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Warriors kick off training camp with fitness testing

Players go through regimen designed to gauge overall physical ability, with eye on year-to-year progression and improvement
Warriors camp fitness test
The Moose Jaw Warriors wrap up their fitness testing for 2021 with the beep test, designed to test a person’s cardiovascular ability and V02 max level.
In a normal season, the Moose Jaw Warriors would have taken to the field at YaraCentre for their annual fitness testing regimen with all sorts of data from the previous campaign, offering a solid gauge as to how much growth and improvement players had seen through the off-season.

That time off would normally have only been a few months, and for some players, almost negligible given their training regime.

But two full years have passed since the last round of fitness tests back at the start of the 2019-20 campaign due to the ongoing pandemic. That means for a large portion of the roster in town this week, it was getting a baseline of their abilities. For veterans, a chance to show just how much a difference two years can make. 

And all-in-all, a chance to get the 2021-22 Western Hockey League campaign off on the right foot.

“It’s been a while since we’ve been lucky enough to do this, so it was good to see everyone out there competing and seeing where they’re at getting ready for the season,” said Warriors athletic therapist Brooke Kosolofski .”It was good and it was fun to be back.”

Players were put through a wide range of tests, including both single leg and double leg vertical and long jump, a seated medicine ball toss, 10-metre sprint, the 5-10-5 agility test and the multi-stage fitness run, better known as the beep test.

The events were largely similar to past years, with the goal of comparing a players progression as they grow and age from season-to-season.

“I think it went pretty well,” Kosolofski said of the performances. “With the younger guys not having been at a prospect or development camp yet it was a little bit intimidating, especially seeing the older guys here and not knowing to expect… but they competed, they did the best they could and that’s all you can ask.”

Beyond simple progression, the idea is to have players coming into camp in the best shape possible -- something that not only helps with getting off to a fast start, but also helps safeguard from injury.

“I think whatever work you put in the summer, the better the season is going to be,” Kosolofski said. “And also from a therapy standpoint, if you’re doing the right things over summer you’re going to be stronger for the season and that’s what we’re hoping for.”

You don’t have to look too far into past history to see the kind of effect that hard work can have -- former Warriors forward Tanner Jeannot was a fitness-testing legend, eventually turning that off-season work a 40-goal campaign in his in his final year with the Warriors. Jeannot is projected to crack the Nashville Predators line-up on a full-time basis this coming season.

“That’s kind of how Tanner Jeannot made his mark here at first, he blew things out of the water and put himself on the radar and obviously now he’s doing pretty well for himself,” Kosolofski said. 

Warriors training camp continues with the first Team White practice at 2 p.m., followed by Team Black taking the ice at 3:15 p.m..

Scrimmages will take place at 4 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, followed by games at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday and the Black vs. White Intrasquad game at 4 p.m. Sunday.

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