marty, Author at MartyStrength

The Subtle Art Of The Pass

The power of passing in hockey:

In the whirlwind dance of hockey, where the puck zips across the ice faster than a gossip in a small town, there lies a subtle art often overshadowed by the flash of a goal or the crash of a hit.

This art, my friends, is the power of passing.

Imagine the ice as a stage and the players as performers in a ballet choreographed by strategy and split-second decisions.

Here, the pass is not just a move but a statement of trust, a whisper of intention that says, “I see you, teammate, and I trust you with our shared goal.”

You might say that passing in hockey is akin to the art of communication in the business world. It’s about knowing when to speak, when to listen, and when to let someone else shine. I

n hockey, as in life, the pass can be a powerful tool for setting up success, not just for oneself but for the team.

Let’s break down the beauty and strategy behind the pass:

  • The Setup: Just as a great writer lays the foundation of a story, a smart hockey player sets up the pass. It’s about reading the play, understanding where your teammates are, and anticipating where they will be. It’s about creating opportunities from what seems like nothing.
  • The Execution: The moment of the pass is a blend of precision, timing, and intuition. It’s the perfect sentence that captures a thought exactly as intended. The puck slides across the ice, sometimes subtly, sometimes boldly, but always purposefully.
  • The Impact: A successful pass can change the game. It can break down defenses, create scoring opportunities, and shift momentum. It’s the paragraph that makes you stop and think, the one that stays with you long after you’ve finished reading.

But why does this matter?

Why dwell on the pass in a game celebrated for its speed and physicality?

Because, the pass is a reminder of the power of collaboration.

In a world that often celebrates individual achievement, hockey celebrates the collective, the coming together of individuals to achieve a common goal.

It teaches us that sometimes, the best way to score is to give someone else the chance to do so.

In your life, whether you’re on the ice, in the office, or at home, remember the power of the pass.

Embrace the opportunities to support others, to set them up for success, and to celebrate shared victories.

Because, at the end of the day, the strength of the team is each member, and the strength of each member is the team.

So, the next time you watch a hockey game, pay attention to the passes, to the silent communication between players, to the beauty of teamwork in action.

And maybe, just maybe, you’ll see the game, and perhaps the world, a little differently.

Yes, I love passing!

Talk soon
– Coach Marty

5 Forgotten Factors Strength Training Improves Fat Loss

Are you trying to lose fat but feel like you’ve hit a plateau? Are you tired of doing endless cardio and restrictive diets with little progress to show for it? If so, it may be time to incorporate strength training into your routine.

Strength training is often overlooked when it comes to fat loss, but it can actually be a powerful tool to help you achieve your goals. Here are five forgotten factors that highlight how strength training can improve your fat loss efforts:

1    Increased Metabolism: Strength training can increase your resting metabolic rate, which means you’ll burn more calories even when you’re not working out.

2    Muscle Retention: When you lose weight, you typically lose both fat and muscle. Strength training helps to preserve muscle mass, which is important for maintaining a healthy metabolism.

3    Improved Insulin Sensitivity: Strength training can improve your body’s ability to use insulin, which can help regulate blood sugar levels and prevent excess fat storage.

4    Hormone Balance: Strength training can help balance hormones like testosterone and estrogen, which can affect fat loss and muscle gain.

5    Increased Energy Expenditure: Strength training requires more energy than cardio alone, which means you’ll burn more calories during your workouts.

Incorporating strength training into your routine doesn’t mean you have to start lifting heavy weights right away. Bodyweight exercises, resistance bands, and light dumbbells can all be effective tools for building strength and improving fat loss.

So, if you’re ready to take your fat loss efforts to the next level, consider adding some strength training to your routine. Your body will thank you for it!
Best regards,
– Marty

Why Sleep is Vital to Achieving Your Fitness Goals

Hey there! I wanted to talk to you about something that I feel is often overlooked when it comes to achieving fitness goals – sleep!

I know it might seem obvious that getting enough sleep is important, but did you know that it plays a huge role in muscle gain, fat loss, and recovery? When you work out, your muscles go through tiny tears that need to repair and grow stronger during rest periods.

But did you know that this growth process mainly occurs during deep sleep? So if you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re making it harder for your body to repair and grow muscle tissue, which can slow down your progress toward your fitness goals.

Sleep also impacts fat loss. Studies have shown that people who get enough sleep tend to lose more fat than those who don’t. Lack of sleep increases the hormone cortisol, which stimulates fat storage. Plus, not getting enough sleep can make you more likely to crave high-calorie foods, which can throw your weight loss efforts out of whack.

Lastly, sleep is crucial for recovery. Your body needs time to recover from physical stress. During sleep, your body repairs damaged tissues and replenishes energy stores. Without adequate sleep, you won’t recover correctly, which could lead to decreased performance, increased risk of injury, and slower progress in achieving your fitness goals.

Sleep should be a top priority in your fitness routine. It’s not just about hitting the gym or eating healthy. Getting enough quality sleep is just as important for reaching your fitness goals and overall health. If you’re having trouble getting enough sleep, try creating a bedtime routine that promotes relaxation, avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bed, and limiting screen time in the hours leading up to sleep.

With these changes, you can improve your sleep and achieve your fitness goals more effectively. Remember, it’s not just about what you do in the gym or the kitchen, but also what you do in bed that counts towards your fitness success.

Talk soon,

Coach Marty

@Highlights vs. Reality

Highlights vs. Reality

We live in an age where you can pull up game highlights on your phone, computer, or television whenever you want. I do this myself daily.

There is one major issue with easy access to full game highlights. You do not need to watch an entire game anymore in real-time.

Highlights show the very best clips from a game. A 60-minute game may have a highlight package of 3-5 minutes long.

If you never see the full three periods you miss what a player does in a shift and string of shifts.

I talk with coaches all the time. A reoccurring theme is that players (some, not all) will continue to try to make moves in situations where they should be making a better decision with the puck.

Here is an example:

A player is carrying the puck down the right side of the ice on a three on two rush. That player tries to beat a defender one on one, instead of using the odd-man situation to their advantage.

They end up turning the puck over at the blue line, watching the opponent skate the other way on an odd-man rush.

If you never watch a full game of hockey, you never see the “Neutral” shifts. “Neutral” shifts are the ones where a player jumps on the ice, forechecks, maybe touches the puck for a brief second, then backchecks, plays in their defensive zone, and then changes.

Pretty boring shift, right? Well, this is what most shifts are.

Players who have these shifts don’t do anything spectacular, they are not making the highlight video, BUT they do not do anything harmful to hurt her or his team.

The best players in the world will have multiple shifts like this. They will take their time, be patient, and pick the right situation (when they have an advantage) to try a highlight move, beat a player one on one, or take a risk.

It takes discipline to do this.

The players that are the most disciplined are the ones who seem to get the best “chances” in a game.

In reality, they are making better decisions that benefit not only themselves but also their team.

Over time they will be given more opportunities from their coaches because they can be trusted to do what’s right the majority of their shifts.

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

"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