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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Donskov Strength and Conditioning

It’s that time of year again at DSC.  Another long, grinding summer of action packed, electrically charged energy in the weight room.  A time for PR’s, sweat equity, discipline, dedication and a one-day better mentality!  It’s also time for a brand new group of interns to begin their quest in the strength and conditioning field in hopes of gaining valuable hands-on experience and one day becoming a practitioner.   This will be the seventh year since the inception of our internship program at DSC.  The truth is, all interns want to learn, but what they need the most has nothing to do with strength and conditioning methodologies, exercise science, or set/rep schemes, and everything to do with people skills and accountability.   

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The sport of hockey is extremely demanding.  Players reaching speeds of up to 30mph is the equivalent of hundreds of small car crashes occurring throughout the course of a 7-8 month season.  Physiological, psychological and mechanical stressors mount during this time.  It is during this period that the strength and conditioning practitioner faces a major challenge; the law of competing demands; In other words, how to balance stress so that players performs optimally when it matters most on the ice.  This job changes during the off-season when the major stressors of competition are removed.  The off-season, although often limited in time, is paramount in terms of physical preparation and the application of additional stressors that may not be appropriate during the period of intense competition. 

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It’s about that time of year again!  A time where youth athletes’ are finishing up their competitive seasons and looking forward to the summer.  It’s also a time when parents are looking at enlisting the service of a “personal trainer” or strength coach to aid in the athletic development of their children.  This is a big decision for a parent that warrants a little homework.  After all you wouldn’t give your hard earned money to an investment banker without knowing their background, philosophy and practical experience.   The same can be said for physical conditioning.  Health is the most important investment of all, and to place it in the hands of a competent Coach takes a little investigating.   Below are three pitfalls to avoid when choosing where you’re son or daughter will train this summer.

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Posted by on in Health & Wellness

Early mornings are common culture among the strength training community.  Sessions begin at 5:30am with an alarm clock that rings well before this time. Coffee has been a staple of our being (for most), and provides a “pick me up” for the early morning commute, long days on the floor and the hours of continuous education.  Truth is, for the last ten years I’ve drunk enough coffee to support several Tim Horton’s franchises, and ingested enough caffeine to make the FDA reconsider what “normal consumption” truly is.  The result is that I grew more and more mentally tired.  Mid day exhaustion, yawning on dinner dates, and a bedtime that resembled that of a middle school student.  It wasn’t until recently when I started to research the effects of caffeine consumption and adrenal fatigue that I realized the beverage I craved the most, may be the plight of my condition. 

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Posted by on in Youth Strength & Conditioning

Everything comes at a price!  Everything!  The question is: are you willing to pay the cost?  I call it rent, but you can call it mortgage, time, sacrifice, sweat equity, or today’s price for tomorrow’s return!  Success is rented!  That’s right…RENTED!  It’s not guaranteed, promised, or contractually obligated.  There is no allowance, no severance package or golden parachute clause.  Dad can’t pay for it, Mom can’t wish it, and you can’t taste it unless YOU pay the price.  Payment is due EVERY DAY, not at the end of the month.  You can pay rent in weight room hours, film, making good off-ice/field choices, being coachable, a respectable teammate and performing in the face of competition. If you don’t CONSISTENTLY work, you can’t afford to pay the rent.  If you can’t afford to pay the rent things get taken from you.  Houses, cars, businesses, relationships, contracts, material possession and SUCCESS! 

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In school we do what we are taught, in the real world…we do what works.  Today there are countless resources at the disposal of the strength and conditioning practitioner.  Books, DVD’s, lecture series, podcasts and programming manuals all designed with the coach in mind.  Through countless hours of education and enough coffee to kill a small farm animal I have found that many times the real world can be the best teacher of all.  You can have all the scientific reasoning, research and peer reviewed literature behind your program, but if you don’t have the time, resources and athletes’ to carry out your plan, your results will be dead in the water.  Through trail and error, here are three lessons the real word has exposed to me with regards to program design that cannot be found in the pages of a book. 

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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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