UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Examining the relationship between off-ice testing and on-ice performance in male youth ice hockey players Rice, Mark Stewart


Background: In an elite sport setting, physical assessments are administered for talent selection purposes, as well as for continuous monitoring to ensure the effective implementation of training methods to reach optimal sport performance. Physical assessment allows coaches and trainers to determine where an athlete ranks compared to other players, as well as to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the individual. In ice hockey, research has focused on high performance players (e.g., NHL prospects) and the physical characteristics that they possess. To date, the early assessment of youth minor hockey players, and the relationship between off-ice and on-ice performance has received little attention. Purpose: The purpose of this investigation was to examine the relationship between off-ice physical fitness performance and sport-related performance on on-ice assessments in male, minor ice hockey players. Methods: Eleven male minor hockey players were recruited across three birth years (2004, 2005, and 2006). Participants completed a battery of 14 off-ice testing protocols that measured body composition, musculoskeletal fitness, aerobic fitness, and anaerobic fitness, as well as 4 on-ice protocols that measured skating speed, skating agility, skating acceleration, and shot velocity. Results: Older players were taller and heavier than the younger players, and defensemen were taller and heavier when compared to forwards. Across participants, standing long jump was positively correlated to all skating tests (i.e., speed, agility, and acceleration). Players who jumped further demonstrated significantly greater on-ice skating performance. Significant correlations were also found between player weight and maximum speed, agility, and shot velocity. Lighter players were faster and more agile on the ice, while players with a greater mass demonstrated higher scores in shot velocity. A significant relationship was also found between push-ups and off-ice sprinting capability. Conclusion: These findings were consistent with high performance research with adults revealing that physical measures (such as standing long jump) may have predictive value for on-ice performance even in young, pre-pubertal ice hockey players. While such measures may contribute to the successful identification and selection of players for high performance, utilizing such assessments also has important training implications for the long-term development and performance of all players.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada