Top prospects get physical conditioning training

Justin Dickie
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Intense 90-minute session- four days

AMHERST - Corey Crocker and Jeff Lewis are helping this area's athletes put together all the elements needed to take their performance to the next level.

Top prospects get physical conditioning training

AMHERST - Corey Crocker and Jeff Lewis are helping this area's athletes put together all the elements needed to take their performance to the next level.

And they're doing most of it with little more than good old-fashioned exercise.

For the past six weeks, kids aged six to 17 have been taking part in the Top Prospects Physical Fitness and Conditioning Program, an intense 90-minute training session four days a week to help prepare for the upcoming hockey season.

But some non-hockey players also see the benefits in the program.

"Most of our training is geared toward hockey-specifics. That was the idea when we came up with it. But there's other athletes, especially in the younger group, that are getting fit and being active," Lewis said yesterday during a training session at the Cumberland YMCA. "Our idea was to try to develop hockey players at the same time promoting physically active lifestyles and healthy living."

In the program, Crocker and Lewis have worked with athletes on aspects such as physical training (cardiovascular, strength, agility, endurance, quickness, hand-eye co-ordination, dynamic stretching, etc.), leadership, nutrition, motivation, goal setting, teamwork, and commitment.

"It's hockey-specific so we've got a lot of leg and lower body and core exercise," Crocker said. "We feel we have the elite athletes of the area in our program."

Crocker, also head coach and general manager of the Amherst Junior 'A' Ramblers, and Lewis, assistant coach of the Ramblers, started the program last summer when they saw that a summer hockey-training program in the area was sorely lacking.

"When you go to the bigger cities, you kind of notice those kids have a leg up. We see these kids that come out of the city and they're training 52 weeks of the year and they've got personal trainers," Lewis said. "It's opening up these kids eyes and gives them a little bit of knowledge and help so they can train themselves when they leave here."

Many saw the benefits of the program last year as most participants re-attended this year.

"They push us so you can't wimp out on doing something. They make you do it," said participant Lori Kinnear.

"Whoever was in the camp last year were pretty much the top players on their team," said participant Jordie Shaw. "They push you beyond what you think you can do."



jdickie@amherstdaily.com

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