The IceCaps’ inaugural season was a good one by all accounts but one: getting swept out of the play-offs in the semi-finals by eventual Calder Cup champs Norfolk Admirals. A loss that still stings for ‘Caps leading goal scorer and Corner Brook native Jason King, even a month later.
“It’s wearing off,” Kings sighs. “But you know what? As an older guy it’s always in the back of your mind. You never really lose it.”
But King isn’t dwelling on what could have been. After taking a couple of weeks off to give the wounds accumulated over 94 games, and twice as many practices a chance to heal, King was back to work in mid-June.
Unlike years ago, when the off-season was time for beers with old pals, pro hockey is now a cycle of getting in really good shape over the summer, and then trying to stay in some semblance of that shape while having the crap knocked out of you all winter.
“There is never a whole lot of down time. You take a few weeks off and you’re kind of right back into training again. Working out five to six days per week,” says King.“The hockey season really doesn’t come to an end, it’s at least an 11 month process.”
Sounds a lot like life in general. Maybe there is something we all can learn by training like a pro.
How to get in shape for hockey season
1. Relax: Take some time to relax and recharge. King likes golfing at Glendenning and fly fishing in the Humber River.
2. Stick with the plan: “It’s tough to maintain a program and stay dedicated to it,” says King. “But you know this is what you got to do and you got to do it whatever, how many ever days a week, you’re going to see results.”
3. Work on specifics: “It’s not just coming in and going through the motions,” says King. “It’s about getting better everyday.” This summer King is working on improving his quickness and agility, what specific part of your game are you going to work on?
4. Get outside: “We’ve got so much open wilderness,” says King. So get out there and enjoy it. “Not only can you get out and get some cardio in, but there’s some really nice scenery that you can take in while doing it.”
5. Have fun: “We play hockey because it’s fun,” says King. “For me, when the fun leaves the game, I am not going to want to do it anymore.” He goes on to say that “it’s a pleasure to come to the rink every day.” If it’s not a pleasure for to go to the gym once in awhile, try something different, hike, bike, trike, anything.