by Yard Athletics – Oct 8th, 2020
Next up in our spotlight of Yard Athlete Development; Blake Hayward. Currently playing his collegiate hockey in Montreal at McGill University, Blake has been training at the Yard for several off-seasons, continuing to develop at a ferocious pace.
Where did you grow up playing hockey?
I grew up in Kitsilano playing hockey for my local team, the Vancouver Thunderbirds.
When did you realize you wanted to pursue hockey seriously?
I realized from a young age that I wanted to pursue hockey, probably 7 or 8 years old, when my Dad took me to my first Canucks game
How did you first start training with Yard Athletics?
I heard about Ilan and the work that he was doing with athletes at the Yard through a teammate of mine, Gunnar Wegleitner, who trained at the Yard. In 2018 I decided to see what it was all about, and started training with the Yard.
What sort of impact has training with Yard had on your growth as a player?
The Yard has made me a stronger athlete in all areas of my game by focusing on overall strength and full body exercises. By focusing on athletes as a whole while paying attention to hockey specific training, the Yard has allowed me to get stronger in the areas I need, as well as helping me to grow in other areas and become a more well rounded player.
The heaviest squat or deadlift doesn’t mean you’re the best on the ice. How does Yard’s training balance strength with power, agility and fitness?
Although we do plenty of big lifts at the Yard, some of the most important work we do is the speed and conditioning days at the turf, and the agility we do in the gym. Being strong on the ice is important, but being strong without the ability to move is a serious problem for hockey players at high levels. I’ve noticed both my agility and speed on the ice increase as a result of the work I’ve put in at they Yard.
Proudest moment of your hockey career? Worst?
My proudest moment in hockey was winning the World Junior A challenge with Team Canada West in 2017.
Worst moment in my career was losing to Concordia in the 2019 OUA playoffs, devastating.
Who’s got the best chirps on the ice?
What’s next for you in hockey?
I plan to continue my college hockey career until I graduate, then sign a pro hockey contract, and continue training with Yard!