Keeping the Warriors on the ice

Katie Brickman
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Kosolofski prepares players for grind of season

Brooke Kosolofski has a very important, but pretty thankless job.

Brooke Kosolofski, athletic therapist for the Moose Jaw Warriors ran fitness testing at YaraCentre on Thursday morning as training game opened for the team. Submitted photo

Kosolofski is the guy in charge of keeping the Moose Jaw Warriors healthy or getting them healthy again.

The athletic therapist is heading into his first full season with the Warriors after taking over from Curtis Amiot after Christmas last season.

On Thursday, he ran his first fitness testing at training camp for the team at YaraCentre.

“Overall, I think it was pretty good. I think, for the most part, guys are in shape and ready for the season. That is always a good sign,” said Kosolofski.

 The Warriors have 67 players — rookies and veterans — participating in camp this week and there is a high importance of coming in ready and in good shape.

“It is super important for them to come ready. If they come into camp and they have been doing the proper things over the summer, we will definitely be able to speed the process up of coming together as a team on the ice,” said Kosolofski. “I also think the good thing about doing the proper things is that you will prevent injuries. Anytime we can keep guys out of my room, is a good thing.”

During the morning session with Kosolofski at YaraCenre, the players went through six different stations where their height, weight and body fat percentages were measured. They also did a 2.5-mile run, push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, as well as a vertical jump and a long jump. To finish, they did a beep test.

The top three finishers in the beep test were Torrin White, Gianluca Esteves and Tanner Eberle.

The veterans showed off their hard work in the off-season, but Kosolofski was also impressed with how the young players performed at the testing.

“They get thrown right into it, but they get to see, off the ice, where they are at compared to some guys that have played in the league for a few years,” he said. “I thought for the most part, the young guys did great. They pushed themselves. I think when some of the older guys are pushing it, it helps them out as well as they see what they have to do to get to that level.”

Throughout the last couple of years, there has been a big push from the National Hockey League level all the way down for players to do their job in the off-season to be prepared for the long grind of a season.

“I think in the past five or six years, the fitness is always changing and always evolving, but I think it has become more of an issue to come in pretty much at 100 per cent,” he said. “That means you can do your best, so you won’t be a couple strides or steps behind everyone else. It is definitely a huge part of the game today.”

Not only is weight training and skating important for these players, nutrition plays a major part in how healthy they can keep themselves throughout the season.

“Nutrition is a huge part that some guys maybe take for granted about what is going into their bodies. Food gives them the fuel they need to do what they need to do  — on and off the ice,” said Kosolofski. “It is a huge component and between myself and Mark (O’Leary), we are always open to helping the guys and giving them options about what they should and maybe shouldn’t be eating.”

Follow Katie on Twitter @katiebrickman.

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