April 2021 - MartyStrength

The Most Powerful Thing You Can Do

There are so many powerful things we do each day that we are never aware of.  Actions that shape the success of each and every day from the moment we wake to when we go to bed.  Believe me, these are not all positive actions!  

Many of them are simple habits that we have created either knowingly or unknowingly through repetitive actions until they started to stick.

The good news is that through repetitive purposeful action you can create new habits or alter current ones by pairing or stacking them with other habits.  The not-so-good news is that creating new habits takes some serious awareness and a plan.

Remind yourself of this…

It is going to take a lot more mental energy during the early stages of creating a new habit as opposed to the later stages.

This is where most people give up because it just seems way too hard.  It takes too much out of us.

This is because you have to think about it a lot more.  You need to continuously remind yourself of what you are doing or not doing.  During the initial stages, you lack automation.  You have not grooved this habit into your daily routine as a part of who you are.

Here is the good news. The hardest part is the beginning.  After a few days, a week, sometimes a few weeks it will start to get easier.  It takes less “in the moment thought”.

This is because you have created two things around your new habit.

#1 Automation

#2 Momentum

Now here is what not to do once you have created those two things and it comes from the book “Atomic Habits”…


“The first mistake is never the one that ruins you. It is the spiral of repeated mistakes that follows. Missing once is an accident. Missing twice is the start of a new habit.”  – James Clear

-Coach Marty

One Rule To Stay Consistent

Being consistent will always be the most important factor in your success. If something is important to you then it needs to be done every day. How do you know what is important? What are your goals? Where do you want to end up?

Once you know the answers to the questions above you then need to realize that you have do not control over outcomes. What you do have control over are the behaviors that will lead you to where you want to go. In most cases, these are your daily behaviors. Things you do every single day. 

Important Note:  Sometimes what holds us back is this idea that we need to be perfect, to have the best workout or training session everything single time. If we don’t, then it is not worth doing.  It is an “all or nothing mentality” that holds us back and creates inaction.

I follow a specific rule I picked up from the book “Atomic Habits”. I have behaviors I want and need to do every single day. I want to be 100 percent in these actions but that is not completely realistic. So instead I follow the rule “never miss twice”. This simply means never miss doing my behavior or habit two days in a row. One day is ok. Two days is not. 

If you miss two days then you start down that slippery slope. Two days quickly becomes a week and then a month and then three months. 

So decide what you want your outcome to be and then figure out the daily behaviors to get you there. Be consistent enough to never miss two days in a row. 

– Coach Marty

Natural Survival Instinct

A funny thing happens when we set in our mind something we are willing OR not willing to do. 

We are more likely to do or not do that thing.

Think about the game of hockey and making yourself as big as possible in front of a 90 mph slap slot. Yes, you have equipment on, but several spots are not protected on your body, and even the equipment is not 100 % full proof. 

You are standing in front of another player who has the potential to fire a rubber puck at you that could do some severe damage.

Here is the question, what is your natural instinct at that moment? Is it to jump out of the way, lift one of your skates just a tiny bit off the ice, or is it to commit to not moving and blocking that shot.

Here is why pre-thought and setting your mind is so important.  

If you did not decide before the game that you are willing and “will” 100% block any shot necessary, then there is a good chance your natural instincts will take over and get you the hell out of the way of that shot.

It’s not a bad thing, you naturally want to protect yourself, survival instincts…

But sometimes you need to override that setting. You need to take the time before a game to sit in thought, stating to yourself what you are willing to do and sometimes not willing to do

That way you have already decided, you are not leaving it up to chance or letting your natural basic instincts choose. Instead, you decide for yourself. 

By doing so, there is a far greater chance you will do the hard things like block shots, backcheck when tired, finish your hits, and be positive when it is so easy to be negative.

-Coach Marty

P.S. for a limited time my “Ultimate 6 Week Pre-Season Workout Plan” is on sale.  As a bonus you will also get access to my “Ultimate Stickhandling + Body Weight Power & Strength”

Drawing A Line

We probably all know ourselves the best.  We know what makes us tick, sometimes we just choose to ignore those things.

Deciding what you are willing to do is where most individuals starting a workout and nutrition plan tend to begin. For example, we say things like

  1. I will go to the gym every morning
  2. I will eat a healthy breakfast
  3. I will take lunch to work each day

Deciding what you are willing to do may work for you, but, if it doesn’t try switching it around and instead come up with the things you are not willing to do.  

The “not willing to do” things tend to hold more power.  It’s like drawing a line in the sand and putting your foot down.  You will most likely only come up with a few because these are the important ones that you know you must not do to succeed.  They can look like this:

  1. I am not willing to skip going to the gym each morning
  2. I am not willing to eat an unhealthy breakfast
  3. I am not willing to go out for lunch at work

Change your mindset, change your life


-Coach Marty

P.S. for a limited time my “Ultimate 6 Week Pre-Season Workout Plan” is on sale.  As a bonus you will also get access to my “Ultimate Stickhandling + Body Weight Power & Strength”


Click Here To Get It Now

Do This One Things To stop Pucks Blowing Up On Your Backhand

Receiving a pass on the backhand side might be one of the most underrated skills a hockey player can possess.

It seems like such a simple skill but many players overlook its importance.

To see how valuable accepting a pass on the backhand side can be simply watch a full hockey practice or game. Especially at the younger ages.

Count how many times a player misses a pass on the backhand or how many times the puck blows up on the backhand side.

This happens on breakouts, NZ re-groups, offensive zone opportunities.

By building the habit and skill of accepting a pass on your backhand side you will give yourself the chance to have the puck on your stick more often and make more plays.

Spend ten minutes each day doing this:

Have someone pass you pucks [or a ball] to your backhand side.

Instead of just letting the puck hit your stick here is what I want you to do.

I want you to move your stick towards the puck right at the last second.  Think a quick movement with the hands.

This stops the momentum of the puck and limits the chances of the puck deflecting or bouncing off your blade.


– Coach Marty

Are We There Yet?

It’s great to have goals but it is important what purpose a goal serves.  The purpose of a goal is not just to achieve or get to an endpoint.  This is because as you go through the process of moving closer to your goal you become a different person, you improve.  Your skills get better. Your goal might even change.

Secondly, the “goal” is not the be-all and end-all.  Your goal is a target that gives you information on how and when to adjust what you are doing.  Many times the thought of achieving the goal is much more exciting and motivating than actually reaching it.

It’s the journey that counts.  It’s the process that gets you there that develops your new skills and molds you into a newer better version of yourself.  When you reach your goal it isn’t over.  Instead, you will probably ask yourself now what?

Yes, of course, you want to reach a goal but realize how important the process was.  How much you learned along the way about yourself and what you are capable of.  That is the magic.  Those experiences are always going to be more important than the ned result.

-Coach Marty

Clean Slate

One of my favourite truths from the pro coach program is the idea that we can wipe the slate clean at any moment. This is important. I call it a truth well because it is the truth. 

Unfortunately, we are told and ingrained that if we lose our momentum or fall off our tracks that we carry that failure with us like a heavyweight.  Every decision we then make is then somehow connected to our past failures. That is complete bull. The truth is we can start, stop, or start over at any given moment because it is our choice. We get to decide what we do and we can wipe the slate clean and start again. 

This isn’t some fantasy idea, this is the reality that you need to tell yourself. If you messed up, haven’t been eating well, and haven’t been training, that’s fine!  WIPE THE SLATE CLEAN and start again. This isn’t a video game where you are trying to get the highest score. This is your life and you are in control. 

So the next time that little voice in your head is reminding you of how much you have done wrong and that you might as well quit. Breathe through your nose and quietly tell the voice “that is not true” and start again. 

-Coach Marty

It’s What you do

Don’t get me wrong, what you do in the gym is important and will have an impact on your overall health and performance BUT what you do outside of your training is probably even more important.

When I meet with an athlete and or their parents I start with questions that have nothing to do with training.  They always want to tell me how much training is being done and how great it is and that’s great. The things I want to know are, how many hours of sleep they get each night, what time they go to bed, how much water they drink a day, do they eat breakfast and what do they have, and how much time do they spend on their phone and do they keep their phones in their room at night.

It’s what you do outside of your training and the daily habits that will help you get the most from your time in the gym.  It can be easy to make excuses and blame your circumstances but at the end of the day, it is the decisions you make daily and consistently that will keep you where you are or move you in the right direction towards your goals.

No days Off

It can be alluring to fall into the hype of “no days off” and “no pain, no gain”. Most well-educated coaches see these types of sayings and laugh out loud, I know I do. They are comical at best. 

The unfortunate thing is that athletes and even parents can quickly be convinced of their validity. 

Yes, you need to push yourself and put in the work but that is only a part of the process. Other pieces of the puzzle include scheduled rest, including active and passive rest, and of course one of the most important is proper SLEEP.

Here is the truth which I take for granted that most people know. The magic happens after you put in the work. Physical growth happens not when you are getting after it in the gym or on the ice. That is the stimulus. Growth comes from the RESPONSE.

The RESPONSE happens when rest, get high-quality sleep and fuel yourself with nutrients.

Both stimulus and response are needed for you to be successful. Training all the time without rest will result in overtraining and burnout. Resting all the time will result in, well, nothing. 

I hope next time you hear or read “no days off” you can crack a smile and get a good laugh.

– Coach Marty

"I would highly recommend training with Marty both on and off the ice if you are seriously considering playing at a high level of hockey, for a long time."

Tyler Graovac

"Marty has been a big influence on my overall development as a hockey player. His on-ice skill sessions helped to improve my speed and power. Marty’s office sessions were extremely detailed and hockey specific. Marty also assisted in recommending an effective diet program for me. His personable nature made working hard enjoyable."

Scott Wilson

"Andrew Martin is both a role model and a friend. I began training with him when I was 16, and his attention to the individual athlete’s needs was evident right from the start. Working with him on a day-to-day basis has allowed me to both develop personal goals and push my limits. My workouts, in combination with the emphasis he places on healthy living and proper nutrition, have been exponential in terms of yielding the results I wish to see."

Scott Wedgewood