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Physiological Characteristics of National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Ice Hockey Players and Their Relation to Game Performance

Peyer, Karissa L1; Pivarnik, James M1; Eisenmann, Joey C1; Vorkapich, Michael2

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: May 2011 - Volume 25 - Issue 5 - pp 1183-1192
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318217650a
Original Research

Peyer, KL, Pivarnik, JM, Eisenmann, JC, and Vorkapich, M. Physiological characteristics of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) division I ice hockey players and their relation to game performance. J Strength Cond Res 25(5): 1183-1192, 2011-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.

1Department of Kinesiology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan; and 2Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan

Address correspondence to Karissa Peyer, karissapeyer@gmail.com.

© 2011 National Strength and Conditioning Association