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How critical is a pre-game warm up?  

Depending on how you wish to start the game should play a major role in your warm-up.

I was never a big believer of a slow stretching approach to prepare for a game.  I would observe many players who would sit and go through a static routine of touching toes and crossing legs.  I never once did this and did not ever pull a muscle in 4 years of college hockey and 5 years of pro hockey.  Basically if you want to start the game like a statue then go ahead and stretch like one.  This type of stretching in my opinion is great for after a game when your body needs to relax and mind needs to shut down.

 A dynamic warm-up consisting of challenging exercises that wake up the mind and facilitate high speed skill execution and quick contracting muscles will in fact result in a player that is warmed and ready to go right from the drop of the puck. 

Muscle tissue is directly affected by temperature and it is important to start this pre-game dynamic routine by warming the muscle up with a 5-10 min. stationary bike or jog. 

Next balancing exercises should be done, my personal favorite the Bosu-ball is great for activating a wide variety of muscles through low-impact movements.  Also balance exercises will turn the mind on by increasing responsiveness. 

Finally you are ready for the meat portion of the warm-up, faster movements, changes of direction, and reaction exercises.  Sprints with stops and starts at different points, is a simple and ideal way to warm up in a dynamic manner.  Be creative and change dynamic routines often, challenge yourself throughout the warm-up, this will lead to enhanced game play by waking your mind for split second decisions and waking your body for split second physical reactions that make up the game of hockey…….

Thank you,

Nick Parillo

Any questions on this subject please feel free to email  Nick Parillo at

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