A “mental test” to start the Habs camp

BROSSARD- As an introduction, the players of the Montreal Canadiens would have liked it to be less exhausting.

The 68 hopefuls present at the opening of the ice training camp on Thursday skated and skated again. Until I’m out of breath. No puck was or even seen around the two rinks used.

TO READ : An unexpected dean at the CH camp | The CH camp begins without Suzuki and Edmundson | Canadiens: Young defensemen fired up

If we had been in the middle of the regular season, we would certainly have been talking about a punishing training session.

The players had been warned for a long time that this first day would not be easy. They validated it afterwards.

« I have a lot of respect for speed skaters, » said the defender Chris Widemanat the end of his round skating session.

« It was a tough test, both physically and psychologically, » he continued. The guys pushed hard. At the end of the day, everyone gave their all and showed they were ready to do anything for us to be successful together. »

These were the main objectives of the exercise: to measure the « mental toughness » of the players and to strengthen the links between them, young and veterans.

Coach Martin St-Louis has made no secret of being inspired by the methods of one of his former coaches, John Tortorella.

“I often did this skating test, he began by saying. The results can give us useful information about how fit athletes are and how to train them.

“But what I like about this test is that the guys go into battle together. This is not a battle with a result, but a mental battle.

“When it hurts, humans are programmed to stop. This test shows how well players are able to win the battle in their heads.

“It also creates a team spirit because the guys push each other. In the last laps of the ice, the guys are in pain, but they support each other, they work hard and they do it with enthusiasm even if it’s hard. »

Respect, accountability and pleasure are at the base of the “culture” pyramid that the new organization wants to establish.

“The notion of culture is broad. Our culture is not necessarily a new one, but we have an exact idea of ​​what it should be, expressed St-Louis. It’s nothing out of the ordinary. It’s common sense. We want to create a family atmosphere. For this, we put forward the values ​​of respect, responsibility and enthusiasm.

“Respect is earned. Responsibility is being accountable for one’s actions and decisions. It’s also about having good work habits. Enthusiasm is one of the important aspects for me. It starts from the top of the organization. If we ask the players to be enthusiastic, we must give them the example. »

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