May 262010

I was recently on a flight from Long Beach to Boston.  On the flight, I watched the movie “Invictus” which starred Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon.  Morgan Freeman’s character was Nelson Mandela, while Damon’s character was the captain of the South African rugby team named, Francois Pienaar.  In the movie, they both met for tea where Mandela was getting to know more about Pienaar’s leadership philosophy.  Mandela asked “How do you lead the rugby team?”  Pienaar’s answer was “By example”. 

Of course, I have and you have most likely heard this before, but hearing it again, prompted me to write and post this.  I really think it is crucial for any leader of any group/organization to lead by example.  For example, in sport, captains of any team need to lead by example.  They don’t necessarily have to be rah-rah type leaders, but they must lead by example in terms of character, work ethic, professionalism, etc.

In our business, I also think it is crucial for the strength and conditioning coach or personal trainer to lead by example.  For example, are you able to complete the workout that you are asking your athlete/client to do?  Have you experienced what they have?  Do you look the part?  Are you in adequate condition? 

For me personally, I am realistic in knowing that I get to work with some of the most elite athletes in the entire world.  I will probably never be in the type of condition (strength, power, speed, anaerobic, aerobic).  However, I will do my best in trying to experience what these guys go through.  I will try to get in the best condition that I possibly can so that my athletes will see me as leading by example.   What do I do?  I try to adhere to a healthy lifestyle where fitness and proper nutrition are important.  Also, I play pick up hockey once a week and I have recently signed up for a hockey league.  What do you do?  

May 252010

This is a guest blog post from my wife Hillary.  She wrote this and posted it on her blog at

Do you find yourself standing in the fridge trying to decide what you should eat for lunch while your stomach growls “HURRY UP!”? Or, does the 3 o’clock hour roll around and you dive recklessly into the cupboard devouring anything in site? Unplanned binges or splurges can ruin your diet simply because you didn’t know what you were going to eat for your next meal. You didn’t plan for success.

As moms, we are always preparing our children for what is to come next in their day. We tell them if they are good in the store we will go to the park later. We persuade them to sit nicely at dinner and eat all their veggies so they can have dessert. We set them up for success and rewards. These same tactics need to be applied to ourselves.

I think the hardest group of women to keep on track diet wise is the stay at home mom or the woman who works from home. When you spend the majority of your day at home, it is so easy to think, “I will just eat when I am hungry, no need to plan.” This can be a diet wrecker. What typically happens is, hunger sets in and quickly becomes starvation mode. Poor choices are made and regretted later. Here are 5 rules to follow and use as your bible when it comes to nutrition.

Tips for successful eating:

1. Plan all your meals the night before even if you aren’t leaving the house the next day.

2. Tupperware is in your house for a reason, not just for leftovers. Put all your meals, except for dinner with your family, in those containers. Plan for Success and it will happen.

3. If the food isn’t in the Tupperware don’t eat it! It wasn’t planned.

4. Water- buy a Sigg or a Life Factory glass water bottle, keep it filled and on your counter. Don’t drink anything with more than 0 calories in it.

5. Get out of the kitchen. My grandmother use to say the kitchen was closed after meals. Adopt this phrase and don’t linger where temptation lurks. A handful of this or a handful of that can blow a diet.

Plain and simple, 5 tips to keep your diet on track. Break any bad habits now. We preach to our children all day long why they should or shouldn’t do something. I think all moms want their children to grow up and make good choices. It’s time for mom’s to make good choices, why should it stop when you become a mother? Believe what you teach and teach what you believe.

May 202010

Even though it’s the off-season here in Anaheim, I am staying busy while working with a few of our players, continuing my education, and networking.

Based on some of my past blogs, I obviously view continuing my education as a very important aspect of my development as a strength and conditioning coach.  Another aspect that I think is important is networking.  Getting to know other coaches and trainers who may do a better job than me at something or getting to know a different perspective on things is important.  Last weekend and the next 3 weekends, I have plenty of opportunities for both education and networking.

Here is what I have been doing and will be doing:

1- May 15th– 11th Annual College of the Canyons Strength and Conditioning Clinic- I had the opportunity to speak at the 11th Annual College of the Canyons Strength and Conditioning Clinic last weekend.  I really had a blast giving my presentation and meeting most of the people there.  Robert Dos Remedios is a great coach and a great guy who did an unbelievable job organizing the clinic.  Stay tuned for a future of episode of “Snatches and Beer” which features Robert and I talking about training while enjoying a beer.  Good stuff.

2- May 22nd and 23rd– BSMPG Hockey and Basketball Conference- This weekend coming up, I have the opportunity to speak at the Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group Hockey and Basketball Conference.  I am really psyched and honored to speak at it; as most of you know, Boston is where I consider home.  I am really looking forward to seeing some of the other talks including those by Matt Nichol (formerly of the Toronto Maple Leafs), Jack Blatherwick, Bill Hartman, and Mike Boyle.  It looks like an unbelievable lineup of speakers and will no doubt provide plenty of networking opportunities.

3- May 27th, 28th, and 29th – Annual NHL Scouting Combine- The following weekend, I will be in Toronto for the annual NHL scouting combine.  This is a great opportunity to catch up with most of my colleagues in the NHL.  We have a meeting scheduled where we will be having some speakers present to us including Mike Boyle and John Pallof.

4- June 4th, 5th, and 6th– Perform Better Functional Training Summit- The weekend after the combine is the Perform Better Summit in Providence, R.I.  I think I’ve been to the Summit each year since Perform Better started doing them.  In my opinion, these are the best continuing education options presently available.  It seems that Perform Better is always adding different speakers and concepts.  This is another great opportunity to interact and share ideas with other coaches and trainers.  Stay tuned for my preview of the Summit where I will outline who I am going to go see speak.

May 182010

Hey Everyone, here is an update of the newest content we added

last week on


“Goaltender Development”- Devan McConnell

Off-ice training is crucial towards goaltender development. In

today’s game goaltenders must be the most athletic players on the

ice. A good training program will build the fundamentals of that

athleticism and provide the transfer of the highly specialized

skills necessary to be a successful goaltender.

read more at:

“Scouting The NHL Scouting Combine” -Sean Skahan

Anaheim Ducks Strength Coach Sean Skahan takes a look at the

upcoming Combine.

Check it out at:

“Share the Load: Two Ways to Improve Thoracic Spine Mobility in

Hockey Players”- Maria Mountain

Although we typically think of the spine as three divisions —

lumbar (lower back), thoracic (mid back) and cervical (neck)

spine, functionally it may be helpful to consider the entire

spine as a series of individual segments. . . .

Keep reading at

Video of The Week- “Off-Season Med Ball Power Exercises”

Mike Potenza

It’s not the Off-Season yet for Sharks’ Strength Coach Mike

Potenza but he gives us a video on some great med ball variations.

Program: “Pre-Off-Season Hockey Training Program (2x/week)”

Kevin Neeld

This is a sample program we use at Endeavor Sports Performance

with our hockey players that finished their youth, prep, junior

seasons around March. Check it out at:

Also, a great discussion on the forum about “The Off-Season to

Preseason Transition”- check it out at:

Thanks again. If you have any questions, let us know.

Sean, Kevin, Mike and Michael

May 102010

Here is an update on some great content added the last 2 weeks:


“Hockey Related Concussions: From Evaluation to Return to Play”-

Jeff Cubos

“Maxing Out Without Burning Out- How to calculate an athlete’s

max 365 days a year”- Ben Peterson and Cal Dietz

“Goaltender Development”- Devan McConnell


“Side Lunge Start”- Kevin Neeld

“Dumbbell Complex”- Michael Boyle


“In-Season “Road” Workouts”- Sean Skahan

As always, there have been some great discussions on the forum


“How Goalies Can Drop Faster response”-

“A Question About Something Mike Boyle Said”:

Thanks to everyone for participating and if you have any

questions, let us know.

Michael, Kevin, Mike and Sean