A Player's Guide to a Healthy Mind & Body


If you think you are beaten, you are. If you think you dare not, you don't. If you like to win, but think you can't It's almost certain you won't. If you think you'll lose, You've lost. For out in the world you'll find, Success begins with a fellows will. It's all a state of mind. If you think your out classed, you are. You've got to think high to rise. You've got to be sure of yourself before, You can ever win the prize. Life's battles don't always go, to the stronger or faster man. But sooner or later the man who wins, Is the man who thinks he can.

What is a Workout?

A workout is 25% perspiration and 75% determination. Stated another way, it is one part physical exertion and three parts self-discipline. Doing it is easy once you get started.

A workout makes you better than you were yesterday. It strengthens the body, relaxes the mind, and toughens the spirit. When you workout regularly, your problems diminish and your confidence grows.

A workout is a personal triumph over laziness and procrastination. It is the Badge of a winner-the mark of an organized, goal-orientated person who has taken charge of his/her Destiny.

A workout is a wise use of time and an investment in excellence. It is a way of preparing for lives challenges and it takes to what is necessary.

A workout is a key that helps unlock the door to opportunity and success. Hidden within each of us is an extraordinary force. Physical and mental fitness are triggers that can release it.

A workout is a form of rebirth. When you finish a good workout, you don't simply feel better...

by George Allen


As young hockey players, you must begin to understand that your body is like a high performance race car, in order to progress and perform consistently, you need high performance fuel for your body. If you take your game seriously and are looking for "The Edge" look no further than your refrigerator! The foods we eat consist of three important components.


Carbohydrates which are our main source of fuel and are also instrumental in burning fat. A lack of Carbo's limits endurance and the functions of the nervous system. You'll find Carbo's in foods like cereal, bread, fruits, veggies and pasta.


Protein is the major source of building muscle tissue, blood, skin, hair, nails and internal organs. You'll find protein in meats, dairy products, eggs, veggies and fish. Turkey, fish and chicken are your protein source of choice because they are very low in fat. Try and stay away from a lot of dairy (except from 1% or less milk and boiled eggs, minus the yolk) because of it's high fat content. Keep in mind your still young and burning a bodily high metabolism rate, so some fat intake is ok, but you should understand what kind of fuel your giving your body!


Fats are the most concentrated sources of energy In the diet, also forms a cushion to protect vital organs, provide insulation to the body, and carry vitamins A,D,E and K. Even though some fat is essential, the average American (hockey player) eats way too much fat. People gain unwanted weight because they don't burn all there fat as energy, instead excess fat is stored in the fat cells. If you watch your fat intake and trim it your body will benefit from it, because you will get your daily fat allowance from everyday foods, so lets concentrate on reducing your fat intake.

From my experiences, NHL team nutritionists recommend and regulate a formula of: 70% complex carbs, 20% protein and 10% (or less) fat for Professional Hockey players. This formula gives your body the proper fuel prescription for a successful / healthy hockey player. I will never tell you to eat three times a day, and ignore it if you hear so, you are an athlete who exerts great amounts of energy during the day. Your body demands large amounts of fuel throughout the day. Eat as many times in the day as you wish, but eat right and don't eat until your stuffed, eat until your comfortable.

Use This As A Guide...

Breakfast Like A King

This should be your biggest meal of the day for two reasons. First, it sets the tone for the days metabolism, (energy rate) second, your body has had no fuel for at least eight (8) hours... your running on empty! Fat free cereals w/ banana or fruit (1% or skim milk) bagels w/ jam, toast, Egg beaters are good too. Stay away from bacon, sausage, fried potatoes!


Feed the metabolism, great time for fruit, raw veggies or baked potato (dip it in salsa or ketchup) remember eat as much as you want but don't stuff.

Lunch Like A Prince

Turkey, chicken, tuna, salads and soups. Try to use fat free/reduced mayo and whole wheat bread is always a good idea.


Feed the metabolism again, keep your body burning full speed.

Dine Like A Professional

Pasta, roasted/broiled or baked chicken, (NO FRIED FOODS) fish (tuna steaks are great), turkey, lots of veggies (if you don't like them cooked, eat 'em raw w/ dip), occasional beef. Be careful of desserts, if you must, then moderate. Animal crackers and frozen yogurt (fat free ice cream) are not bad alternatives. One of my fav's is fat free fudge swirl, when I need a sweet fix.

Night Snacks

Instead of chips (potato chips are terrible for you) and peanuts (even worse than chips) try veggies (carrot sticks, celery, broccoli or cauliflower) and fat free dips, (ranch, peppercorn) baked tortilla chips and salsa or pretzels as alternatives. You'll be surprised how much you enjoy these snacks, when you get in the habit of eating them you won't desire the other foods. Remember this is your last food of the day, your body will be resting for approx 8 hours, don't eat heavy, don't overstuff.

As a rule,
Lots of water, limit soda or sugar based drinks.

Weight / Resistance Training: Body Development

HOCKEY is a great way to burn calories and speed up your bodies metabolism. (This is why very few hockey players are overweight.) In addition to a good metabolism rate, a necessary process in your body development for hockey is resistance training (ages 10-15) and weight training (ages15-20). If becoming successful and maintaining a steady improvement level is your goal, resistance and weight training are essential to an ambitious hockey player. Because of the high intensity and endurance level hockey demands, muscle tone and strength is often difficult to develop and maintain. A hockey player must not train like a body builder or football player, for you are in a unique sport. You must FOCUS on WHAT YOU NEED developed. LEG strength is your most important need. You spend 90% of your skating stride on one leg at a time, and your entire body is balanced over that leg! Improve your leg strength and you automatically become a better, more balanced, fluent skater.

Make no mistake, the better skaters are going to be the better hockey players. By playing hockey continuously there is limited stimulation on much of your bodies muscle mass. When specific muscles are not used they shrink and become less strong/effective. Also as mentioned earlier the metabolism rate you create causes your body to burn energy at such a rapid rate your body doesn't have the opportunity to build mass, (a very serious problem I faced in my career) this is why you need weight and resistance training. Aside from the obvious, strength, weight and resistance training develops muscle tone, bone density (no more season-ending injuries) expands flexibility, strengthens your heart and last but certainly not least...Elevates Self Esteem!

There are many routine circuits for younger players that require very little time, but they do require dedication and consistency. You can do them at home, in the locker room or at the hotel on the road. The circuits consist of push ups, sit ups/crunches, bungy/surgical resistance cord in various ways and plyometrics. They take about 15 to 20 minutes about three times a day. (Make note, Younger players should never use weight training, your bodies are at a growing stage, weight training can severely damage your future growth) For older players much more commitment is necessary, and in spite of what you've been told a full gym membership is necessary, you need many different machines, sleds and benches to accomplish what your after. The hardest part of attending a gym is walking through the door, but you'll find if you are motivated enough to get a membership and dedicated enough to attend regularly, you will be welcomed, helped and feel very much 'at home' at a gym.

Look at it this way, everybody in the gym is there to improve there body, except you have a specific goal! As I mentioned earlier legs are your goal, not too much upper body, concentrate on lower half of your body, don't get caught up in the Body building mind set, keep your FOCUS. I have always found that you will push yourself harder, thus see results faster if you train with a partner with similar goals and ambition. (a teammate) Without even realizing it you will develop a healthy, competitive bond that will greatly enhance your drive and FOCUS. Through the years I've come up with many good routines, and if you are serious about them, ask me for a program and attend CDHP's summer training program. (The program is based off NHL training methods and intensity levels)
In order to be the best you can be, be prepared to pay the price...

DISCIPLINE YOURSELF! - Mentally and Physically!

BE CLEAR OF YOUR GOALS - Go After them with 100% effort!

EFFORT BE POSITIVE, ALWAYS! - Find a positive in everything your do!


  • 95% of the game/life is mental, concentrate and be aware of your goals! As your become more competitive, so will your competition, so rise to the top and be the very best you can be everyday at everything.
  • Judge your success by your small accomplishments, dedication and pride in yourself and in your game.
  • Your actions and attitude will speak volumes to everybody around you.

Helpful Eating - Mental Habits For A Growing,
Successful Hockey Player

When your family is cooking meat, fish or chicken, request the leanest cuts. Also, trim the fat from the meat, and skin the chicken.

If your family has to fry, request using "Pam" instead of cooking oil.

Stay away from diets - you do not need to lose weight, your looking for lots of "good fuel". Don't ever worry about counting calories, but watch fat intake.

Plan your meals with your family and make a shopping list . Eat slowly - put utensils down between bites. Microwave to maintain nutrients.

Microwaving cooks from the inside out, thus pushing fat out while maintaining nutrients.

Use fat-free dressing on salads.

Eat fruits and vegetables raw or frozen - not canned.

Calculate the canned and frozen fruits to assess the fat content.

Try to walk or stretch after every meal - especially the thoracic area. A limber player is a more effective player.

When you get a craving ask yourself "is this food going to improve my performance?"

Be patient - you don't get in great shape overnight, maintain your consistency and FOCUS.

When eating out, eat salad, soup, chicken or fish. Stay away from fast foods (all of them!) This food is your enemy!

Put a picture of the shape you want to have (and the skating form you want )on the refrigerator and look at it every time you open the door.

Both on & off the ice, fill your mind with positive input. (great fuel for the mind)

Change your eating life style slowly. If you have a sweet tooth temper it by cutting down slowly.

When shopping with your family suggest using the perimeter of the store where the fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, chicken and turkey are located

If your family uses butter, request switching to Molly McButter or Butter Buds which are found in the spice section of your grocery store.

If your family uses salt switch to Morton's Lite.

Spend time meditating (concentrating). God gave you the tools, be aware that anything is possible. You are capable of all your goals. Concentrate, picture yourself and help yourself positively, you must believe it before anybody else will...FOCUS.

Becoming what you want is about 25% effort and 75% commitment. Becoming what you want is a triumph over laziness, indifference and procrastination, if you want it bad enough find a way.

You can be what you want to be, it's all up to you. If it is to be, it's all up to me.

Hidden in you is an extraordinary force. Fitness and self-esteem can release it.

Challenge yourself! Hockey and fitness go hand and hand, take the extra effort and it will show. When it shows you will not only feel better, you'll feel better about yourself.


Home | About Cavanagh's | Training Programs | National Training Center | CDHP Merchandise | Contact Us | Site Map

100% Hockey Specific Training