By Nunzio Signore (BA, CPT, NASM, PES, FMS)
With the hockey off-season under way and many teams and our college guys getting ready to come in, I thought it was an appropriate time to explain why I believe, here at RPP, we have a big responsibility on our hands. And I don’t simply mean our athlete’s physical development. The way I view our job is training young elite athletes with their future in our hands whether it is for a college scholarship, pro career or just physical well-being.
Here at RPP we have developed a great reputation amongst athletes and parents alike not only for making athletes stronger and more successful at their sport, but more importantly keeping them healthy and reducing their risk of injury. We feel it is a huge responsibility to have an athlete’s future in our hands. Let’s take a look at not only what we take into consideration, but the three factors I believe that you should look for when choosing a facility to train off-ice:
- Program Design & Long Term Athletic Development
- Attention to Individuality
- Emphasis on Form
Let’s take a brief look at each of these:
1. Program Design & Long Term Athletic Development
Knowing where an athlete is developmentally and where they are in regards to the hockey season (off-season, pre-season or in-season) is crucial to help set them up for athletic success. Sorry, but stock (off-the-shelf) or “cookie cutter” programs just don’t make the grade at RPP when it comes to optimizing performance. The hockey programming at RPP is pre-designed for the entire year, from off-season to pre-season to in-season. This allows us to train hockey players to be not only in peak condition for the beginning of the season, but also helps keep them strong throughout the entire season.
2. Attention to Individuality
Every athlete has different strengths and imbalances. A movement assessment (please click here for more info on this topic) can tell us many things about an athlete’s “strategy” or in other words how they get from point A to point B. Exposing postural weaknesses during an assessment and correcting them through an individualized strength training program is the first step in getting bigger, faster and stronger.
3. Emphasis on Form
In the book Talent Code, Dan Coyle explains how we as human beings get good at what we practice. This is even more so in young adults, who are learning new movements in the weight room and on the ice for the first time. Engraining good movement patterns (form) takes a watchful eye on a daily basis from a certified professional. At RPP, we keep our coach to client ratio at 5:1 to ensure a watchful eye is on the athletes’ form at all times.
In addition, time spent lifting unmonitored in the high school weight room although it may do wonders for team moral can often turn into a power lifting competition and possibly lead to time spent off the ice due to injury.
At any given point during the off-season we may have hockey players from a variety of different high schools, colleges and travel programs. These include high schools such Clarkstown, Don Bosco, Mahwah, Monroe-Woodbury, Pearl River, Ramsey, St. Joe’s Regional, Suffern and West Milford or travel programs such NJ Hitmen, NJ Avalanche, Palisades Predators, Ramapo Saints or college programs such as UNH, UMASS, BU, Ohio State and Delaware among others. These young men put in endless hours to train. We respect the responsibility they place in our hands and we value their future dreams. We approach our programming with their aspirations in mind.
See ya’ in the gym.