Photo by Kurtis Stewart – UltiPhotos.com

This is another installment of the preseason series where we ask Vancouver Nighthawks players how they keep in shape away from games and practices.

Joel Bellevance | Defensive Cutter

1) What is your favourite offseason workout?

My favourite off season workout is getting back on the ice and playing some puck. But I also get pumped up to lift heavy weights all winter. I’m a big fan of Olympic lifts like clean pull or clean and jerk.

2) What do you do during the week aside from games and practices?

I lift twice a week during the season outside of practices, I also will spend some time stretching and using a foam roller to stay loose.

3) What do you do on game day to get ready to play?

On game day I like to relax, have a nice healthy brunch then head to the fields early. I’ll snack on some smaller meals closer to game time. I drink lots of water and maybe see our trainer for some last minute tweaking. The guys usually joke around and have some tunes going while we warm-up our throws.

Alex Davis | Defensive Cutter

1) What is your favourite offseason workout?

‘Favourite’ is a peculiar word to use for a workout, in my opinion. It’s conditioning, not ice cream…

If I had to point to a particular workout that I look forward to though, I would probably choose one of my low-rep, high-set powerlifting sessions. For example eight sets of power cleans at 85% of my maximum, and only one rep in each.

These are not tiring in the traditional sense; unlike intervals, they won’t leave you gasping or writhing on the ground. But the muscles do weaken slightly from one burst to the next, so technique, muscle recruitment, and attention to the task become critical. There is very little margin on power cleans. They are very much a pass-or-fail kind of activity; either you summon the power to elevate the bar or you do not. With that, there comes a certain purposeful clarity of focus and a gambler’s thrill, wondering whether I’ll succeed once more or if I’ll miss.

2) What do you do during the week aside from games and practices?

Aside from work, or administering Ultimate in various capacities, at this time of year I engage in mostly plyometrics, throwing sessions and yoga. These help me strike a balance to maintain my explosiveness, skills and flexibility without incurring excessive volumes of running. Games of Scrabble also feature prominently.

3) What do you do on game day to get ready to play?

Whenever possible, I try to ensure that I don’t have a busy day beforehand. I like to spend it relaxing, visualizing and even playing video games (which, not unlike athletics, require focus, decision-making and a competitive urge). I don’t eat large meals, but I usually snack comfortably and uniformly throughout the day, neither going hungry nor surprising my system with a rush of carbohydrates. I do make sure I am well hydrated. As the game approaches, I bundle myself up regardless of the weather and focus on gradually elevating my core temperature.

Rumi Tejpar | Offensive Handler

1) What is your favourite offseason workout?

Testing day. All the hours and effort can culminate on testing day to see how much heavier you can lift and how much stronger you’ve gotten. Then on top of that, moving large amounts of weight is always fun.‎

2) What do you do during the week aside from games and practices?

‎I lift 3-4 times a week (including plyometric workouts), sprint train twice a week and play squash between one to three times a week. Also, although I’m absolutely terrible, I’ve started playing a bit of ice hockey too!

3) What do you do on game day to get ready to play?

Considering I’m a rookie, I’m not too sure how I’m going to approach the one day, one game setup of our games. For tournament-related big days I generally take the day off before by lowering the volume of whatever workouts I’m doing. That being said, I think the approach this year will be one where the biggest changes to my schedule will be on game day itself and the night before. A big thing for me is diet. I always have trouble eating enough, so stuffing myself is always a focus. Moving on to pre-game mental prep, I like to visualize and get a ton of throws in so that there’s no inner dialogue during the game about whether I should or shouldn’t, can or cannot do something. I just do it.

The Nighthawks home season opens in Vancouver against the San Francisco Dogfish at the University of British Columbia’s Thunderbird Stadium on Easter Sunday, April 20.

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