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Canucks Report - Last ice and yoga

by Staff Writer / Vancouver Canucks


Today began like the others with on-ice sessions at UBC. The prospects were, again, split up into two groups to work on skating and puck handling skills with Ryan Lounsbury and Dusan Kralik.

Each session was structure around different principles to help improve each person's stride to be the most effective in general and in game situations.

"The first session was getting the guys on video on one specific thing," said Lounsbury. "Yesterday was straight line and skating a path, forward and backward skating, and today was agility and moving side to side and turning forward to backward."

After three sessions with Lounsbury and Kralik, some results are expected and although, they probably aren't monumental, it's a solid foundation to go home with as they spend the rest of the summer preparing and training to get into shape for the hockey season.

"Typically when you work on skating technique, you're going to see some immediate adjustment and the next step is what they do to ingrain it and make it a common place in their stride," said Lounsbury. "You do see immediate change but it's whether they can sustain it and same thing when they get into game situation so it's a bit of a process for players but if they're willing - professional athletes all the time like tennis players or golfers are always applying what they do."

"Every little thing with your skating stride, at this point, you probably can't completely change but there's definitely always something you can think about and try to improve slightly over time," said Patrick White.

In hockey, like everything else, having a solid foundation is necessary to produce best results and this camp stresses the importance of basics all week, going over skating to workout techniques and nutrition. But no matter how many times, a lesson been taught, it's not the same twice.

"Every teacher teaches just a little bit differently in some ways but from my experience so far, with things like quick starts, have been the same, pretty much, " said White of the power skating sessions with Lounsbury. "There have been different little techniques that you come across everywhere. Having the strength and the quickness on your own to apply it is definitely the most important part."

Noticeably sidelined is 2009 first round draft pick, Jordan Schroeder but he participated in the afternoon off-ice and yoga sessions.


Yoga was added to the prospects' program a few years back and has been one of the more popular activities amongst all the guys - despite any preconceived notions.

"I thought it was not for hockey players and I didn't think it would help but it does," said Steven Anthony, Canucks 2009 draft pick.

"For some of the guys who haven't done it, I think they'll be surprised at how hard it is."

Despite having concerns when he first tried it back home, it's now become part of his regular workout regimen and something he embraces and enjoys.

"My trainer back in Halifax, his wife is a yoga instructor so once a week our group goes over there."

Anthony may have the upper hand compared to the rest of the group with the experience but it'll benefit everyone, which is why Canucks strength and conditioning coach, Roger Takahashi, added it to the agenda for the week's activities.

"A number of factors [why it's effective]," said Takahashi. "One is for core stability, the other thing it's good for is balance, coordination, flowing through different movements, it's low impact, it gives them a different exercise to do that adds a cross training element."

And Anthony agrees that more hockey players should try it.

"I find that I'm a lot more flexible than I was before I tried it. It's a lot of complex stretching so I like it and I enjoy it. It's not a manly thing to do but it's fun."
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