After two straight days of competition at the 2019 Girls 16/17 Player Development Camp, the group had a break from games today, but there was still plenty happening when it comes to development.
Teams had a mixed schedule with each of them participating in several sessions throughout the day with mental skills and weight training taking center stage.
Mental Skills: Green, Blue and Red
Mental skills and team building coach Dr. Tiffany Jones took each team through a 45-minute session designed to teach players about the different mental zones they can be in as athletes.
The players hooked up to heart-rate monitors and connected their phones to an app that displayed their “zone” – either green (chill), blue (focused) and red (stressed). She then had them try to get their individual monitors in the different zones, which can be controlled through their thinking, feelings and breathing. After each segment, the players wrote down what they noticed about each zone and whether or not they struggled to keep their heart rate in that zone. Players then shared how they approached the exercises with their teammates and discussed how the concepts could apply on the ice.
Ultimately, the goal was to teach players that they have the ability to control their mental state no matter what is happening around them, but only if it’s something that they work on like any other athletic skill. Whether attempting to go from green to blue, red to blue or blue to green, the players started learning methods to get in the correct zone for that specific time and the tools they need to continue working on their mental skills as an athlete.
Learn more about Dr. Tiffany Jones in our Staff Spotlight from Day 2 of camp here.
Teams were in and out of the weight room here on the St. Cloud State campus throughout the day, where the strength and conditioning team ran players through a set of weight training exercises while teaching the proper form and technique for each movement.
All camp long, the staff has been stressing the important of off-ice work when it comes to developing as an athlete and today was no different. Players were introduced to a workout outline to use when they return home so they can continue developing their off-ice habits after camp.
Today’s practice plan, which included two teams (36 players) for each session, was designed by the coaches here on the first day. To develop the plan, coaches first heard from 2020 U.S. U18 Women’s National Team head coach Maura Crowell. After hearing details about what she’s looking to focus on at the national team level, the coaches split into breakout groups to put ideas together before presenting to the larger group.
From those discussions and presentations, the coaches finalized the drills they wanted to run and the intern coaches were charged with putting together the final two plans for camp. Both of the practice plans coming out of the group effort can be found below. Practice #2 was the plan used today.
A native of Northfield, Minn., Cole Harding is working his first player development camp as a member of the athletic training staff. Harding just completed his first season in the same role for the University of Minnesota Duluth’s men’s hockey team, where he helped the team to a second-straight NCAA National Championship.
Harding is also a graduate of UMD, where he earned his B.A.S. degree in athletic training in 2016. After graduation, Harding spent two years working on the athletic training staff for the University of Minnesota’s baseball team while completing his Master of Education degree in sports and exercise science.
His interest in working USA Hockey camps was spurred by his want to gain experience and learn from some of the most talented people in the hockey world.