Day two of Development Camp focused on conditioning, skating and strengthening as part of a traditional approach. But the Minnesota Wild isn’t just working to refine and enhance ice hockey skills of future stars.
The Wild also focuses on the development of these young men off the ice, including classroom sessions with financial literacy professionals, sports psychology experts and a nutritionist to help educate them how to take care of their bodies even better.
Julie Nicoletti, nutritionist from Kinetic fuel, flew in from Boston this morning to take the players through her presentation “Eating to Compete” and a Q&A session to ensure they are adequately prepared for daily life food choices, whether it be on bus rides across the country to games or in their dorm cafeteria.
After being introduced by director of player development Brad Bombardir, Nicoletti immediately noted the importance of vision to the success of each individual in the room. This wasn’t about focus on a game plan or what they have to accomplish to make the Wild’s roster. She literally meant vision as it relates to nutrition and seeing the puck, immediately stressing that everyone in the room who wants to have good vision needs to be sure to eat a serving of orange peppers and dark leafy greens.
The three key categories from the presentation were:
She also keyed in on body composition and the different goals associated with it: gaining weight, maintaining weight and losing weight. Many players, especially younger players, face issues with keeping weight on each season.
2011 draft pick and Notre Dame forward Mario Lucia shared his story about how better nutrition has impacted his game and what he has focused on heading into next season.
“I got a lot stronger,” said Lucia. “I kept my weight up, which helped a lot. The last couple years I was losing weight throughout the season. I really took hold of keeping my weight up and kept that as a big factor to my success towards the end of the season [at Notre Dame].”
“It’s an art as much as it is a science,” explained Nicoletti when talking to the players about gaining weight and keeping it on.
And the players get to take what they learned about nutrition straight to the kitchen this evening as they take a cooking and meal preparation class at a local establishment.
Check back later for coverage of the event and see if some of these guys can handle a knife and cutting board as well as they do a hockey stick.