Summer Fun Part 2: The Players
by Heather Ronaldson
In uniform, they are lean, mean, puck shootin’ machines. But in the off-season, the Admirals skate with a different agenda--one with less pasta and more downtime. At summer’s start, the players take off-season training tips back to their hometowns, as prescribed by Jason Nordby, the Admirals strength and conditioning coach.
For some, this means gaining back pounds lost during playoffs. For others, it’s scrimmaging with friends, or running local hockey camps.
Whatever their agenda, Admiral players find a training schedule that works for them until the middle of September, when training camp begins.
Players’ first major adjustment is to newfound downtime. Without the daily grind of practice and games during the summer, players learn the importance of recovery for their bodies.
“The first couple weeks you’re letting your body heal. You kind of go stir crazy, but it’s important to give yourself time off in the beginning of the summer,” Mark Van Guilder said.
With the downtime, Admirals can enjoy summer like regular people. Van Guilder expects to visit friends’ lake houses, Scott Ford tees up for a round of golf with his father in British Columbia and Jeremy Smith joined his family in seeing the latest Harry Potter movie.
In addition to the physical rest, the players give their mental game a rest. Instead of watching hours of game film, many become cheerleaders of their favorite teams, like Van Guilder, who faithfully follows the Minnesota Twins.