From The Crease: The Offseason

By Jeff Lerg – 

Now that it is the offseason, it is time to talk about how to use this time wisely. Many of you will be playing a spring season and will constantly be on the ice. I would also recommend playing other sports if time/money allow. I know that one of the reasons that I was successful in my hockey career is that I developed my athleticism while playing other sports. When you watch the NHL, you will realize that goaltenders have an extreme amount of athleticism. There was rarely a day when I wasnʼt heading to the soccer field, baseball diamond, or golf course. Due to the dedication of my parents, I was able to work these other sports around my hockey schedule. All hockey games and practices took first priority, but we still found a way to keep me involved in other sports.

Not only is the physical conditioning helpful to hockey, but there is also the mental aspect. Playing in other sports helped me stay in a competitive nature and also allowed me to gain mental toughness. Golf is a mental game and demands an extreme amount of discipline and composure. When you gain mental toughness and the belief that you can do anything, it carries over into all the sports that you play. Playing soccer, tennis, or basketball will help out tremendously with conditioning and will allow other muscles to develop that you wonʼt necessarily develop playing goaltender. Baseball will obviously keep your hand-eye coordination sharp, and will also help with the mental game of being a goaltender. Baseball players need to remain focused over a long period of time without seeing any action. There are some games where goaltenders are put in this same scenario.

If you arenʼt able to play another organized sport besides hockey, then I recommend playing these other sports among friends in your spare time. Some of my favorite memories were playing a variety of sports with my friends. We always played street hockey, but I opted to play as a forward. This made me feel like I was taking a break from hockey because I wasnʼt playing my normal position. It also helped me see the tendencies of a forward and I put those in my memory bank until the next time I was back in net.

It is also imperative to develop your body by working out if you are old enough. Many teams start to do some off ice workouts once the kids reach around 10 years old. I recommend doing these workouts on your own if your team does not give you a program. When you are young, you have to “build a foundation” before you eventually make your way into the weight room. Some basic exercises include pushups, pull ups, lunges, jump squats, box jumps, sit ups, bridges and a variety of sprints. I feel that adding a good foundation, will only help once the training becomes serious in the weight room. I would recommend giving 4 days a week to your hockey training in the summer, while using the other days to play other sports or use your free time in other ways that you enjoy. The main goal of the offseason is to come back refreshed and physically stronger than the previous year.

I want to make note of the major accomplishments of our Future Pro students in the state of Michigan.

  • Robert Pegrum (2013 Little Caesars Bantam Minor State Champs)
  • Mike Latorella (2013 Honeybaked Bantam Major State Champs)
  • Claire Lachner (2013 Little Caesars 16-and-Under Girls State Champs)
  • Jimmy Milletics (2013 Brighton High School Division 1 State Champs)
  • Ryan Larkin and Bryan Abell (2013 Honeybaked Midget Minor State Champs) Jared Sauve (2013 Honeybaked Midget Major State Champs)
  • Brittany Zeches (2013 Adrian College Womenʼs Division 3 All-American)

Come join this list of champions by attending a camp with us this summer! More information can be found at


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