On August 24th, 2015, the Toronto Marlboros 2001 players and coaching staff headed to the Nottawasaga Resort Inn in Alliston, Ontario for the annual team Training Camp. This year’s Camp was not only designed to physically and mentally prepare the team for the challenging season ahead, but also to teach each and every player how they can take hold of their individual skill development and career goals. Head Coach Louie Gialedakis felt that it would be conducive to great development to take the players out of their “comfort zones”. The atmosphere created was designed to help them grow and prepare them to reach team goals and expectations. At the same time, the boys were able to forge exceptionally strong bonds with one another and their coaches. “Our team is united in our Relentless Pursuit of Excellence both on and off the ice” says Gialedakis, “as was witnessed these past two weeks here at Nottawasaga.”
The facilities at Nottawasaga really help us deliver a great two week of training. Just like every pre-season Training Camp, the 2001 Toronto Marlboros set up in their own NHL-sized dressing room. This dressing room would have rivalled any junior dressing room equipped with healthy snacks, drinks, and music. The team faced long, focused and highly intense days of training. Each player’s day consisted of two 90 minute on ice sessions, run by Coach Gialedakis, three dry land training sessions (one run by Jim Reeves of Athletes Zone), a “Class Room” session, followed by homework after dinner. Throughout the camp, players experienced tons of team bonding and a one of a kind, unique training environment that would rival any pro training camp in any sport. Coach Gialedakis said “The boys really took their off season training seriously this year.. It should help them throughout the season.”
Class time was highly motivational and very informative. The emphasis this year was on showing how each and every player can take hold of their individual skill development and career goals. This message was driven home supported by presentations from Jim Reeves of Athletes Zone and Dan Blackburn of NTC. It was the requirement of each player to set goals, do homework, and be able to get up in front of his teammates and clearly articulate the value proposition of the lessons learned. This well-known confidence building strategy worked wonders for each player. Daily, they grew more articulate in front of their teammate and spoke with increasing with confidence and authority, clearly demonstrating the value proposition of the Gialedakis “Education First” model.
“The team has never worked harder, and had more fun at a training camp… Never. It will take them a little time to gel together, but they really love working and being together.” Gialedakis says. One of the veteran players said “We never worked harder, and have never had so much fun.” The environment created an atmosphere of camaraderie and solidarity. The players who came together over these two weeks, most for the first time, left as great friends and teammates. With the help of his coaching staff, Louie Gialedakis led his new 2001 Bantam team through a pre-season training camp that rivalled most if not all Junior “A” Camps!