To students past, present and prospective,
It’s been awhile since I have really said anything about this summer’s camps in comparison to years past for various reasons personal and professional, but as we find ourselves halfway through March I figured it is a good time to update everyone on the state of what we are currently working on for camp.
The question I am most frequently asked is who are the instructors in a certain location. When asking about the instruction staff people are only really interested in the big fish (Condi, Scott, Shannon). Those are the people that have the hardest time to be able to commit a week of their free time in the summer to a week long beer league camp, yet each year they find a way to do it. Here is the best guess I can give you as far as an instructor list looks this year.
Toronto Head Instructors: Garret Sparks (Toronto, AHL), Jordan Binnington (Chicago, AHL), Shannon Szabados (Team Canada WNT), Jamie Phillips (Winnipeg, AHL)
Toronto Demo Instructors: Jeremy Brodeur (Oshawa, OHL) Justin Fazio (Sarnia, OHL), Stephen Dhillon (Niagara, OHL), Francois Brassard (Carleton, CIS)
Chicago Head Instructors: Garret Sparks (Toronto, AHL), Scott Darling (Chicago, NHL)*, Alex Rigsby (US WNT), Al Montoya (Montreal, NHL)* Guest: Mike McKenna (Syracuse, AHL), Mike Condon (Ottawa, NHL)*
Chicago Demo Instructors: Alex Sakellaropoulos (Union, NCAA), Stefanos Lekkas (Vermont, NCAA), Francois Brassard (Carleton, CIS), Cody Karpinski (Lindenwood, ACHA)
L.A Head Instructors: Garret Sparks (Toronto, AHL), Scott Darling (Chicago, NHL)*, Mike Condon (Ottawa, NHL), Shannon Szabados (Canada WNT)*, Thatcher Demko (Utica, AHL)*, Eric Comrie (Winnipeg, AHL)*
L.A. Demo Instructors: PJ Musico (Greenville, ECHL), Francois Brassard (Carleton, CIS), Cody Karpinski (Lindenwood, ACHA)
So a couple things you notice right of the bat: depth. This year I am looking to have a head instructor and half gear demo instructor at each station to help better convey teaching points. The importance of depth in the staff is something we noticed last year as we were spread extremely thin at points. This ensures that doesn’t happen again. The next thing is the big tickets. Keep in mind here, anyone with an asterisk simply means that they aren’t entirely committed to that week yet. Scott Is on another playoff push with the Hawks, Condi just played 27 games in a row for the Sens & is in the heat of a division race as well and Shannon is trying to win her 3rd gold medal in 2018 and has to begin preparing for that at a certain point this summer. As I said above, I am sure if they are able to make it work and come to camp this year they will be there, I just don’t want anyone’s heart being broken because they signed up for someone specifically who ended up not being able to come. Having 8 instructors on the ice for 16 goalies should hopefully offset any unfortunate circumstance in which the big fish can only come for a couple days of the week somewhere to impart some knowledge.
Everyone wants to know what’s new and what you’re bringing to the table each year and I am happy to share all the dirty work I have been doing behind the scenes. I have learned a lot in 4 professional seasons and this year I would like the camp to mimic a hard day of work put in at the rink. In addition to the on ice component of camp this year (which will be shortened to 90 minutes due to increased staffing & maximized efficiency) there will be an increased emphasis on off ice activities to improve your game and overall health & wellness. Here’s a mock schedule of our Chicago camp to get an idea of what each day will be like:
Groups will alternate who is on the ice 1st each day, thus giving a late start to you every other day in order to get additional rest. The day begins with a daily brief where we meet in classroom to watch film of GGSU Legends Camp instructors properly completing the day’s drills & breaking down the points of emphasis. You’re then put through a 15 minute functional movement warm up that is identical to what I would do prior to getting on the ice each time. After 90 minutes of ice (10 minutes of skating, 20 at each station) You have a 45 minute break for lunch. Instead of catering lunch this year we are planning on offering 3 menu selections each day from a local restaurant you can order each morning upon arrival and have waiting for you once you’re off the ice or done your workout. If you want something other than what we are offering you’re more than welcome to go out for lunch. Video begins promptly at 1:45 however and I wouldn’t advise missing it as we will have two video coaches on staff this summer cutting clips for us in order to break down the day’s 1st session’s video and use it as teaching points for Group 2 prior to their ice time. After that there is a 15 minute presentation by the day’s gear brand (Warrior, Brian’s, Bauer, Vaughn, CCM) in association with Goalie Monkey where they discuss all the technical aspects of their newest lines of gear and help answer any brand related questions. Following that is a 15 minute goalie specific and situational specific mentality training that I have created drawing from every resource I have come and contact with and found success through, covering a different and important topic each day. After that is a scheduled 15 minute reactivation period where you are encouraged to use any of our training and therapy tools to help get you ready and feeling good prior to your ice session or daily workout with Steve Purvin, my personal summer trainer. Steve informed me he will be joining us on staff for the entire summer, an incredible resource on functional strength and injury prevention we have added to each of this year’s camps. With Steve’s knowledge & the planning we have been doing I am excited to see the changes we can make in people's lives in just 5 days that are easily continued on your own once camp is over.
Speaking of once camp is over, we are working on replacing the hard copy drill books with an online portal which all of our on ice drills + teaching points and videos, off ice/on ice skating warm ups, stretches, workouts, tracking drills, nutrition information, etc is available to Legends Camp students for the remainder of the year to help reinforce the points learned at camp. We are interested in garnering as much feedback as possible as to what you as students would like to see at this upcoming summer’s camps so please feel free to contact us at LegendsCamp@ggsunited.com with any potential ideas & areas for improvement. Looking forward to a 4th consecutive summer of being able to help bring this community of goalies in together to learn and grow together. Thanks for your interest and continued support of the GGSU Legends Camps.
GGSU Legends Camp Director