October 7, 2017

Wayne Simmonds

(info about Wayne Simmonds)

Preparation for the hockey season

Thomas Kieller

Photo – Copyright Len Redkoles (Philadelphia Flyers)

Wayne Simmonds: He deflects the puck in front of the net.

Drafted by the Los Angeles Kings where he played his first three seasons, Wayne found his way quite a bit since then. The athletic player succeeded to impose himself in the National Hockey League (NHL) with his actual team, the Philadelphia Flyers. The guy who was born and raised in Scarborough, near Lake Ontario in Canada, never hesitates to give the necessary effort on the ice. He does not stop skating and working in the offensive or the defensive zone. This winger performs at his best in front of the net. In power play, he fights for a position where he can deflect the puck or take a rebound. Also, he has a deceptive shot which can surprise goalkeepers. Besides, on "5 on 5" or with a man advantage, he has scored a total of 120 goals in the past four seasons. He has showed that he can score on a regular basis. The Canadian, nicknamed Wayne Train by teammates and hockey supporters, contributes also to his team by his physical presence in the game. Worker at heart, we can see well that Wayne gives everything on the ice for the Flyers.

The interview was done on October 1st, 2017.

Training of a hockey player during the off-season

Thomas Kieller: When the season finished, you obviously take a break. How long is it? And when do you start back training on dry land and after on the ice?

Wayne Simmonds: Usually after the season, I take a month of break in order to get my mind back. I will not think about hockey. It’s summer time so why not enjoy it. After that period, I will start my drilling training but I usually don’t get on the ice until August. I like to keep the ice time to a minimum during the summer. So, when I get back on the ice, I’m excited and also I’m ready to go all in for the camp.

Thomas: What do you do in a gymnasium concerning your strength and power which are required in the game of hockey?

Wayne: When I go to the gymnasium, I will do it in different phases. At the beginning of the summer, I want my body to get back into shape because I’m a little bit cracked. At least a bit! So, you have to put everything back. From there, I do explosiveness exercises and strength training. In brief, the summer is long so like I said there are many different phases for everything.

Thomas: And off the ice, what kind of drills do you do to increase your agility and speed?

Wayne: For agility, I do a lot of track and field work like cone and drills and also 300 meter runs. It’s more about intervals and stuff like that. It’s almost like a sprint. However, you don’t go actually 100% of your speed.

Thomas: Do you work out your cardio-respiratory system during the off-season?

Wayne: Concerning cardio, it does not come in play until August because you try to build first your strength and power. However, when August arrives, it’s when we do all the cardio. You are jumping on the Airdyne bike and you do some reverse climber exercise. Also, you do more 300 meter shuttles. That’s probably the worst part of the summer for me. Ah ah ah!

Thomas: Concerning your hockey skills, what do you do to improve your hands and puck control?

Wayne: During the summer, we usually do the hockey skills every Wednesday. We have guys who come and they put some fancy stuff down on the ground and we can practice the stick handling like the toe drags, backhand flips and all those things of that nature. I’m actually not the biggest fan of this because those are the boring days for me. I like to hit and do the stuff like that.

Thomas: Then, when the Flyers’ preseason camp comes in September, you are working more on what aspects of the game?

Wayne: When training camp comes, you are still trying to get your lungs. Obviously, I have done some cardio during the summer, but it’s not the same until you are on the ice and skating. We will do some control drills and more hockey structure system. Really when you are in training camp, you want to let the legs going, get the heart rate up and the lungs going in.

Attitude on the ice

Thomas: One of the key elements of the success of a team in the NHL is the defensive play of the group. What do you want to do as a player to contribute concerning this aspect?

Wayne: I think one of the elements in the defensive play in your own zone is hard work. Defence can be characterized on how hard you are working. It is how much pressure you will put on the other team. So, for me, I want to make sure I’m going to work as hard as I can. You always want to be on the right side of the puck and you have to be smart at the same time.

Thomas: What would you like to improve in your game concerning the physical conditioning or about the technical aspects of hockey?

Wayne: You can always get better in your game. I think there is nothing you should be completely satisfied. There is always something I can improve and work at it.

Thomas: Thanks Wayne. Good hockey season!