Dave Smith, NHL Officials Health and Wellness Coach

During the International Coaching Conference, we had the opportunity to listen to David T. Smith, the NHL officials health and wellness coach.

Dave Smith NHL Official Health and Wellness Coach

The NHL officials Health and Wellness program >>

National Hockey League Officials Fitness and Conditioning

  • This is a sample program for NHL Officials. As all people are different so are Fitness Programs, the following is used as a guideline with minimum standards for NHL Officials.
  • Consult your family doctor before starting any training program

Off season training

  • Start by setting some fitness goals for the start of the next season and focus on those throughout your program.
  • Incorporate and maintain good eating habits such as frequent small meals rather than a few large ones so your body is burning calories all day. Maintain a balanced diet between carbohydrates, fats and protein.
  • Incorporate a stretch and exercise routine before every training session.


  • 5 days a week / Up to 2 hrs a day
  • Strength twice a week
  • Aerobics twice a week
  • Run, bike, roller blade or other activity once a week


  • Weight training utilizing a variety of programs with changes in repetitions, sets, tempo and exercises.
  • Push-ups using varying arm position and use of blocks
  • Sit ups, crunches – proper form is very important
  • Leg Strength (lunges, squats, step ups)


  • Use heart rate monitor to maximize training zones
  • Run – 15 min increasing to 60 min.
  • Ice sprints – 30 sec increasing to 60 sec.
  • Bike – 35 min increasing to 60 min.
  • Roller blade or Stairmaster
  • Jump rope and plyometric exercises with Resistance Bands to increase foot speed and agility

Cardiovascular Exercise (Run, Bike, Stepper or Glider)

  • Warm up (5 min)
  • 1 minute increasing intensity intervals for 30 min in your target heart rate zone
  • One minute work, one to two minutes rest intervals
  • Lower the intensity if you are not recovering to your original Heart Rate after first work/rest interval
  • Cool down (5 to 8 minutes)
  • You should monitor Heart rate at all times

Maintaining fitness during the season

  • 15- 20 minute warm up before games
  • Light jog, bike or jump rope to warm up muscles and joints and increase Heart Rate
  • Stretch and flexibility as a daily wellness program
  • Aerobic Exercise 2 or 3 times a week on non game days
  • Strength and Resistance exercises are done as travel and game schedule allows. Maintaining a base throughout the season will allow an easier transition into the off season training program and helps promote an overall healthy and productive lifestyle.

The program is picked from the NHL officials page >>

Dave Smith, NHL-official coach

Floorball – Off-season training and Injuries

“We were sailing into the floorball playoffs when our star player sprained his ankle, and then BOOM, we were eliminated in the first round”. Sound familiar? If you’ve been around the sports/floorball world for any length of time, you have seen it happen, probably more than once. What can you do to prevent this, and how can you overcome this when it does happen to your floorball team?

First off all, conditioning and well prepared players, that’s what it’s about. If you want to prevent most of your floorball player’s injuries, then make sure that they are well conditioned, good pre-season practicing. Devote most of your early season to get your floorball players in good physical shape. Figure out your players during the early part of the pre-season. Do not just assign the entire floorball team to run x-number of laps or km/miles and then attend to other things while they run. Make sure that out of condition floorball players, work gradually themselves up to game shape. Assign well conditioned players even more work to improve their fitness to an even greater level.

Floorball practices and drills 2 vs 2

Never ever scrimp on warm-up time (can and should be done before the floorball practice, in my eyes!) Make sure that late arriving players go through a full warm-up period before allowing them to join in the activities. Many floorball players are injured each year when they get to floorball practice late and then jump right into high stress movements.  Do not injure your players with over-enthusiasm.

Floorball Skill Drills – New set of floorball practices

Floorball Skill Drill Practices

Floorball skill drill practices >>

Floorball warm up practice – Change positions

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Floorball warm up practices – Change position up to the right (a)

P1 starts the floorball warm up practice, by running with the ball towards the border, P2 runs behind P1. P1 passes the ball to P2 who takes the shot, both players goes for the rebound.

Four Options to the floorball warm up practice – Shot, pass and 2 vs 1

1. P1 doesn’t pass, P1 shoots and P2 goes for the rebound.
2. P1 passes and P2 passes back P1 shoots. With this option the floorball goalie also gets good practice in moving from side to side or post to post.
3. Add a defensemen who starts in the middle or meets up the two forwards and you have a simple 2 on 1 floorball practice.
4. Start the floorball drill from the corner or from the border, from left or right.

Youth / Childrens Floorball Practices and Drills

Salibandyn mailatekniikka / harhautusharjoite oikealla

6-10 V. Pallonhallinta ja harhautus salibandyharjoite

In the youth or childrens floorball practice to the right the players are practicing ball control and stickhandling. Players make a couple of short moves before two long moves with the stick and the ball, and after that a shot in to the goal.

When the players have taken the shot, they pick up the ball again and practice feints on the way back. The feints they can practice, can be a passing feint, shot feint or a body feint to start up with some basic dekes.

Running four floorball practices at the same time

By splitting up the rink / floor in small parts you can have like in this example four floorball practices up and running at the same time. You can run both floorball practices in this drill drawing at one end and therefore have many active young floorball players at the same time.

Floorball drills and practices for 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 year old

6-10 V. Pallonhallinta ja harhautus salibandyharjoite

Floorball ball control / stickhandling drill for children / youth players – to the left

The floorball drill to left starts with the player taking a ball and making a long move to the sides, moving the ball behind the cones, this is repeated three times and after that the player takes a shot into the goal.

Make use of the way back

Usually the practices are ended after a shot, but I think it’s good to give your players missions or tasks to perform when they return to the starting position. In the floorball drill to left I have put in running backwards with the ball back to the que, but you can also make your players practice a feint / deke or their coordination skills.

Floorball warm up drills – Short passes and shifting positions

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Floorball warm up drill – down to the right (b)

P2 starts the floorball drill with running with the ball towards the border, makes a turn towards the middle. P2 runs behind and receives a pass from P1. P1 transports the ball from the border towards the centre. P2 runs behind and receives a pass. P2 runs with the ball and passes it to P1 in front of the goal. P1 shoots the ball into the goal.

Floorball Stickhandling and ball control drills / Practices

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Floorball stickhandling and ball controlling practice to the left

The floorball ball handling drill to the left starts with P1 running with the ball, P1 makes short moves between the cones, this is followed by a long move, and the floorball drill is ended up with shot into the goal.

Floorball stickhandling practice to the right

The floorball practice to the right starts with P2 running with the ball in control towards the first cone. Between the cones the player moves sideways and keeps the head up towards the goal. The floorball practice is ended up with shot into the goal.