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rxz123 Jun 19

This is Part II of an interview with Ryan Van Asten http://www.seahawksfootballpro.com/Kevin-PierreLouis-Seahawks-Jersey/ ,the S&C coach for the Canadian National Women's Hockey Team.

National program

OHT - What has 2010 been like for you? What are some of the behind the scenes challenges you've faced? (scheduling, facilities http://www.seahawksfootballpro.com/Kam-Chancellor-Seahawks-Jersey/ , injuries, travel http://www.seahawksfootballpro.com/KJ-Wright-Seahawks-Jersey/ , budgets) How is it different working with the women's team? Goals for the future?

RV - 2010 was an unbelievable year. There were a lot of great times with the winning of the Olympic Gold medal and a lot of tough times as well. As a strength and conditioning it was a year of tremendous growth for me in many aspects. Managing 35 athletes from two different sports was not an easy task given our travel schedule and some of the facilities we had access to for training (which on many occasions was nothing). With the National Women's Hockey their on-ice practice and game schedule was extremely hectic and demanding. It was like walking a tight rope when planning appropriate physical stress and recovery off-ice. But, in the end we could not have done a better job preparing our athletes physically for the Olympics. They went into the Games knowing their preparation was superior and that confidence in knowing you didn't leave any stone unturned goes a long way as well.

The travel schedule during the 2010 season with Hockey Canada was pretty intense. Starting in May 2009 we were on the road pretty much 2-3 weeks a month with games and training camps.

Budgets with Hockey Canada aren't too much of a concern but we always try to optimize our spending to make sure it is going in the right places.

Working with the women's is not much different that working with a men's team. They basically played a full NHL game schedule last year http://www.seahawksfootballpro.com/Justin-Britt-Seahawks-Jersey/ , on the road most of the time. The athletes were all unbelievable in terms of their work ethic and dedication to winning the gold medal considering they had lost the previous world championships. And it showed - we played the USA 10 times before the Olympics with a record of 7-3 with all seven wins coming consecutively leading up to the Games. Two of the three losses were in August while we were still in the infancy stages of our on-ice training, the other was in November.

With Hockey Canada there is only one goal always and that is to win every tournament. On the physical side of things we can still get better as a whole in many areas...even though we are Olympic champions we need to prepare as if we're the underdog.

With the Canadian Luge team our goals are similar on both the men's and women's side. That is to be a top 10 contender every race and to podium in every race.

Dream team

OHT - If you could assemble the practitioners of your choice regardless of availability or cost who would you choose as a:

RV - s&c coach - I already work with some of the best strength and conditioning coaches on the planet - the Canadian Sport Centre Calgary athletes routinely account for the majority of medals won at Winter Olympic games (i.e. 58% of medals won for Canada in Vancouver were won by athletes who train with the Canadian Sport Centre Calgary).

- nutritionist - Not sure

- physio - Gray Cook http://www.seahawksfootballpro.com/Jon-Ryan-Seahawks-Jersey/ , Kent Kobelka

- massage - Dominic Manchisi

- motivator - Dr. Peter Jensen

- wild card - Dave Frost (Strength Coach and Biomechanist - University of Waterloo)

Best resources

OHT - What has been the best:

RV - conference attended - European College of Sport Science Congress 2008

- book on training - Supertraining by Mel Siff and Yiri Verkhoshansky

- blog you follow - Too many to list

- colleague to call with a question - The fellas from the Canadian Sport Centre - Calgary

For everyone reading this post please take a few points from the interview with Ryan. In particular:

Notice that he paid his dues. He did all the schooling and even took an unpaid internship to improve his coaching abilities.

Practice what you preach. Having theoretical knowledge is great but also being able to step up to the bar and demonstrate is equally important.

Surround yourself with and seek out great mentors. Find people that will teach, inspire http://www.seahawksfootballpro.com/Jimmy-Graham-Seahawks-Jersey/ , challenge and support you.

For young athletes focus on becoming a better athlete first. There are foundations to training and you can’t simply skip ahead to the sexy drills and exercises too soon. Failing to do results in less substantial results and potential problems later.

No one piece of equipment makes a hockey player great. Focus on the basics. Look to develop single leg strength, mobile hips and strong glutes.

Recognize the value of regeneration and recovery both during the off-season by practicing other sports and in between training sessions as well.

Ryan thanks so much for taking the time to do this. Please keep us posted on your developments with Hockey Canada and anything else hockey related.

For more info check out Ryan's site athletesadvantage.ca.

All the best http://www.seahawksfootballpro.com/Jermaine-Kearse-Seahawks-Jersey/ ,



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