Toronto Marlboros 2001 AAA Head Coach Louie Gialedakis believes that fitness strength and endurance are important cores in building the foundation of a championship hockey team. To kick off the summer off-ice season, the Toronto Marlboros met at Mind to Muscle, run by Joe Costa, in Mississauga, Ontario for player and team fitness assessments. Mind to Muscle uses a five-stage athletic development system to evaluate athletes and construct training programs which enhance physical development. The evaluations established a fitness baseline for each player who would then be retested in August during training camp.
The boys were tested on numerous exercises including plank, push ups, sit ups and squats to mention a few. Each player received a personalized report card with individual grades for the exercises as well as team averages for each. Costa and Gialedakis provided the players with follow up guidance for what their goals for improvement and focus areas over the summer should be. This was the first and very important step of getting the team into the best possible shape for the 2011-2012 season.
Off-season training included focusing and improving on:
· Strength and power
· Upper body strength
· Quickness and Agility
· Anaerobic Power
· Aerobic fitness
· Core Strength
This training enabled the coaching staff to measure two basic things: where the boys excelled, and where the boys needed improvement. Additionally, by having the statistics of Gialedakis 1992 Atom team (Tyler Seguin, Johnny McFarland, Freddie Hamilton and Jamie Oleksiak); it gave the coaches an opportunity to gage where this group of boys faired amongst his previous team at the same age.
The team regularly leverages what they have learned through off ice training after each practice. They have affectionately named their workouts Mind to Louie, after their coach and mentor. Gialedakis encourages the boys with this advice, “Try to get the best out of yourself. Only you can keep yourself from reaching your goals". “With Louie Gialedakis coming in as the new 2001 Toronto Marlie coach, rest assured the hockey culture will change where it actually needs to be” says Joe Costa, who is none too familiar with exactly what it takes to succeed in extreme fitness and conditioning. “I am looking forward to working with this group of kids and helping them attain their goals.” As though the evening hadn’t already been an abundance of information, they were later joined by a special guest, Mathew Campagna. Mathew was a 1994 top NHL Propspect who currently plays for the Sudbury Wolves of the OHL. He shared a variety of information with the parents such as the commitment that is involved both on and off the ice to take this sport to the “next level.” He emphasized the importance of sacrifice and hard work and really left a heartfelt impression upon everyone present.
All in all, the evening was a great success. Gialedakis, with the performance analysis in hand, as well as the results of his 1992 team, reviewed the outcome with each player individually, to better prepare a training regimen to suit each player’s needs. So with this in place, the 2001 Toronto Marlboro Atom’s, their coach, along with Joe Costa created an environment which was to set the tone for what was coming in the months ahead.