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Posted by on in Programming

Advanced Periodization & Team Sports

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I know…there have already been hundreds of articles written about Crossfit.  Some good, some bad and some just for the sake of a few Internet hits, dust up and “debate.”  Truth is most of my thoughts have already been written about by Coaches I hold in high regard, but I still frequently get asked the question, what do you think about Crossfit for hockey players?  Before I dive deeper into my response, let me start by paying a few compliments.  Crossfit has done an excellent job of building a brand (although cult may be a better word) of fitness enthusiasts.  They incorporate high intensity training, Olympic lifting, foundational lifts, and plyometrics into their protocol, all of which can aid in the development of building the athlete.  The major issue is not in these exercises per say, but in the “application” of these exercises, the overdose of stress, lack of technical proficiency and the idea of turning training into a “sport”.  I know, here comes all the hate mail, but as a strength and conditioning professional, I feel that I need to stand firm in my professional opinion, and in doing so inform both parents and young aspiring players.  Below are 4 reasons why Crossfit is not an ideal training regiment for hockey players. 

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It’s that time of year again at DSC.  A new batch of young interns has joined our staff in hopes and aspirations of becoming strength and conditioning professionals.  Whether the end goal is the University/College setting, or the private sector this experience will help “set the table” for their future endeavors.  Over the years our internship program has evolved into a formal application and interview process.  Well before an intern sets foot into the confines of our facility, it’s important that our staff feels that he/she will be a good fit for the DSC family.   Pulse, passion, and purpose far outweigh diplomas, pre-conceived opinions, and certifications.  We have been pretty lucky over the years to have a very good mix of interns, some better than others.  Below are five keys for young coaches to have success, and a memorable internship experience in the strength and conditioning field. 

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Posted by on in Coaching Development

I am pulse, I am purpose, I am passion…I am Coach.  I am discipline, I am desire, I am determination…I am Coach.  I am teacher, I am mentor, I am leader…I am Coach.  I am thermostat, I am temperature, I am regulator…I am Coach.  I am detail, I am fine print, I am “the little things”…I am Coach.  I am transformational, I am inspiring, I am caring… I am Coach.  I am energy, I am enthusiasm, I am motivation…I am Coach.  I am not reality TV, cable boxes, gaming systems, quick fixes, infomercials, false bravado, or transactional.  I am the person that seeks to lead, guide, blaze, live, learn, fail, fall, stand, walk and breathe with the best interest of “my team” in mind.  I am Coach! 

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Posted by on in Coaching Development

Some may choose to call it a box with old iron, rust, rubber, infused with the smell of sweat: a place where testosterone reigns free and emotions freer.  An atmosphere clouded in chalk and saturated in sweat.  I choose to call it a classroom: a classroom for both Coach and student.

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Posted by on in Youth Strength & Conditioning

Iron deficiency is a condition resulting from too little iron in the body.  I’m not talking anemia, hemoglobin, red meat or oxygen transport; I’m talking about barbells, dumbbells, and free weights.  I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had with parents who are concerned that young 13-year-old Tommy who plays hockey, one of the most physically intimidating, bone crunching sports in the world is concerned that weight training may cause adverse effects.  Never mind that young Tommy is built like a coat hanger, can’t fight his way out of a wet paper bag and that the organized chaotic demands of hockey stress a young body far more than a well organized, structured strength and conditioning program.  This leads to a condition I refer to as Iron Deficiency.  Iron deficiency is a dangerous condition where the musculoskeletal system is not prepared to meet the demands of the stress imposed on it.  It affects a large majority of the youth population who spend the summer’s playing Nintendo, running long distances, and engaging in non-external resistance training such as boxing, MMA and Insanity.

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I am convinced that if you want something bad enough, you have to roll up your sleeves, buckle up your chin strap and be prepared to scratch, claw and grind for every inch of greatness you can attain before it’s too late.  All athletic careers have expiration dates!  You have to be ALL IN! There is no “I think I’ll go play Nintendo today” or “I’ll just have Mom and Dad say I’m not feeling well”, or “I don’t feel like rehab today on my injury” at the elite level.  You’re either all in OR your all gone!  Recently “rare air” has been attained at DSC as three of our elite athletes have attained Championships at the International and National Levels respectively:  Lisa Chesson (USA Women’s National Hockey Team World Champion), Connor Murphy (USA World Junior Hockey Gold Medalist), and Keith Gavin (USA 84KG Freestyle Wrestling Champion).  To say that we are proud would be an understatement.  They embody what it means to be “ALL IN”.  Yes, they all have great genetics, BUT more importantly, they are “Everydayers”!  Their work ethic and drive matches their attitude and desire to get better, get stronger, listen to their bodies, rest, recover, regenerate, and attain “consistent greatness”.   Weather it’s focusing on lifting heavy weight, breathing patters, diet, rehabbing an injury or getting more sleep, they spend just as much time “working in” as they do “working out.”   Bottom line: they are prepared! 

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A system in “neutral” is desirable for physical activity.  It allows for efficient, alternating, reciprocal function in performing daily and sporting activities.   In other words, great fuel mileage with less wear and tear in the long run.  Taking the car analogy one step further, what would happen if we didn’t have neutrality, if we drove for miles and miles with our tires out of alignment?  Chances are we would end up on the side of the road sooner or later.  Well, our bodies are not designed for “neutrality”.  As humans our thorax, along with vital organs are different from right to left.  This affects our “alignment” and may cause us to use our fuel (a.k.a. oxygen) inefficiently.  Lets take a look at these differences.

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If you “teach”, but don’t apply…

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Posted by on in Business

There’s a lot of glimmer and sparkle in the fitness industry these days that comes at the expense of substance: Twitter accounts, Facebook pages, YouTube videos, blogs, articles, “likes”, “follows” and every other form of social marketing under the sun. While I certainly don’t blame fellow practitioners for jumping on the social media scene (I have), finding quality information is like mining for gold.  According to Wikipedia: “Gold has been a valuable and highly sought-after precious-metal for coinage, jewelry, and other arts since long before the beginning of recoded history.” In other words, gold is a valuable resource! Fool’s gold on the other hand is very common, so common in fact that in the earth's crust it is found in almost every possible environment, hence it has a vast number of forms and varieties. I believe the same holds true regarding information in the fitness industry. Plenty of resources, but few that hold their value in gold. Below are three ways to mine for gold in the fitness industry.

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