Elite level ice hockey places high demands on player’s physical and technical attributes as well as on cognitive and executive functions. There is, however, a notable lack of research on these attributes and functions. The present study investigated executive function with selected tests from the D-KEFS test battery among 48 ice hockey players and compared them to a standardized sample. Results show that ice hockey players’ scores were significantly higher on Design Fluency (DF) compared with the standardized sample score. Elite players’ scores were not significantly higher than those of lower-league hockey players. A significant correlation was found between on-ice performance and Trail Making Test (TMT) scores. Exploratory analysis showed that elite-level center forwards scored significantly higher on DF than did players in other positions. Future research should investigate whether assessment of executive function should be taken into account, in addition to physical and technical skills, when scouting for the next ice hockey star.
Tobias Lundgren, Lennart Högman, Markus Näslund, and Thomas Parling
Jason D. Vescovi, Teena M. Murray, and Jaci L. VanHeest
The primary purpose of this study was to determine whether positional profiling is possible for elite ice hockey players by examining anthropometric characteristics and physiological performance. In addition, performance ranges and percentiles were determined for each position (forwards, defensemen, and goalkeepers) on all dependent variables.
A retrospective, cross-sectional study design was used with performance data from ice hockey players (mean age = 18.0 ± 0.6 years) attending the 2001 (n = 74), 2002 (n = 84), and 2003 (n = 92) Combines. Four anthropometric characteristics and 12 performance tests were the dependent variables. A 3 × 3 (position × year) 2-way ANOVA was used to determine whether any significant interactions were present. No significant interactions were observed, so the data were collapsed over the 3-year period and positional characteristics were analyzed using a 1-way ANOVA.
Defenders were heavier and/or taller compared with the other 2 positions (P ≤ .01), whereas goalkeepers showed greater body-fat percentage compared with that of forwards (P = .001). It was found that goalkeepers had significantly lower strength measures for the upper body (P ≤ .043) and lower anaerobic capacity (P ≤ .039) values compared with at least one other position, but they had greater flexibility (P ≤ .013). No positional differences were observed for the broad jump, vertical jump, aerobic power, or curl-ups.
The current findings provide evidence supporting the use of anthropometric measurements, upper body strength, and anaerobic capacity to effectively distinguish among positions for elite-level ice hockey players.
Christian Åkermark, Ira Jacobs, Margareta Rasmusson, and Jan Karlsson
The effects of carbohydrate (CHO) loading on physical characteristics including muscle fiber distribution, muscle glycogen concentration, and physical performance were studied in two top Swedish ice hockey teams. Players were randomly allocated to two groups: those consuming a CHO-enriched diet (CHO group) and those consuming a mixed diet (controls). Biopsies from the vastus lateralis muscle were taken three times: after Game 1, before Game 2, and after Game 2. Muscle fiber distribution averaged 50 ± 2% slow twitch fibers (mean ± 1SEM). Muscle glycogen concentrations (measured in mmol glucose units · kg−1 wet muscle) were as follows: after Game 1, 43 ± 4 (ail players); before Game 2,99 ± 7 (CHO group) and 81 ± 7 (controls); and after Game 2, 46 ± 6 (CHO group) and 44 ± 5 (controls). Distance skated, number of shifts skated, amount of time skated within shifts, and skating speed improved with CHO loading. It was concluded that individual differences in performance could be related to muscle glycogen metabolism.
Jason D. Vescovi, Teena M. Murray, Kelly A. Fiala, and Jaci L. VanHeest
The primary purpose of this study was to determine whether tests performed at the National Hockey League (NHL) Combine could distinguish draft status (ie, the round selected). A secondary aim was to provide performance ranges and percentiles for each of the dependent variables.
A retrospective, cross-sectional study design was used with performance data and draft order from 2001, 2002, and 2003 Combine participants. Draft round was divided into 5 classifications (rounds 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 through 9), and performances on 12 physical tests served as dependent variables. Three multiple analyses of covariance (MANCOVAs) were used to determine the significance of performance scores at the NHL Combine on draft selection. Age (years), body mass (kg), height (cm), and percentage body fat were treated as covariates.
Overall, MANCOVA results indicated no significant effect of performance on draft selection for 2001, 2002, or 2003. Subsequent univariate tests revealed that no single dependent variable was able to distinguish between draft rounds for any of the 3 years sampled.
Using draft status as an indicator of ice hockey performance, it appears that off-ice tests cannot accurately predict ice hockey playing ability in an elite group of athletes. This might stem from homogeneity of the Combine participants, a lack of validity of the tests, or other factors (eg, on-ice hockey skills, psychological variables, etc) that play a role in draft selection.
Alexander S.D. Gamble, Jessica L. Bigg, Tyler F. Vermeulen, Stephanie M. Boville, Greg S. Eskedjian, Sebastian Jannas-Vela, Jamie Whitfield, Matthew S. Palmer, and Lawrence L. Spriet
research examined the hydration and sweat characteristics of elite ice hockey players during practices at the JR, AHL, and NHL levels. The results from the study suggest that (a) there was no difference in prepractice hydration level (approximately 40–50% of players arrived dehydrated) or fluid intake
Brittany M. Ingram, Melissa C. Kay, Christina B. Vander Vegt, and Johna K. Register-Mihalik
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Romana Brunner, Mario Bizzini, Nicola A. Maffiuletti, and Karin Niedermann
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Thomas Haugen, Will Hopkins, Felix Breitschädel, Gøran Paulsen, and Paul Solberg
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Chelsey Klimek, Christopher Ashbeck, Alexander J. Brook, and Chris Durall
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Austin Greenwood, Naoko A. Giblin, and Cordial Gillette
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