The Weekly Training Schedule II: Off-Season Field Hockey

In the article The Weekly Training Schedule: General Recommendations for Training Elements, an outline was presented as to how to manage training stressors over the course of a week.  This article provided some very general guidelines on how to include various types of exercise into one’s training plan.  This post will focus on providing an example for a week of off-season training for the sport of field hockey.  Demands in this sport need to take into consideration the different positions played (attack, midfield, defense, and goalie).  The schedule and training modes presented at the end of this article will be based on an individual who plays the attack position.

Konarski (2010) performed an in-depth analysis into the match play of athletes on the Polish National Team.  This study examined factors related to players’ heart rates, energy expenditure, speeds, and distances traveled.  The results of this analysis revealed that field hockey requires high levels of speed and speed endurance, along with proper development of the aerobic system (Konaraksi, 2010; Sharkey 1986; Konarski et al,. 2006).  Players playing the attack position achieved the highest velocities, along with traveling farther than the other positions (Konarski, 2010).  This information supports an emphasis on high-quality speed development for these athletes, along with properly dosed aerobic work to complement to low-intensity aspects of the sport.

For the weekly training plan ,an athlete in the off-season will be looking to spend time on the elements discussed along with strength development.  As stated previously, the example to be used below will be for an athlete who plays the attack position.  While similar applications can be made for the midfielders and defenders, one would want to consider slight modifications to running volumes and intensities with these athletes.  The weekly template, along with training modes are as follows:

Day One

Dynamic Warm-Up (20 minutes of heart rate elevation, bodyweight movements, power/speed drills)

Speed Work (High quality with complete rest periods)

*Sprints 10-40 m distance range.  200-400 m total work

Lower Body Weights

*(Rehabilitation-based movements prior to main lifts.  For female field hockey athletes this would include work for the hip muscles (particularly the hip extensors and abductors) and ankles.

Day Two

Upper Body Weights

*(Rehabilitation-based movements prior to main lifts.  This would include exercises that reinforce good upper body posture)

Low-intensity power speed drills

Tempo Runs- Run at 75% for a total volume of approximately 2,000 to 2,500 with repetitions in the 50-100 m range.

Day Three

Off or Active Rest

*Option to do agility drills with extensive tempo intensity (<75%)

Day Four

Dynamic Warm-Up (As described previously)

Speed Work (Reduced volumes from Day One)

Lower Body Weights

Day Five

Upper Body Rehabilitation Strength Exercises

Upper body Weights

Tempo Runs- Same as described on Day Two with reduced volumes

Days Six/Seven

*At least one day totally off.

The template offers an option for four days of training involving strength, which can be modified to a three-day program (which has been used successfully by the author with some athletes).   There are various means by which the strength portion can be applied and the reader is encouraged to view a past article on this topic. One mistake that currently presents itself in regards to running is the emphasis on long-distance running from both a training and testing perspective.  Many coaches place an emphasis on testing 1, 1.5, and 2 mile runs in an effort to evaluate the endurance of their athletes.  While aerobic training certainly plays a role in the development of a field hockey athlete, the application of these testing measures is faulty.  The reader is encouraged to read the references cited below to support this premise.   It is again emphasized that the schedule presented above is a general outline for a week of training for a field hockey athlete playing the attack position.  A future post will reflect specifics as it relates to guidelines for each of the individual modes of training.  For now, the reader at least has some concept as to how to structure weekly training for this particular athlete.  Please feel free to post questions in the comments section on the facebook page.

For program consulting or training, visit here or email at


1.  Konarski, J. J.  (2010).  Characteristics of chosen parameters of external and internal loads in Eastern European high level field hockey players.  Journal of Human Sport & Exercise, 5 (1), 43-58.

2.  Konarski, J. J., Matuszynski, M., & Strzelczyk, R.  (2006).  Different team defense tactics and heart rate during a field hockey match.  Studies in Physical Culture and Tourism, 3, 145-148.

3.  Sharkey, B.  (1986).  Coaches guide to sport physiology.  Champaign, IL:  Human Kinetics.




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