Do you have what it takes to be an ice hockey player? The Next Testing Skating Combine is a series of tests designed to measure hockey-specific athleticism using both on-ice and off-ice testing. See also the similar SPARQ testing protocols.
The Next Ice Hockey test protocols include 14 skating tests which assess the elements of Reaction time, Quickness (Forwards & Backwards), Speed (Forwards & Backwards), Transition Speed (Forwards & Backwards), Agility and Puck Handling. These elements are derived from the following 14 tests (see video):
- Sprint (2) — skating sprint facing forwards and backwards over 90 ft. Timing using timing gates.
- Forward Agility (2) — zig-zagging between cones on the ice, performed with and without a puck.
- Backward to Forward Linear Pivot (2) — skate backwards half way, then turn to finish forwards. Performed with left and right turning.
- Forward to Backward Directional change (2) — skate up to and around a cone and skate back in backwards direction. Performed with left and right turning.
- Stop and Starts (2) — race up to a line and back, with a puck. Performed with puck on the left and right.
- Crossovers (4) — with and without a puck, turning left and right.
The results of the skating tests are combined into the Next Testing Index (NTI). The NTI is out of 1000, with the results from each test element weighted using a unique formula to highlight the athlete's strengths and weaknesses. Three main components make up the NTI Score: Forwards Skating (out of 395), Backwards Skating (out of 190), Puck Control (out of 285) and Reaction (out of 130).
In addition to the tests performed on the ice, there are the following fitness tests:
- Balance — neuromuscular tests to establish a measure postural control (static and dynamic balance) using a NT Balance machine and Korebalance testing.
- Body Composition (bioelectric impedence) — body fat percentage and lean muscle mass measured using a Tanita body composition analyzer.
- Body Scan — whole body scan using 24 cameras to render a virtual athlete in great detail. Able to reveal signs of old injuries, body development imbalances and key physical attributes that indicate greater resistance to injury.
- Energy System(Wingate Test) — measures lower body anaeroic power using a Monark bike ergometer.
- Grip Strength — measure it using the traditional athletic protocol with a digital dynamometer.
- Leg Power — The Leg Power test measures an athlete’s ability to repeatedly exert high power outputs during four maximal effort vertical jumps performed without arm swinging.
- Vertical Jump — a traditional athletic protocol using a Vertec®.
- See video demonstration of Next Testing on-ice tests and all Next Testing videos.
- fitness testing for hockey
- Poll about the important fitness components for ice hockey
- About the SPARQ Rating System for Hockey.
- Warm Up for Hockey
- NHL Draft Combine fitness tests
- fitness testing for sports
- About Testing for Intermittent Sports