How Connor McDavid Helps Keep Kids Healthy During Coronavirus Isolation

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Connor McDavid held his fluffy bernedoodle, Lenny, as he did squats, taking an occasional paw in the face while the dog helped in his weight training. These are the challenges of trying to stay in shape while returning home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

” It’s difficult. We don’t know what will happen to the season. But we are doing everything we can to stay ready, “said the Edmonton Oilers star.

It was also difficult for the young athletes. School has been postponed, which has taken away recreation and physical education. The same goes for games and sports for young people. Finding an outlet for fitness can be difficult.

That’s why McDavid and his coach, former NHL striker Gary Roberts, decided to challenge the young fans to stay in shape while trapped inside.

McDavid and Roberts are launching a new series of training videos this week, with episodes appearing on their social media platforms. The 15-minute training sessions for young athletes will include four exercises that can be done at home, with no equipment required. McDavid and Roberts are filming their segments separately, and they will be re-created for each episode.

“It’s about teaching kids how to workout when they just have their bodies,” Roberts told ESPN.

The idea for the series came from Jeff Jackson, McDavid’s agent. Jackson has two children, ages 12 and 13, who recently asked him what type of workout routines they could do when they were homebound. Jackson went to a whiteboard in his house and started to think “four or five exercises for them because they get really sordid,” he said.

“I had the idea that Gary and Connor could create a very simple weekly exercise designed for kids,” said Jackson. “Every mom and dad experiences what we experience. Children play video games or drive their parents crazy. So maybe it’s half an hour of a child’s day. Take their iPad, do the exercises. “

The training videos should be available on the Instagram pages of McDavid and Gary Roberts High Performance Training. Jackson said there have been discussions with Rogers about promoting videos on its TV and digital platforms. NHL content manager Steve Mayer said the league also plans to promote the videos on its platforms. “We are looking to amplify everything that players are doing right now,” said Mayer.

Roberts has earned a league-wide reputation for grueling grueling training with NHL stars. He started coaching McDavid when he was a 15-year-old freak, and his approach in this video series will be similar to his approach of working with young star athletes.

“I still believe in appropriate progress for youth development,” said Roberts. “It is important that you do not skip the steps, so that you can build a solid foundation for life. If you skip steps, you risk injury on the road. This is how we programmed Connor. “

The first step in the process involves many exercises which will be presented in the videos.

“We always care about form first and load second. All of our younger programs are built around bodyweight exercises, “said Roberts. “And believe me, these are difficult: if you do an iso-hold squat for 30 seconds, your legs will tremble. Static strength is good for young people. And then finally you add some load, like with a kettlebell or a weight vest. “

Roberts said the training videos will include interactive elements with young fans, including weekly question and answer sessions and challenges that will allow them to win prizes thanks to Adidas, which sponsors McDavid and Roberts. This will encourage young enthusiasts to train when they are stuck at home. Roberts hopes that watching McDavid can also be an inspiration.

“Connor is a good sport,” said Roberts. “He wants to help young athletes. And not too many guys work like Connor, so I told him to show intensity. Let the children know that if they really do this kind of hard work, it will really help them. That it’s not just trying to find something to do. “

Of course, making an exercise video with a tireless athlete like Connor McDavid also has its advantages for Roberts.

“I made sure I was doing all the exercises I needed to do, and I gave all of the difficult exercises to Connor,” he laughs. “He’s the guy who has to stay ready for the game.”



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