Archive for August, 2009

summer training

Posted in Uncategorized on August 17, 2009 by inthecreasewiththiess

Back again with another post, this time I thought I would share a little about what it’s like during the off-season for a hockey player.  This one has been a little different for me, namely, no working on the farm! (sorry dad) Yep my summer has been full of training and relaxing getting ready for my first season of pro hockey.

Being that I had the chance to tag along for the Pens run to the Cup my summer was a little shorter than most years, and I definitely would take the short summer every year if it meant a Stanley Cup was waiting for me in the middle of June.  Usually I take a good couple of weeks off doing nothing but relaxing and hanging out, but this year was different seeing as though there wasn’t much summer left to train.  So I had one week off and then it was back to the gym again.  I have worked with my trainer in the gym for 6 years now, Tyler Jackson.  He is a former junior hockey player in the BCHL and then went on to fight in mixed martial arts, and continues to do so every now and again.  He trains fighters, some baseball players as well as hockey players.  We get to blend in some of the aspects of mixed martial arts to our training like boxing which gives us a little cross on our regular training and is a great workout.  We train 5 days a week, monday through friday at 8 a.m.  I like to get up and out of bed and start off the day with a good workout, nothing feels better than a great workout at the beginning day and then you  the rest of the day in front of you.  The group I train with is a group of four, two junior a kids and one from the east coast hockey league.  We go monday, wednesday, friday in the gym hitting all the muscle groups and go through different phases during the summer like strength, power, and endurance.  Tuesdays and Thursdays we go to the track and work on speed, agility, and quickness. 

As for the on ice portion of my training I start that a few weeks after I start working out.  You have to make sure you have that itch to get back on the ice again or you run the risk of burning yourself out before the summer is even over.  I started off this summer just going out a couple times a week to a scrimmage with a bunch of pro and college players, and from their have gone to a more specific practice and some work with my goalie coaches.  I like to refine my game during the summer and have someone watching me telling me the little things they see helps out a lot.  Just getting a few main keys you can focus on when your game might be a little off can be the difference between you getting your game back in order or going into a prolonged slump. 

You have to leave some time for some fun in the summer too!  I have enjoyed hanging out with family and friends this summer as I don’t get to see many of them during the hockey season.  I also enjoy golfing and was able to do more of that then I have in the past and enjoyed that, even if I wasn’t able to see a whole lot of improvement in my game!  Still nothing beats a nice sunny day out on the golf course. 

Only 2 and a half weeks remain till the opening of rookie camp, that’s when all the hard work in the summer hopefully pays off and I am looking forward to getting started!

Pens Prospect Camp

Posted in Uncategorized on August 2, 2009 by inthecreasewiththiess

Well about a week has gone by since I returned from Pittsburgh and their summer development camp so I thought I would share what all went on during my time there.

The week was all about getting to know the other Penguins prospects that were assembled, 26 of us in all, as well as the coaches, trainers and other staff that work with the Penguins.  That along with a lot of hard work made for a fun week.  We all stayed at the Marriott in Pittsburgh, my roommate was big Eric Tangradi who garnered a lot of attention throughout the week from the media and fans.  We started off with a meeting the first night with the coaches and learned about the Penguins organization, what was ahead for us in the week, and got to know a little bit about everyone who was there.  The next morning we took part in the fitness testing portion of the camp, everything from physicals to fat testing, pullups to the windgate test.  The windgate was definitey the hardest part, and my first time doing it so I wasn’t overly happy with my result but now I know for next time.  Then we went over to the practice rink for the first ice session of the week.  Todd Reirdon, head coach of Wilkes Barre ran us through the on-ice drills all week, and each day was a little different focus, offense, defense and transition were topics that were touched on throughout the week.  We had 4 days of workouts in the mornings and practice in the afternoons which left everyone pretty tired by the end of the day.  However, it wasn’t all hard work as their were some fun events sprinkled in during the week.  We were able to take in a Pirates game from the luxury of a suite which was fun, great ballpark, bad team.  We also took part in a scavenger hunt around Pittsburgh trying to get us to learn about the city, my team unfortunately took last place but it was still fun.  And finally we went paintballing which was a highlight of the week.  The terrain was pretty difficult as it had rained earlier that day and we did lose one of the scouts to a shoulder injury but all in all it was a good time, lots of welts and laughs had during that day.  The week concluded with a scrimmage, well attended by some pretty diehard fans who were out craving their hockey in the summer months.  For me, as well as the other players I think, the best part of the week was just being able to get to know all the other players.  These are guys that most likely will be our teammates at some point in the next few years so to meet them now and get to know who they are will definitely help out when we all get back together again in September and down the road.  It was a good mix of pro, junior and college players.  There were more than a few conversations between the hockey east boys from BU, BC, and NU throughout the week over the various games we have played against each other.

From there it was back home for one more month of training and getting ready for training camp.  Summer has been flying by and it’s hard to believe one month from now the rookie tournament will be about to get underway in Kitchener.  Can’t wait for the games to begin!