Wired In

Through technology, Islanders players can communicate with the coaching staff and improve their offseason workouts from anywhere

Wednesday, 07.25.2012 / 3:07 PM ET / News
By Michael Kelley
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Wired In
Islanders players use of video during the summer makes offseason training more effective
Matt Donovan

Islanders players have a whole new way of training this offseason.

With players hailing from around the world, it used to be a challenge for the training staff to communicate with the team during the summer months. Now, players can access instructions for their individualized workouts through an interactive, on-line program run by the Islanders strength and conditioning staff.

In addition to entering stats for each exercise such as weight, reps and time into the online system, players are sending their workout videos to the strength coaches for critique. After studying the workout, the trainers send back instructions on how to improve everything from form to pace.

Director of Sports Performance Sean Donellan believes that the technology in place allows players to get the most out of their workouts year-round.

“Coaching is teaching,” Donellan said. “In order for me to teach, I have to be able to see. What’s been really nice for us this summer is getting the video feed back from the guys so that I can see what they’re doing. I can’t fix it if I can’t see it.”

John Persson

After the Islanders season ended on April 7, most players had about two weeks to unwind and charge their batteries. By April 20, that break was over, and new workouts were in place.

The programs start slow but pick up in intensity as the summer progresses.

“The early part of the program was rehabilitative and restorative in nature,” Donellan said. “Our goal is to get their bodies recovered from the season.”

While the players are all working to get bigger, faster and stronger, each athlete has his own personalized program depending upon age and medical history.

At 22 years old, Josh Bailey is one of the younger players on the roster, allowing the staff to add more volume to his workouts, which target his athleticism.

“Josh is a very good natural athlete,” Donellan said. “One of the things we have to focus on is to re-program these guys on how to be the athletes they used to be. One of the reasons these guys made it here in the NHL is because they were more athletic than their junior teammates. We’re trying to improve his movement skills and improve his overall strength and power to body weight ratio, while also letting his body mature.”

Aaron Ness

Almost three months into his offseason regimen, Bailey has noticed a difference.

“Once you buy into the program, you start to see the results,” Bailey said. “You know what you’re going to get in the workout every day. The last 15 minutes are the toughest and it can be pretty easy to shut it down but those are the times you just have to grind through it and give it your all.”

Donellan spends time refining and scrutinizing each player’s exercises. He watches the videos to make sure players like Bailey are getting the most out of their workouts.

“There are a lot of different exercises to improve your speed and agility,” Bailey said. “A lot of it is very technical and really strict on movements. All of the little things that will make your stride better and loosen up your hips are emphasized.”

Donellan pointed out that while the older players do many of the same exercises as their younger teammates, there are key differences.

Brock Nelson

“While the methodology is consistent, volume and exercise selection are altered,” Donellan said. “The younger guys need more time under the bar and under tension than the older guys do.”

Goaltenders are a whole different case because they rely on different skill sets and muscle groups. Their workouts fulfill those needs.

“With the goalies, they are in their crease all the time, so there is much more lateral and multi-directional movement work,” Donellan said. “They don’t really have the component of linear speed.”

Donellan's offseason program runs through the start of Islanders Training Camp in September, when he transitions the team into his in-season regimen. So although the players won’t all be under one roof for several weeks, they can still train as if there is a coach right there with them.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 6 2 4 3 6
J. Bailey 6 2 3 2 5
N. Leddy 6 0 5 1 5
R. Strome 6 2 1 1 3
K. Okposo 6 2 1 1 3
C. Clutterbuck 6 2 1 2 3
B. Nelson 5 2 0 1 2
N. Kulemin 6 1 1 0 2
L. Visnovsky 4 0 2 5 2
J. Boychuk 6 0 2 1 2
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 3 3 1 .926 2.34
M. Neuvirth 0 0 0 1.000 0.00

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