Before stepping out onto the ice with Islanders legends on Feb. 12 as a part of MET-Rx’s Skate with the Greats sweepstakes, the eight lucky winners will get a chance to train like pros. In the two weeks leading up to the big game, the contest-winners will receive four sessions with Islanders strength and conditioning coaches and learn how to properly train with them.
Their first session on Monday Jan. 30, was run by Islanders Director of Sports Performance Sean Donellan. He preached simple exercises and circuit training as a good way to keep the heart rate high and the core engaged. Working out at Islanders Iceworks in Syosset, the participants did bodyweight squats, pushups and mountain climbers among other exercises.
“Sean really taught us a few things,” contest winner Brian Hinton said. “He tweaked [some exercises] a little bit and it made a world of difference. I felt pain and stretching in areas that I didn’t even think had muscles in it.”
|Regiment for the winners of the Met-Rx Skate with the Greats contestl |
The goal for the four sessions is not only to prepare the players for a skate with Mike Bossy, Clark Gillies, Butch Goring, and the other greats, but to promote exercises that can be done anywhere, anytime. Donellan gave pointers on how to do these same exercises in the living room, kitchen, basement or even a hotel room with minor modifications.
“I learned a lot, and like he said, it’s a great workout to do at home or anywhere you need it,” Russ Castrogiovanni said.
As an added bonus, all participants received a bag full of workout gear and supplements courtesy of MET-Rx including protein powders, shakes and training shirts. Knowing how skilled the players they will be playing with are, the winners are hoping that their opponents aren’t training as hard.
“I don’t think they need it really, they’re good enough. I hope they are not preparing,” Michael Valente said.
It will be up to the contestants how much skating they do before the big game, but on-ice practice, the four dry-land sessions and subtle lifestyle changes should go a long way.
Hinton, who has aspirations of sniping Chico Resch and compared his shot to Teemu Selanne’s, will be making changes for the better.
“I’m trying to eat right, stay away from Checkers and McDonalds, I’m probably going with Wendys and Burger King,” he joked. “And I’m trying to go to open hockey a little bit more.”