Mike Fabbro is a former multi-sport athlete who won provincial titles in wrestling in high school and university. After graduating from RMC in Kingston with a Commerce degree, Mike took up windsurfing and won multiple national and international titles. His sense of adventure led him to snowboarding and he went on to author the book Snowboarding: The Ultimate Freeride, which sold over 20,000 copies. Mike then took up taekwondo, where he trained and competed at the elite level and earned a black belt. His age and injuries led him to yoga and he has been teaching it ever since 2005.
Unsatisfied with the quality of training offered to young athletes, Mike created the Dragon Warrior program, which fuses the best of the East and West, is very age specific and has been training young hockey players for four years. His youngest son, Curtis, plays competitive hockey at the bantam level in Ottawa.
The guidance in this article is directed at parents, coaches and trainers of competitive 12 to 16-year-old hockey players.
It’s not realistic for players to expect to perform at their peak every game. Ups and downs are part of life and the game. What separates the good from the great is how they make the best of their bad days.
The question I’m most often asked as a trainer is: what should my son or daughter do in the offseason? It’s a great question and the answer is probably more obvious than you think. Yet most players and trainers get it wrong.
I’ve written about yoga for hockey and about the importance of quality sleep and how both will improve your performance and your play. There is another piece to the puzzle, and that is learning how to calm the mind to improve mental clarity.
Competitive athletes are always looking for an edge to elevate their game. They train hard, take supplements and spend tons of cash, all in hopes of improving faster than the competition.
The latest hockey trend since the “flow” is rolling. Rolling is normally done with foam rollers, but also with balls of different size and hardness. Rolling has its origins in physio and massage therapy and is a self-myofascial release (MSR) technique, meaning you are giving yourself a massage. Because it’s so easy to do, it has made its way to our gyms, our homes and now our rinks.
I’m working with more and more young hockey players, up to the junior level, and our conversations on training always cross over to nutrition, supplements and game day preparation.
Nothing says, “Who’s that goalie?” like the full side splits. It’s definitely a signature move and gets the attention of opposing players, parents and scouts. Flexibility is the obvious key to performing this move—but how do you develop that flexibility without injuring yourself
When I was in the Air Force (Yup!), our pilots starting making extensive use of flight simulators to accelerate their learning curve. This allowed more pilots to train at the same time, regardless of the limited number of trainers and flight hours available
Tournaments are one of the best things about minor hockey for the kids. They travel, meet make new friends and play different players and teams.
Yoga for hockey is a relatively new thing. Fifteen years ago, very few players or NHL teams included yoga in their conditioning programs. Today, yoga is a key component of many successful hockey programs. But there are many varieties of yoga practices and not all of them are suitable or beneficial for hockey.
Proper hydration is vital to peak physical performance in all sports, and hockey is no different. Understanding a little of the science behind dehydration can go a long way to preventing it.
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