For many players, sport is more than just a game.
Here in Lacombe, many hockey players tend to follow this creed. For them, and other elite athletes looking to improve their skills in the off-season, there is Breakaway Training.
Breakaway Training, which is currently holding its month-long hockey camp, is a program developed by Lacombian Jason Petrie to help elite athletes.
Petrie said his objective with Breakaway is to help young people reach a higher level of athleticism.
“It’s all about them being in a position where they are physically ready to be their best,” said Petrie. “That’s all I want from them and for them so that they can showcase their talents.”
As such, Breakaway focuses heavily on the physical aspects of sport.
In addition to on-ice training, Petrie also does dry-land training where he works on conditioning with athletes and also helps them develop speed, agility and strength.
Breakaway is more than just a hockey camp.
Petrie said it is difficult to explain, but it is something like a cross between sports camp and personal training. He said that as each individual athlete’s needs are different he needs to tailor different programs for everyone he works with.
“Breakaway Training believes that the athlete comes first,” said Petrie. “The athlete’s needs are central, they are the primary driving force to what I do.”
Having worked with many successful hockey players, some of them now in the NHL, as well as other elite athletes, Petrie said he takes pride knowing he may have helped them towards their goals just a little bit. “It makes me feel good that I had just a little bit to do with it maybe.”
It’s not just hockey players that Petrie works with through Breakaway either. He said that he can develop programs for any sport through knowledge of biomechanics.
Traits like power, speed, and agility are things Petrie can work on with any athlete regardless of sport. He added that the reason he focuses on hockey is simply because hockey is the most popular sport in the area.
Petrie said he came up with the idea for Breakaway Hockey Camp while working with a number of minor hockey teams. He said his son was also going through the minor hockey program, and Petrie looked into some hockey camps for his son to continue building skills during the summer.
What Petrie found was that many hockey camps are good at building skills, but not long or intensive enough. He said that when players enroll in a one-week hockey school during the summer, they build skills during that week, but then lose a lot of what they gained in the weeks spent off the ice before the season begins.
So, Petrie came up with the idea for a longer camp that would be held at the end of the summer. That way, not only do players get to spend more time practicing skills and have a better chance of retaining that knowledge, they also have less time off the ice in between camp and the start of the hockey season.
Petrie added that holding the camp for a month at the end of the summer also gives families a chance to go on holidays before coming back for hockey camp.
He also said that he offers discounted rates for those players who cannot attend the full week of camp.