Jr. Comets Add Off-Ice Training to Schedule
by Adam PawlickNov 23, 2016
Playing for the Utica Jr. Comets Elite has many advantages when it comes to on-ice player development. Each team works on power skating once a week under the tutelage of Utica College’s Men’s Hockey coach Gary Heenan. Along with power skating, each team practices twice a week and has an extremely knowledgeable coaching staff made up of former professional and collegiate hockey players, as well as coaches with years of experience. Now, the Jr. Comets have added off-ice training to their weekly schedule.
In today’s game, hockey players must work extremely hard off the ice in order to be successful on the ice. The Utica Jr. Comets Elite organization places a strong emphasis on off-ice workouts as key training in the development of young players. Teaching youth hockey players training fundamentals such as stretching, plyometrics, and agility drills will help them learn the importance of off-ice training.
Kelly Esche, a former Division I hockey player for St. Lawrence University and certified personal trainer, has taken the lead on off-ice training. Kelly conducts team off-ice training sessions twice a week before the players take the ice for practice. The Jr. Comets have access to the same top caliber off-ice facilities that the American Hockey League’s Utica Comets utilize at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. With a strong hockey background, Kelly applies hockey-specific movements as well as basic fundamental teachings to help improve speed, agility, and strength, all while maintaining proper form to ensure player safety.
“Off-ice strength and conditioning has become a crucial part of the game of hockey,” said Kelly. “Players who put the proper work into off-ice training can gain a huge advantage over those who do not.”
The Utica Jr. Comets organization is thankful for Kelly’s commitment to helping develop our players and allowing the organization to offer this essential building block for young athletes.