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Are you a Tim Tebow fan?

Maybe a better question is are you familiar with who this guy is? Because for the people who know who he is there is a pretty clear love-hate relationship for the guy.

What’s with the strong positive or negative emotion surrounding him? Well part of it has to to do with the fact he is so overt with his faith. You see he is known to pray on the sidelines. He finishes interviews with reporters with a  ‘God bless you’.

And the other thing about Tebow is that he doesn’t have a lot of pro experience yet he has had a tremendous amount of success late in games. In fact up until Denver’s game against the Patriots the Broncos were 7-1 with Tebow behind center.

But guess what?

His faith isn’t the reason he is winning. Below are 5 Reasons for Tebow’s Success.

Reason #1 – He is a specimen

Tebow is 6’3″ and 240 lbs. Sure you’ll find a number of quarterbacks over six feet. And there are few of them that have his size. But he is also a strong mobile guy. And he moves well for a big guy. Heck he broke Emmitt Smith’s record for rushing TDs at Florida.

Reason #2 – He is a competitor

When you’re talking about the best of the best in sports they share a few things in common. One trait is that they hate to lose. And Tebow is this way as well. Have you heard the story of him losing an early season game in college? Between tears in a post-game interview he vowed to not lose another game that year. And he didn’t.

Reason #3 -  His beliefs

Hold on! I thought his success wasn’t due to his faith? Well yes. But what I mean is that I don’t believe God favours him over other players and controls the outcome in this way.

But how his faith matters is that perhaps it allows him to have better focus. Maybe his priorities are a little clearer to him? Maybe he has made his faith such an important part of his life that having to orchestrate another 4th quarter comeback doesn’t phase him? It’s possible I guess.

Reason #4 – He is physically tough

Have you watched Tebow play? He doesn’t do the typical feet first slide when he takes off for a scramble. In football the quarterback be hit if he goes to the ground feet first.

There is another story of him breaking his leg during a game in college but continuing to play in that game. And I seem to recall that he ran for 29 yards on one play with that broken leg.

This is unusual when you think of the number of players that will take themselves out of a game due to a tight hamstring or cramp not to mention a broken leg.

Reason #5 – He is a leader

You need your best players to be leaders. And they should play a pivotal position regardless of the sport. Tebow was MVP and a captain during his time in Florida. And while he is still adjusting to the NFL and gaining experience as he goes you can tell there is a growing respect for him in Denver. Probably doesn’t hurt that has had some success early in his career.

Summary

So how does this apply to hockey? Well every trait described above would carry over to any sport, especially hockey. I say especially because you need to be physical, a leader, and have your priorities in order to have success at highest levels of hockey.

And just for the record I am a Tebow fan.

Chris                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        okanaganpeakperformance.com

 

Today is a very sad day.

You see yesterday I learned that my friend Wade Belak passed away.

And while many may know Wade from his many fights on the ice there was another side to him that was really special. Here’s how we met.

It was the spring of 2006 and I had the opportunity to get in for knee surgery. Sounds kind of weird to describe it as an ‘opportunity’ but that’s what it was.

You see the wait list to have my ACL reconstructed would be 12-18 months. But I had a chance to get in right away and fix my knee.

So I went for it.

And I knew ahead of time I would be off-work for some time. And I was frustrated that I couldn’t be helping others so I turned off my phone and focussed on my rehab.

After 9 weeks I was ready to step back in the gym and back to work. And so I turned my phone on. And listened to a message from a guy who’s name I couldn’t quite make out.

So I passed the phone to my sister and asked her who she thought it was. She passed me the phone back and said ‘Wade Belak’.

Now I really felt like crap for being off so long and then for ignoring calls from NHL players for 9 weeks.

Great customer service, eh?

Well I called Wade back, we met for lunch and at the end of lunch he asked if I would work with him.

He didn’t know it but at the that time he was the first NHL player I would work with. And to this day probably the best.

The best because he was just an awesome guy.

Being similar in age we shared a similar sense of humour, music and entertainment.

But he wasn’t just this way with me.

When we would have other clients training at the same time Wade was really good with all of them. From the young hockey players whose jaws dropped when he’d come over to them to say hello, to the soccer moms he’d tell how impressed he was with their efforts or the rehab client he would empathize with Wade had a way of connecting with everyone.

In fact it was this personality and character that made him a natural in front of the camera. Take for example the series ‘Wade a Minute’ he did with TSN. Classic Beaks!

But probably my favourite memory of the big fella was a trip down to Nashville in January of 2009.

I brought my dad along as part of Christmas present. We caught a couple of Pred games. One against the Penguins and another against the ‘Hawks. Not a bad pairing, eh?

And in between the games we caught Titans-Ravens NFL playoff game.

Anyways, after the the first game against the Penguins we were waiting in the arena to meet up with Wade.

Crosby walked past to go do an interview and then Wade showed up. He couldn’t join us that night as there was a team party for Jason Arnott, the captain of the Predators.

So we made plans to head out the following evening to a steak restaurant across the street from the arena.

Wade asks us if 7 pm works.

I say sure but my dad, who was retired at this time, doesn’t say anything.

So Wade turns to him and in perfect deadpan says ‘or we could find a nice buffet somewhere at 430 pm if you’d prefer?’

That’s just how I’ll remember him.

Joking around. Making people feel comfortable. And being the great guy he is.

I hope they great golf and lots of Coronas for you in heaven.

We’ll miss you Wade.

Chris                                                                                                                                                       onsidehockeytraining.com

What do you think of the Sedins?

If you’re a Canucks fan you’ll probably wish they were triplets.

I’m somewhere in between. I cheer for the ‘Nucks because they’re the home team and are exciting to watch.

But I’m not completely sold on the twins. I admit I have more faith in them than a well-known Vancouver sports broadcaster that refers to them as ‘the sisters’.

So what’s my problem with the Sedins? A number of things. They don’t kill penalties. They’re not tough. And they can be drawn into a style of game where they don’t excel and costs their team in the end.

But this year they are getting it done.

They are 1-2 in league scoring on the top team in the league.

And they’re getting it done in an impressive fashion.

What I mean by that is that coach AV keeps their shifts in check. He doesn’t let his players stay out there too long. And he doesn’t ride his top guns too much.

Smart guy.

Let’s look at the evidence to see how this compares to other top players.

The Sedins average 18:32 & 19:18 of ice time per game and shifts of 46 seconds.
Jonathan Toews averages 2 minutes more per game at 20:37.
Eric Staal is over 22 minutes at 22:04.
Ovechkin is at 21:24 per game.
And before he got hurt Crosby was just under 22 minutes at 21:55.

So what’s the point? Well there are three major ones.

1. The Sedins will have more in the tank come late May

The NHL playoffs are a gruelling grind. Especially if a team has to go through one or more 7 game series in order to advance. The teams that are battling hard right now just to get into the playoffs will be hard pressed to sustain this intensity for the next 8-10 weeks.

History has already proven this when the Flames & Oilers had to batttle to grab the 8th seed in the west only to run out of gas in the Finals.

Don’t think this amount of ice time matters? Consider that Ovechkin plays almost 20% more minutes than the Sedins do this will add up over time.

2. The shorter the interval the higher the intensity

If you had to demonstrate your top skating speed to a scout would you want to skate:

a. 60 minutes non-stop with no rest?

or

b. 30 seconds with 2 to 3 minutes rest between efforts?

It’s pretty obvious, isn’t it.

AV does a good job of encouraging quick changes and keeping intensity up. The longer you stay out there the lower your intensity becomes.

3. Reduced chance of injury

There’s no way of preventing Crosby’s injury other than if he wasn’t on the ice at the time he got hit. And this is a key advantage for the Sedins.

Not only are their minutes closely managed to maintain intensity but being on the ice for less total time reduces the potential for injury.

4. More balanced team attack

There are a number of cliches related to team play in order to hoist the Cup. And if you rely too heavily on one key guy or line it is easy for the opposing coach to match lines and try and shut down this treat.

By keeping the Sedins minutes in check it allows for a more balanced team approach to winning. And AV is able to distribute the minutes more freely knowing the Sedins are generating a better return on investment considering their points, face-offs won, +/- and team wins relative to their total ice team.

It will be interesting to see how this factors into the playoffs.

Will the teams chasing a playoff spot burn out?

Will the top players with high level minutes feel the fatigue set in sooner?

Will being exposed to more minutes in tight-checking, intense games increase the number of injuries?

We’ll have to wait to see what the answers to these questions are. In the meantimes steal a page out of AVs playbook at look to make each effort high intensity, short and productive.

Chris                                                                                                                                                                                      onsidehockeytraining.com

So the other night I was at a hockey game and grabbed a copy of the program. Inside there was an article about strength and conditioning for hockey.

The article was referencing a number of former professional hockey players who are now involved in the off-ice demands of the game. And I think this is a great thing.

Great that more hockey players are recognizing the necessity for complete hockey development. Great that more hockey players are realizing the benefits to being off the ice for part of the year in order to rest, recovery, develop and come back stronger. And great because it adds credibility when a former pro shares with a young prospect the need to put in off-season workouts and training.

But the article left me wondering if there was a problem developing?

I mean it’s great to have passion and want to help people but it’s another thing altogether to have the theoretical knowledge and practical ability to in order to help someone. Additionally, there is a necessity to commit to your craft 100% in order to stay up to date on the latest training developments and research.

Think about it this way.

Imagine you have the most caring person in the world. Someone who devotes their entire life to helping others. Their biggest concern in the whole world is making sure you are looked after and cared for as well as possible.

 Former Pro May Not Be the Best Choice for Hockey Training

Would you let this person perform brain surgery on you?

No way you would!

You would seek and possibly demand the most qualified and experienced surgeon there is. Even though this other person has the very best intentions and is intensely passionate about helping you it would not be worth the risk to hand them the scalpel to see what happens.

In much the same way there are a number of people out there would are interested in helping you with your hockey training. But sometimes their energy, passion and interest does not make up for what they didn’t take in school. It doesn’t make up for the information contained in scientific journals. And it doesn’t automatically update the information, methodology and training programs they learned and used when they played the game.

Case in point…a number of former players that would consider themselves ‘in the know’ may have performed the bulk of their hockey training on and with a stability ball. And this may continue to have a large influence in their current hockey training practices.

But stability balls have a very small influence in current hockey training practices. And this isn’t simply for the sake of change or to be different. There is a reason why the approach to hockey training has moved away from using this tool during a workout.

Would someone that still uses a stability ball for as much of their programming for hockey know this? Probably not.

Which is unfortunate for the young prospect who respects everything the former pro tells them yet doesn’t recognize their scope of authority is limited to the on-ice aspects of the game.

When it comes to the off-ice they should defer to the experts in this field. What qualifies someone as an expert for training hockey players?

Well usually it includes individuals with a degree or even a graduate degree in kinesiology, exercise science or human kinetics.

It includes indivuals who are certified to coach performance training. Sometimes you’ll see the letters CSCS or PES after their name.

It includes indivuals who practice what they preach and are fluent in all of the drills and exercises they would prescribe to you.

And lastly these individuals should have a passion to continue to learn, question, discover and develop better ways of doing things.

Because if you ignore all of these pre-requisites you may as well book your next major surgery with the most passionate, likeable and enthusiastic guy or girl you know. Because that’s all you’re probably going to get.

Chris                                                                                                                                                                               onsidehockeytraining.com

Here are a couple more videos demontrating some common deadlifting mistakes.

Both videos have something in common in that they indicate a preference to firing the quads before the glutes and hamstrings.

And this shouldn’t be surprising. Because when most people train their legs they are more likely to squat than deadlift. Or if they don’t use freeweights they are more likely to use the leg press machine than a comparable glute ham machine. And lastly, for those that really like to feel the burn they are more likely to perform seated leg extensions, really holding the top position to squeeze the quads like a garden hose, rather than lay down on a ham curl machine.
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