2015 Season: Blog Post #3 / Oct. 21, 2015

This weekend we opened our season in Florida, where we played the Everblades on Friday and Saturday night. 0-1-1 is obviously not an ideal start to the season but it is a long campaign. On a positive note, our next game isn’t until this Friday. It is also our home opener and a rematch against Florida. This gives us plenty of time to make adjustments and work on a lot of different things during practice this week. We play Florida again on Saturday night at home and then play in South Carolina against the Stingrays on Sunday.

We don’t have a mid-week game this week, so it’s a good opportunity to get in some extra work on and off of the ice. You can’t just decide when you want to take care of your body during a long season. As an athlete, you are expected to live a healthy lifestyle. While playing 2-4 games per week, practicing and travel, it is vital that you are taking care of yourself and recovering properly. Below are some guidelines that I value to help me perform my best:

NutritionIt’s extremely important to make the correct choices and eat healthy during a long season. For each of my meals, I try to have a lean protein source, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and fiber. This will give me the fuel to perform and also accelerate recovery. It’s equally important to hydrate, especially with back to back games and frequent travel. After workouts, practices and games I always make sure that I have a protein shake within 30-45 minutes in addition to my meal.

Off-ice TrainingDuring the season, my focus of my off-ice training is to maintain my muscle mass and strength that I built in the summer. This includes a regimen of weight lifting, core strengthening, and drills to maintain my speed, agility and power. I put a lot of extra emphasis on working my core, hips, back and glutes because these areas are critical to help me stay healthy on the ice and stay strong. My fiancé created a company called Strong Stride, which focuses on strengthening these areas and keeping athletes injury free. Her influence and Pilates based program is another important part of my routine. With a busy schedule of games and practices during a season, you must use your energy wisely. That being said, I go into each week with a plan of what I want to accomplish in the gym. A tip that I often give the young players that I train the summer is to plan your work and then work your plan. It’s much easier to have a productive and efficient workout if you go into it with a plan!

StretchBefore on and off ice workouts, it’s important to perform a dynamic warm-up. A dynamic warm-up consists of movement patterns designed to increase body temperature, activate the nervous system and activate muscles that you will use during your workout, practice or game. I always make sure I get a good sweat going before even putting on my equipment, especially before a game. In the words of one my former teammates, Trevor Gillies, “You gotta get a good lather going.” After on and off ice workouts, your body benefits most by using static stretches. A static stretch is when you hold the stretch, typically for a minimum of thirty seconds. I have a static stretching routine for on and off ice training that I do after every workout. Another part of this regimen includes foam rolling and a handheld massage stick to massage the muscles and break down inflammation.

It was awesome watching my buddy, Vince Trocheck play in our hometown (Pittsburgh) last night against the Penguins. He is having a great start to his season with the Florida Panthers. We skate together in the summer and played together in the OHL for the Saginaw Spirit in 2009-10. It’s great to see him doing well. It’s also really cool to see him playing with Jaromir Jagr. He is a living legend and is still one of my favorite players to watch. Also want to give a shout out to my friend, Matt Bartkowski for scoring his first NHL regular-season goal for the Vancouver Canucks! Bart skates with me and Vince during the summer and was my teammate in minor hockey with the Pittsburgh Predators and Mt. Lebanon High School, where we won the PA State Championship in 2006.

My brother Mason, Jaromir Jagr, our friend Mike Roman and Me during my Mite hockey days! I think at least 9 out 10 kids in Pittsburgh had Jagr-inspired hair styles during the early-mid 90’s.

Thank you for reading my third blog post of the 2015 season! Thanks again to those who have commented on my posts. I appreciate the positive feedback. Please feel free to comment below and ask any questions or share ideas that you have for my next post.

Read Tyler's previous blog entries:Blog #1 (Oct. 7)

Blog #2 (Oct. 15)