• Bell MTS Iceplex - Manitoba's Community Hockey Complex
  • Winnipeg Jets
  • Manitoba Moose

The Benefits of Lifting Weights

There are many obvious benefits to a good strength and conditioning program. Increases in strength, speed, power, and conditioning are all great physical attributes that will put you in a better position to be successful in your chosen sport. But it is my belief that some of the best benefits lay just underneath the surface and although they aren’t as visible to outsiders they are the ones that will have the greatest positive impact on your life.

  1. Being good at the things that require no talent: Working out requires no talent. No one is born good at working out. It’s all about hard work. Show up, listen, pay attention to detail, work hard, give your best effort and you will find success in the gym. None of these things require talent, they are open to anyone and can be a great equalizer in your sport and in life.
  2. Mental toughness: Some of the things that you will experience in your work outs will bring you to your knees. But you will learn to disassociate with the pain, keep pushing and persevere. I call this “accepting the suck”, some things in life are going to suck but the ability to accept that it’s going to be hard and keep moving forward can change your life. It is a learned skill and you will find it in the gym. A close friend of mine calls squats the metaphor for life. You have all this weight on your shoulders pushing you down. You can either let it keep you there at the bottom or you can push and fight and stand back up.
  3. Confidence: the confidence that you develop going through battles in gym and coming out the other side are unparalleled. The combination of physical strength and mental fortitude that are required to complete certain workouts and programs will increase confidence to new heights. It will spread to all aspects of your life and make you feel like you can accomplish anything. And you can.
  4. You get what you put in: perhaps my favourite life lesson that the weights give you is what you put into something is what you get out. The weights never lie to you. If you haven’t put in the work they won’t move. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from. It doesn’t matter if you make ten dollars a year or a million. If there is a weight sitting on the floor in front of you and you haven’t put the work in you will not be able to pick it up. In a time when everyone is awarded for everything and everyone gets a trophy and people are given passes and moved through the system because no one wants to hurt anyone’s feelings the weights hold true. They don’t care about your feelings, they won’t pass you just because and they will always tell you the truth.
  5. Working out is for everyone: everyone has the ability to get stronger. Just like the weights won’t lie to you they also don’t discriminate. It doesn’t matter if you are short, tall, skinny, overweight, male, female, young, old or of any ethnicity or socio economic background. If you put the work in you will receive the positive benefits and results.

The lessons that can be learned in the gym through working can literally be life changing. I’ve seen this in many of the people I have trained over the last twelve years and in myself. You need resistance to shape character and you will find plenty of it in the gym, both physical and mental. All these benefits exist for everyone and they are waiting for you on the other side of those gym doors. So get it there, it’s yours for the taking. Strength, Courage, Hustle, Commitment.

AJ Zeglen

A Spring Season in Review


Spring Hockey. Some parents search for teams with the highest winning percentage, or most exciting tournament destinations. Some who believe that Spring Hockey is truly about which team has the best group of parents to socialize with.

Jets Hockey Development Spring Program is taking a step away from the common spring hockey experience. We pride ourselves in a program that is always evolving and changing to adapt to the player’s needs. We feel that it is our responsibility to provide each player a valuable hockey experience. A program with experienced, knowledgeable coaches who respect the willingness to win, while understanding the importance and impact of long term development.

Our program is based off of a greater practice to game ratio rooted in continuous repetition of fundamental hockey skills, providing each player individual instruction to reach their goals within the season. All while providing an exciting, beneficial program that players can be excited to be a part of and parents can be proud to send their son or daughter to.

JHD Spring Hockey can be summarized in 2 words: Player Development.

This year’s spring season has just wrapped up for all of our Jets Hockey Development players, with 11 teams and 2 skill development programs. Here`s a little highlight of how the last few months went:


Teams excelled in a total of 18 training sessions, some of which were exhibition games, where they worked on individual skills including; skating, puck handling, passing and
shooting. Players were introduced to team concepts based on the age and level they played at. We were more than thrilled at the receptiveness of players to the teaching that was provided, which was echoed in the exhibition and tournament games.


Off-Ice Training

All 8 off-ice training sessions were held in our very own Focus Fitness. Players were introduced to how to make off-ice training a part of their regular routine. Players used the gym space for age appropriate workouts, improving their strength and flexibility.


All teams attended 2 tournaments this spring where they were able to put everything together. As some may have noticed with a varying display of results within our teams, it is often difficult to predict the level of teams in which you will come up against. Regardless of competition level, all teams showed their relentlessness through working hard, having fun and implementing the skills that were being taught in practice. We saw a huge improvement in the skill level of all the players, from week 1 to the end of the season.

Skills Groups

The two skills groups did an amazing job this spring in working to improve in skill specific practice session.  Many of these players unfortunately signed up late when rosters for teams were filled, but decided that dedicating their time in spring to work on their individual skills was going to be a huge benefit to their development.

skatingLooking Forward – Spring 2017

Looking forward to the 2017 spring program, we’re excited to have players return and work on developing their game.

We’d like all parents to keep an eye out for our evaluation skates, which will commence around the end of September. These evaluation skates are vital in helping your players secure a spot on one of our spring teams.

In order to make our program better, we will be offering a more consistent training schedule, be in close contact with potential tournaments to find appropriate level tournaments and our professional coaches will be leading all of our on and off-ice sessions.

Come join our Head Coaches Dave Cameron, Lee Stubbs, Nate Hatton and Dean Court for another great spring.

Teams for 2017
2004Future Jets & Jr Moose
2005 Future Jets & Jr Moose
2006Future Jets & Jr Moose
2007Future Jets & Jr Moose
2008Future Jets & Jr Moose
Skills Groups

“I can’t believe how much better my son got in a 7-week time span.” – Parent from 06’-08’ group

“This is our sons 3rd Spring at the Iceplex and has been by far the best development camp in my opinion.”- Parent from Moose Team

“The coaches were great and supportive to the children and their progression.” – Parent from Future Jets Team

“The on ice practices have been second to none and we really see a difference in our son.” –  Parent from Moose Program

13 Things To Make You More Awesome!

1. Be good at the things that require no talent. Be on time, be ready, work hard, be engaged in what your are doing. Everyone has the ability to do these things, few people choose to do them well.

2. Pick up heavy things (properly) and walk around with them. Everyone always wants to be stronger. This will help.

3. Do mobility work. I have never met anyone that is too strong, but I have met people who are strong and move poorly. You want both strength and movement.

4. Assuming you have two legs that work you should squat more weight than you bench.

5. Everyone has titles in life that they are given such as father, mother, sister, brother, son, daughter, friend. Although a lot of these titles are automatic it is important that you earn these titles. Be good at being these things. Your life is bigger than just you, it’s also the people around you. There is nothing more important than fulfilling these roles to the best of your ability.

6. Finding yourself is stupid. You are exactly where you are all the time because you put yourself there. If you want to be something or somewhere different change it. Finding yourself makes it sound like you are floating around hoping to find something by accident. Don’t hope to find anything, create it. Take responsibility for your life and create it.

7. Get better. Every single day.

8. Never think you know everything. The exact moment in time when you think you know everything is the exact same moment that you stop getting better. (refer to #7)

9. Pull more than you push.

10. Be honest with yourself. I have seen many people sabotage their own progress because they are simply not honest with themselves. Everyone knows the guy who says he benches 300 lbs. but when you watch him he stops the bar 6 inches from his chest. More like elbow bends then bench press. Don’t be this guy. The funny thing is the respect and admiration that this guy so desperately seeks becomes less of a reality the more he lies to himself. People do not respect that. Do weight that you can do and do it right. You will progress much faster this way and people will respect you more. Be honest.

11. Use thick bars or thick grips whenever you can

12. Read. Make time every day. Read things that genuinely interest and inspire you.

13. Hustle


Why It’s Important To Focus On Mobility

Many people overlook the importance of mobility in training regimes. Mobility can be defined as the ability to move a limb actively through its full range of motion in a controlled and stable manner. To clarify, there is a difference between flexibility and mobility.  Flexibility is the ability of a muscle (or group of muscles) to passively lengthen through a range of motion. Stretching works on lengthening and shortening tight muscles to help to improve flexibility, while mobility goes much deeper than muscle tightness.  Mobility addresses all elements that may limit movement and performance such as soft tissue restriction, range of motion dysfunction, and joint capsule restriction to name a few.

Joint mobility Jasexercises are beneficial for increasing range of motion and restoring lost movement patterns, but the benefits exceed that. They can help to prevent injuries before they arise.  Don’t get me wrong: raw strength, speed, and power are all extremely crucial, but equally so is the ability to move your joints through their full range of motion, especially for athletes. Joint mobility should be considered as general maintenance for your body. Just as your car needs oiling and tires need pumping, our bodies have similar needs. Strength development suffers without proper joint mobility. If you have reduced joint mobility, performing quality deadlifts, squats, presses etc. is going to become difficult. Inadequate mobility also significantly increases your risk of injury because if one joint does not move well, there’s going to be compensation from somewhere else.  This can lead to a loss of power, strength, or range of motion and increase ones risk of injury.


Myself, and Austen Brassard of the Manitoba Moose performing the “Couch Stretch”.

Power output and speed can be compromised with reduced joint mobility. When shooting an arrow, the farther you pull the string back, the more tension there is, and the farther the arrow shoots. This analogy can be applied to your joints.  For example, while squatting, greater joint mobility at the hips and ankles will allow you to get lower and in turn will allow you to generate more tension and greater power.

You can use mobility exercises as a warm up, an active recovery between sets, or as a workout on its own. Joint mobility exercises can be prescribed as methods of rehabilitation, pre-habilitation, and as a means of athletic enhancement.

One mobility exercise that I would highly recommend is the “Couch Stretch”. You’ll see athletes, and everyday people, using this exercise to increase their mobility. The best part about this is that it can be performed at the gym, or even in the comfort of your own home (see photos).

People generally disregard the mobility portion of the workout without realizing its benefits to their overall well-being.  Properly learned and maintained joint mobility can restore complete freedom of motion to your many joints.

-Jasmine, Trainer at Focus Fitness

Myths About Strength Training in Hockey

Each and every year strength training becomes more and more popular with hockey players of all ages. Along with its popularity come many misconceptions, myths and misunderstandings of how to train properly and what are realistic expectations of what an athlete can achieve from their training. Here are two of the popular myths regarding strength training and hockey.

Myth #1-My child is too young to train and it will ruin their growth potential

Truth-There is no magic age as to when someone can start training. If you were to wait until you completely stopped growing and all your bones were developed you could be waiting until your early twenties. Each athlete has an age and what we call a training age. The training age is how many years that they have been involved with a good strength and conditioning program. The training age is the one that really dictates what can be done in the gym. For example if we have an athlete who is 16 years old who we have been working with for the last two years and they have demonstrated that they are efficient at moving their own body then we will put them under load while lifting. If another athlete who is 18 years old comes in and has never been a gym before we won’t put them under load just because they are older. They first have to learn the principles of strength training which is being efficient and effective at moving your own body.

Myth #2- My child has to play hockey year round or they will fall behind

Truth- We work with many professional hockey players and I can tell you that the best players are also the best all around athletes. This is not a coincidence. Nowadays often at a young age people want their kids to specialize in sports. This stunts the child’s athletic growth and ends up having the adverse effect of what they were originally wanting to accomplish in the first place, being a better hockey player. There are prime developmental  years in the early teens where kids are at a prime position to develop athletic attributes such as reaction time, hand eye co-ordination, and proprioception  (the awareness of one’s own body in space). The best ways for kids to develop these are to play a variety of different sports or to train. Almost every sport that a kid will play in summer, baseball, soccer, tennis etc. provide tons of opportunity to work on hand eye co-ordination, changes of direction and so on. A great training program will accomplish the same thing.