Apr 24, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Martin St. Louis (26) celebrates after scoring his second goal during the third period against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Tampa Bay Times Forum. Tampa Bay defeated Toronto 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Players: Conditioning Never Quits

Wondering how important conditioning is to the overall success of a player in the National Hockey League? Ask Marty St.Louis or Steven Stamkos.

For an NHL hockey player, conditioning to stay in shape is a year-round affair. Players who are at the top of their game, Steven Stamkos for example, work out with personal trainers and place their emphasis on a healthy diet to keep their muscular shape.

Stamkos, hockey’s newest legend, started training with Gary Roberts early in his career. Packing on lean muscle and continually striding to be tops in his game has paid off, and he is now an inspiration to his teammates and aspiring youth.

And developing your body isn’t the only mission for a well-conditioned athlete. Sports psychology, nutrition counseling, yoga, meditation, and other less popular but effective resources can all positively impact a player’s growth and development.

Through diligence and daily training, skating always has room for improvement, adding both speed and strength to one’s game. Henrik and Daniel Sedin from the Vancouver Canucks are prime examples. Both men added lean muscle through vigorous training and healthy diets, and now they both perform at the best levels of their careers. Speed, strength and girth all work in unison to create optimum playing potential, and all are the rewards of hard work.

Conditioning for the NHL must include a training program which focuses on strength, power, coordination, speed, balance, and agility. Conditioning does not just increase player potential, it also maximizes the ability for a player to jump back into the game if injuries happen.

Here’s the bottom line: without a desire for self-improvement and growth, the average athlete with extraordinary potential will always remain average. You can’t put a price tag on the value of self-motivation in the conditioning of an NHL player. And that’s why I’ve always said that Martin St. Louis is the NHL’s role model for a well-conditioned athlete. He’s the total package narrowed down to a winning formula: TALENT + HEART + SELF-MOTIVATION = SUCCESS.

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Tags: Daniel Sedin Henrik Sedin Martin St Louis Steven Stamkos Tampa Bay Lightning

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