Boxing to Get Better

February 22, 2019

Strength coaches and coaches are always looking for unique activities that are not related specifically to the sport they are coaching, understanding that the more disimilar the activity is to the regular conditioning regimen, the more it will be enjoyed by the athletes.

The Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League have taken on a new conditioning activity this season: boxing training.

“It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I got to Carolina, I was just never given the opportunity to do it,” said head coach Mike Vellucci said in an article on the Checkers website. “[Hurricanes owner] Tom Dundon came in and agreed with me on that right away and said he’d get me the resources to get it done. It’s great that him and [Carolina GM] Don Waddell are on board with it.”

Vellucci had experience with weaving boxing training into his team’s strength and conditioning program, implement the activy with his team when he coached in the Ontario Hockey League.

“I think it’s great for everybody,” said Vellucci. “It’s conditioning, it’s hand-eye coordination, it’s all those little things that add up. Anybody who’s ever gone a three-minute round in boxing, I’ve done it before and not even 30 seconds in I was dying. It’s great conditioning.”

Checkers Strength and Conditioning Coach Ryan Wysocki was quick to get on board with Vellucci's idea of incorporating boxing into the conditioning program. “I think the technique and the ability to throw a punch are really important,” said Wysocki. “It’s more of a self-confidence thing for the younger guys. We’ve got a really young team.”

“It gives you a little more courage and a little more self-confidence to be on the ice and protect yourself,” said Vellucci. “Now if anything ever did happen, you know what to do.”

Wysocki believed the boxing sessions would be a nice change-of-pace for the players as the team got into the heart of the season. “The monotony of, ‘Ok let’s go check Ryan’s board, what kind of exercise are we doing?’ Let’s change it up. It’s perfect. Being able to break things up is huge. It’s a long season.”

“They [the players] have received it very well,” said Vellucci. “We don’t do it every day, we do it when we can when we have some off days. It’s something new for a lot of the guys and they’re really excited to be starting it.

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