TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama Hockey has partnered with the kinesiology department at The University of Alabama to create a strength and conditioning program for the first time beginning in the 2016-17 season. The team added two strength coaches in August 2016 who will put the players through various fitness tests to establish their baselines.
John Bierchen, Alabama Hockey head coach, reached out to Mike Esco, a professor and researcher in the UA kinesiology department. Esco recommended Clifton Holmes and Zackary Cicone, incoming doctoral students, to be the new strength coaches for Alabama Hockey, because of their exceptional strength and conditioning backgrounds.
Esco, Holmes and Cicone will work with the team using scientific and practical training approaches to build a strong foundation and increase each individual athlete’s sport performance.
“Up until now, the UA Hockey team has been able to compete at a high level without being the most physically fit or having a properly structured strength and conditioning program,” Holmes said. “By reaching out to us, they are going to get that tenfold.”
Holmes and Cicone will begin the program with six baseline assessment tests in order to know each player’s fitness level. These tests are also important to see where the team is, as a whole, before going into their first game of the season. The coaches will repeat these tests and heart rate variability tests throughout the season to track each player’s fitness improvement.
“Overall, we’re looking forward to giving these young athletes the tools to unlock their full potential,” Holmes said. “The results of this pairing, between the team and the kinesiology department, should be pretty amazing and we can’t wait to see it all come together.”