Youth Hockey and Sports Medicine Make a Powerful Pair
Since its inception in 2014, Sioux Falls POWER Hockey has worked closely with the Sanford POWER team at the Sanford Fieldhouse. So close that this past off-season, they renamed their team from the Junior Stampede to their current iteration.
“We are grateful to have a partnership with Sanford Health,” POWER Hockey General Manager Matt Tobin said. “The relationship with Sanford Health and POWER gives our players a significant advantage in regards to sports medicine for our athletes, performance training, and nutrition counseling.”
What Off-Ice Training Does for Youth Hockey Players
Sioux Falls POWER Hockey teams train with Sanford POWER two or three times a week at the Fieldhouse, depending on their game schedule. Each off-ice training session is approximately one hour, and includes power development, speed training, strength training and recovery modalities.
“We perform exercises that focus on total body power development, strength training, mobility, flexibility and recovery,” said Brad Rilling, senior strength and conditioning specialist, who trains the 18U team. “Our exercises are athlete-specific, not necessarily sport-specific. 80 to 90 percent of what we do is the same from sport to sport.”
The remaining 10 to 20 percent focuses on specific injury concerns for the sport or individual and developing the energy system required for the sport. Rilling says hip and shoulder health tend to be problem areas for hockey players.
“There is so much more science behind the training today,” Tobin said. “I think there is an emphasis on training the whole athlete, and then focusing on sport-specific muscles and movements.”
Some of the sciences available to the team include body composition, concussion testing and nutritional advisory.
“Usually the players are looking to increase lean muscle mass,” Senior Sports Science Specialist Elizabeth Kasparek said. “We show them the healthy calories to eat and how to build a proper performance plate.”
Why Youth Hockey Players Train in Sioux Falls
These sciences are part of the reason Sioux Falls POWER Hockey is one of the most prestigious youth organizations in the region. A majority of the players even move to the area to join the team.
“I believe it is a combination of factors that result in players moving here,” Tobin said. “The community of Sioux Falls, excellent schools, facilities like the Fieldhouse and training with Sanford POWER. The structure of our program, coaches, competitive schedule and the opportunity for exposure to the next level of hockey are also key.”
POWER Hockey players are able to utilize the Fieldhouse offerings during their offseason trainings as well.
“The athletes can come in for one-on-one consults throughout the year,” Kasparek said. “They can receive team nutrition education to help fuel their bodies better.”
POWER and the coaching at Sioux Falls POWER Hockey have helped the players improve their performance and get noticed by higher levels of hockey. Since the start of the season, six players from various divisions of POWER Hockey have signed agreements with teams in the WHL, NAHL, and the USHL.
Tryouts for the 2019-20 season are May 10-12 at the SCHEELS IcePlex. Learn more and register for tryouts at siouxfallspower.com/tryout. If you have a young athlete interested in joining POWER, visit sanfordpower.com.