I have been home for about 2 weeks after one of the best "me" vacations of my life. I planned on coming home and telling it all. Drill by drill day by day. Well after coming home to reality I was hit with 2 playful kids that missed their dad, intense work backlog, an earthquake and a hurricane (all very equal in their destructive level). That and after a day at camp the note taking ceased and the beer intake increased…I blame Talbot and Mehnert. I have had a chance to take a breath and reflect and the recent memories, while fading in detail, are still putting a smile on my face. There is so much I could talk about when trying to describe the week. I was like a kid in a candy store. I had never previously been to Minnesota before and now I can't wait to go back. We got to meet and skate with former pros like Steve Jenson and Hall of Famer 2 time cup champ Gordie Roberts. We had unlimited ice (a minimum of 4 hours a day), power shooting range, rink bar, lake access, our own boats, fishing gear, waterslide, water toys (seal island) and so much more. They video tape games and individual power range shooting for daily classroom critiquing. They set up a split screen, with a pro on top half and a camper below, and put it in slow motion so they can break down each individual player. This was awesome as my slapshot went from 56 to 71 by only making 2 small changes. Puck closer to my body and hand placement. Trying to break a lifetime worth of bad habits in a week is tough but the coaches we had were good enough to make it happen. Let me take a moment to talk about the amazing staff. There were 3 groups of adults split up by Group A-C equaling about 70-80 people. Group A and B were about the same level where as group C was the higher level. In hindsight I am extremely glad I decided to stick with group B. We had 6 coaches from all walks of life. From D1 players, international pros, ECHL prospects and a guy that was drafted by the Oilers. They were approachable, knowledgeable, and pretty damn cool. Even better than that they were the best core group of coaches at the camp. They worked well together and could manage 6 stations with about 30 players. They focused on edge work, skating, transitioning, stopping, stick handling, passing, shooting, breakouts, cycling, etc. Refining strong side by pushing the drills with speed and focusing on the weak side until we were comfortable utilizing both sides at speed. I think as a stat chaser my favorite part of it all was tracking personal growth with the radar gun. From shooting to skating, I was impressed with what I could do by the end of the week. I think other campers would feel the same way. I got to meet some very interesting people.
I even meet 2 Canadians I actually liked!! One was a nurse that worked with burn victims and amputees. She scared Mehnert into thinking tubing is the most dangerous sport on the planet. After her stories I agree. She plays in a 76 team all womans league. Damn Canada…damn. I play in a 7 team beer league. The other Canadian was a search and rescue guy. Dude was nuts but in an awesome way. He was the first guy I met at Heartland. Need I say more. The other nutcase we got along with quite well was an IT guy from Colorado. Go figure the Sales guy and the engineer get along. Not to mention he lived about 2 miles from my old house. Small world. I would love to talk more about the camp and break it all down as much as possible. As usual time is an issue but we'll start here and see where it goes. I also have a PDF of the weekly schedule should you be interested. An example of a day in the life of a HH camper looks like this:
9:30-10:45 On Ice
12:30-1:30 Power Shooting
2:00-3:15 On Ice
8:45-12:00 Optional Ice - Bar!
The schedule is pretty intense when you add 30 minutes before and after every ice session for changing. I’ll end the day with some shameless self promotion - personal stats:
Slapshot 71 MPH
Wristshot 63 MPH*
Backhand 45 MPH
Forward skating 23 MPH*
Backward skating 13.8 MPH
Blue line to blue line sprint 2.4 seconds*
*2011 Adult Camp records
Top slapshot was 78 backhand 55 mph and backward skating was around 18.5 mph. I’ll go for those next year ;)
Welcome to my blog!! My goals usually change with the seasons so be prepared for all types of random-ness. This month I am gearing up for Fall and Winter. I like to update this blog as much as possible but usually you see posts around the hockey season. Once and awhile I'll throw out some thoughts just for fun. Feel free to reach out to me at anytime if there is anything I can do for you. Thanks for listening. -Coach Dutton