice hockey players and their relation to game performance.

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Department of Kinesiology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA.


Previous ice hockey research has focused on physiological profiles and determinants of skating speed, but few studies have examined the association of preseason player evaluations with a measure of season-long performance. Understanding which tests are most predictive of player performance could help coaches organize practice and training more effectively. The purpose of this study was to describe physical characteristics and skill levels of 24 members of an NCAA Division I men's ice hockey team and relate them to game performance over the course of a season as measured by plus/minus (+/-) score. Subjects performed a battery of preseason tests including treadmill maximal aerobic capacity, body fat, leg press, push-ups, bench press, chin-ups, and sprinting ability both on and off ice. Pearson and Spearman correlations were used to examine correlations between preseason measures and +/- score. One coach also subjectively grouped the top and bottom 6 players, and analysis of variance was used to examine any differences in preseason measures and +/- score between these 2 groups. Leg press, chin-ups, bench press, and repeat sprint performance were significantly correlated with +/- score (r = 0.554, 0.462, 0.499, and -0.568, respectively). Teams with limited time and resources may choose to perform these tests to evaluate player potential efficiently. Only +/- score differed between top and bottom players suggesting that +/- accurately reflected the coach's perception of player success in this sample.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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