Summer Dryland Hockey Training Camp – June/July 2011
As one of the focuses of this blog is self-promotion, I’d like to use this post to promote the Dryland Hockey Training Camp that I will be leading at Blackbelts gym, starting on June 21. The camp will run twice a week; Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:30pm, and continue on for a 6 week period. You can sign up for the entire camp, or drop-in casually. The program will aim towards improving players’ aerobic and anaerobic fitness, as well as their speed, strength, quickness, flexibility, and quick thinking, while utilizing the dynamic, plyometric and resistance training techniques that are most beneficial and parallel to the motions and actions hockey players perform during a game. And perhaps best of all, we’ll be training outside, under the beautiful summer sun. The later start time will allow for a more reasonable temperature to train in, while still being hot enough for everyone to work on their tans.
We will be working towards helping players to peak in their fitness for the month of August, the month when most junior hockey rookie and main camps will commence. Personally, I always dreaded this time of year. But the condition you arrive at camp in is, more often than not, a direct indication of what level you’ll find yourself fitting in at on the team; at least in the beginning. In a nutshell, if you’re concerned about either making the team, or contributing to your team, taking your off-season fitness seriously is worth your time, effort, and money.
I am fortunate to be friends with a guy whose dad played in the NHL during the 70’s and 80’s, and one story I remember his dad telling me was regarding his training camp experiences, and the shift in mentality about them during his era of play. Basically, in those days, training camp was the time NHL players would actually start working out and getting in shape for the season, so it wasn’t uncommon for those camps to be pretty lackluster, lung-capacity wise. Everything was well and good with that status quo until the rookies progressively started to come to camp already in shape, and well ahead of the pack in terms of fitness, in hopes of taking away a roster spot from a veteran. While some of the older players may have mocked or ridiculed those players for doing so, the result was that those rookies were indeed getting their names written on the game sheets, while those who were less prepared saw their starts diminish. Veterans began to take notice of the smaller numbers appearing on their paycheques, and started to shape-up, literally; realizing their spots may not be as secure as they may have once thought.
And progressively, over time, that approach and mentality shifted to the product we have now: players devoting their entire summers, starting immediately after their last season game, to preparing themselves physically for next season; either in hopes of cracking a lineup for the first time, or just to keep their spot on the team depth chart and/or payroll. And if you were to ever watch game film from the 70’s and now side by side and compare the levels of play and role of physical preparation, the products are clearly night and day, and the proof is very obviously in the pudding.
Players competing at all levels of hockey are welcome to join the camp. Drop by Blackbelts (behind the Lake Country Tim Hortons’ in the Lakewood Mall), or call in (250 766 5665) to reserve your spot, as space is limited! You can also leave a comment on this post or email me at email@example.com if you want to get your name on the list. If you’re taking your hockey training seriously this summer, I hope to see you at camp!