How do we build the next Sidney Crosby?
We make sure he’s healthy, said Dr. Mark Aubry, Chief Medical Officer for the International Ice Hockey Federation.
“Healthy players can develop skills better than an unhealthy player,” he said yesterday during the Player Skills Development Initiative session of the Molson Canadian World Hockey Summit.
Strength training must be a component of a young player’s development but not until he at least reaches puberty, Aubry said, noting pre-pubescent children don’t have the hormones required to develop muscle.
That doesn’t mean we start pumping them full of creatine, protein powder, HGH or any other supplement that’s hot on the market right now.
“Kids think they need supplements,” Aubry said. “We know that if you do the proper training, you don’t need supplements. We know they’re filled with contaminants anyway. They don’t help and you don’t need them.”
Four of the top-10 scorers in the NHL this year, he noted, weighed less than 200 pounds. It means, he said, a hockey player doesn’t require size and muscle bulk to be successful.
“We have very little doping in hockey because we have skill,” he said. “Hockey is complicated. It’s made up of many skills. We need to show our young athletes that they don’t need to dope to be successful.”
Because children are so influenced by their peers, he said, they need role models from the game to show them the way.
To that end, the Green Puck Project has been developed by the IIHF.
“We had current and former NHL players holding a green puck and in (video) clips saying ‘no to doping,’” Aubry said. “It appeared on the jumbo screens at the world championships this spring.
“We must get the message out to young athletes and we’re developing an online program to promote the project and send to federations around the world.”
At this time, there is no link on the web to learn more about the Green Puck Project. A Google search rendered nothing.