The National Hockey League imposes challenges on its athletes unlike any other North American sport. The skating, the ice, the boards, the fights — all factors for which baseball, football, basketball, and soccer athletes are never forced to prepare. Which poses an important question: how do NHL athletes prepare for the rigors of the game? No one knows the answer to this question better than the strength and conditioning coaches; the men (and women) whose sole responsibility is producing physically fit and healthy athletes.

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In this video interview, we take an inside look at NHL strength and conditioning from someone right at the center: Mark Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald is the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Anaheim Ducks, currently sitting comfortably among the top teams in the Western Conference of the NHL. Fitzgerlad discusses his own journey through strength and conditioning, which coaches have influenced him the most, and the many factors that must be considered for in-season and off-season NHL athletes.

  • How did you get into strength and conditioning? (0:16)
  •  What are the differences between training hockey athletes verses training football athletes? (4:27)
  • How do you stay in contact with players in the off-season to keep them in shape? (6:40)
  • Does fighting in hockey affect the training of your athletes? (9:18)
  • Who were your influences as you came up in the strength and conditioning field? (11:27)

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