Professional Hockey Player for Houston Aeros Talks About His Time Working With The Staff And Facilities At IRG!
It was an unusual image, particularly for a sunny July evening. There at Everett Sports Performance Center were a handful of youths, each tied to a pole by a giant rubber band and holding a hockey stick. The youths were repeatedly running away from the poles before the tension snapped them back, looking much like leashed canines being reined in by their owners.
Standing nearby, keeping a close read on his stopwatch, was none other than Mitch Love, and it all began to make sense.
"I Had A Great Time Working With Shannon O'Kelly and the staff at Everett Physical Therapy and Sports Performance Center"
The former Everett Silvertips captain and Everett's adopted son is spending the summer training the local youth hockey population in a brand new hockey conditioning camp. Love, in conjunction with Everett Sports Performance Center, has been running a six-week program designed to expose youth players to the type of off-ice training required to become an elite player.
And for Love it's all about giving something back.
"When I was these kids' age, I was never given this kind of opportunity," said Love, who became a local legend during his two seasons with the Tips and now makes his offseason home in Everett. "There were never enough hockey players around my hometown (Quesnel, B.C.) who were willing to say, 'Hey, let's put a camp together for young kids and help them along the way, make them better athletes and better hockey players,' It's all I really wanted to do. We're here to make them better. I was never given that, so I want to give back to them."
The idea for the camp was birthed from discussions between Love and the Everett Sports Performance Center staff while Love did offseason workouts at their facilities.
"Everett Youth Hockey is growing and becoming a well known entity here in town," Shannon O'Kelley, owner of Everett Sports Performance Center, explained. "So we wanted to do something special for the kids. Mitch is in town, works out at our place down at the Arena, so we asked him to do a class. It dovetailed very well with what we're doing and what he wants to do."
Thus the camp was born, beginning in mid-June and continuing through late July. It was divided up into two sections: one for ages 13 and up, the other for ages 12 and under. In total about 20 players signed up for the twice-a-week, one-hour workouts. The camp involves drills and exercises Love learned throughout his hockey career, the same drills and exercises that have seen Love drop 20 pounds since his days as a Tip. For the most part, the drills and exercises are not hockey specific, instead focusing on building up the core muscles.
And this is no fluff camp. Love's program is vigorous, leaving the campers with flop sweat by the end of the workout.