Posts Tagged ‘strength and conditioning specialist’

I’m just on my way out the door to meet up with some of the top strength and conditioning specialists in the business down in Las Vegas. They do have an ECHL team, the Wranglers, an enthusiastic youth hockey association as well as some adult rec leagues. Might have to try and connect with some hockey people while I’m down there.
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The Olympic hockey tournament is in full swing. And no disrepect to the women’s competition but I’m following the men’s side more closely for that reason, competition. On the men’s side Canada, Russia, Sweden, Finland, the Czechs and USA all are expecting to be in the run for medals. Currently the US is playing Norway and Canada is up next against Switzerland.

For many the NHL players competing in the Olympics their training is fairly consisent. Every NHL team has a strength and conditioning specialist on staff. In addition players move around as a result of trades, drafts and signings. And when a coach is fired during the off-season, the new coach is able to put together his team of assistants. So s&c coaches move around the league from time to time as well.

This results with the players from the NHL coming from a fairly common background to their hockey training. As for the European and Asian players in the tournament sometimes the training methods are still Eastern-based dependent on the background of the coach, where the players came from as well as the budget of these teams.

When it comes to the Olympic tournament it is a huge benefit to winning your pool and advancing directly to the quarter finals. Talent alone won’t guarantee you a spot in the QFs. Instead it will be a matter of which teams come together  the quickest, which ones have a goalie that gets hot as well as which ones have players that might normally be stars on their NHL teams but are prepared to accept a less glorious role for team success.

In addition to these factors are the intangibles related to training. Which team adapts to their new surroundings the best? Which teams have the best nutritional and supplemental support? Which team applies the best soft tissue management to recover most quickly between games and are at their highest level every time out?

Obviously there will be a variety of styles and philosophies applied when it comes to addresssing the above. While none of them will guarantee gold. But when the competition is that tight and so many games must be played to win gold the value of all the factors that go into training become that much more important.

Obviously my money is on Canada. What about you?