Training tips for hockey players to level up their game

Sanford Sports offers hockey performance training that will help take your game to the next level. Our training programs are led by experienced coaches with a focus on the fundamentals.

“There are many benefits to hockey performance training both on and off the ice,” Ben Kinne, the Manger of Wellness and Performance at Sanford Sports in Bemidji, said. “On ice, athletes are mastering technical skills, competing and being pushed to develop curious and creative thinking. Off the ice, in Bemidji we have our weight room and designated shooting room.”

Performance targets

With the hockey training programs at Sanford Sports, athletes can take advantage of state-of-the-art technology, including a hockey treadmill that’s available at some of the Sanford Sports locations.

“One of the most important things for kids to learn at a young age is skating,” Brady Heppner, the lead Academy sports specialist in Bismarck, said. “If they learn the proper mechanics of skating early it will set them up for success for their whole career. They can work on their balance and ankle stability on the skating treadmill.”

With the hockey treadmill, hockey players will develop proper mechanics and improve their balance and form – all while increasing their speed.

“It’s essential to create good habits,” Heppner said. “Learning proper stride mechanics will benefit these players and set them up for success on the ice.”

Aside from skating, the two most important skills for a hockey player are stickhandling and shooting. Both skills can be improved with more power and accuracy.

“We want them to be shooting and stickhandling with their head up,” Heppner said. “That will ultimately help them when they get to higher levels of hockey, where it gets more physical and faster. They’ll be better able to control the puck and be aware of what’s going on around them.”

Strength and agility are also important. Performance training at Sanford Sports targets the muscle groups that hockey players rely on most.

How to join

Sanford Sports offers unique hockey training opportunities in all of our performance locations – Sioux Falls, Fargo, Grand Forks, Bismarck and Bemidji.

“Our programs make it extremely affordable for athletes to come and develop,” Heppner said. “We’re also very keen on not only building better athletes but building better people.”

The performance coaches at Sanford Sports have a wealth of knowledge and they are passionate about helping younger hockey players improve their game.

“Getting to interact with them and see young players evolve as athletes is so much fun,” Heppner said. “Seeing a kid develop session after session and seeing the joy on their face when they master a technique is second to none.”

Find out more about available hockey training programs near you at


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