Thursday, November 7, 2013

Let us only talk hockey in this post

Let us see if it is possible to write a post only on hockey and not mention Floorball a single time (geeze we flunked instantly).

Oh well, A good friend told us to look into the subject of a tool to be used to improve stick-handling - as we love both hockey and stick-handling - we decided to check it out.

Let us first show an interesting clip..

Not bad huh? We decided to check in with the man behind the PEP. Mr Joe Quinn is the father and he had several interesting things to say.

Dear Joe could you please describe the PowerEdge Pro (PEP) and what was it that made you come up with the product - the idea foundation/inspiration behind the system?
For the most part, practices are for the most part, are not fun. Learning SKILLS with pylons is not fun, not engaging or interactive. PEP promotes players to master puck skills and Power Skating techniques while giving players options and freedom to make creative decisions. Once I started this type of training.. I have never been asked by a player..”WHEN CAN WE SCRIMMAGE”!.. Because PEP is fun to train with ..Players are getting the necessary “repetitions” to develop skills.

During the early days of on-ice skills sessions, I would use sticks on top of pylons, wood-4x4s on top of small tires , chairs or anything I could find that would force the player to handle the puck in small spaces. This kind of training, developed the players to handle the puck in High Traffic areas around the net. I wanted a better way than picking up sticks that would fall off the pylons and we started with wood, then metal units and finally invested $500,00 for molds for injection molding and patents for the product we have today today. One of the key functions I wanted was an open lane to challenge my players…especially at full speed. Constant repetitions of pulling the puck through on your forehand or backhand at 25 miles an hour is challenging. The Multi-positional stick was about challenging the player to make decisions and be creative as you grow your skills and confidence.. toe drags, pull throughs, flip overs. Creating the right kind of functionality and resistance was important, so players would have to execute repetitions that require decision making ability, reactionary skills and small area navigation with the puck.

I coached Jr.A in the evenings and was the head instructor at a Private Hockey Academy during the day where we spent 4 days a week on just skill development with PEP. The cost to attend this school was $20,000.00
Of the 51 players we trained, 37 of these players moved on to high levels of Hockey like the OHL and NCAA. 6 of these player were first round draft picks including the young super star Connor McDavid.

Tell us about some of the specific advantages using the PEP? 
Typical ``isolated skills trainings`` in open spaces with no resistance or pucks doesn’t transfer to real game situation like PEP . The resistance is the key. The smaller the space to handle the puck or ball , the more pressure on the player to react. If you want to good in high traffic areas then you need to practice in high traffic areas not open space with no resistance.

Training with PEP is a Major advantage over traditional drill based trainings because of the unique repetitions the players gain. Players in game situation need to execute fakes, dekes, quick change of direction and handle the puck in high traffic areas to score goals or create space.. so how do they work on this in practice?.. How Do you execute fakes and dekes in high traffic with pylons or dots or circles, that offer no resistance to the player. This is why PEP prepares players with real game situation skills!

What are the unique selling points of the PEP?
- Our Competitive Advantage
- Small area skills for “today’s game”
- Innovative-No Comparable product or training
- Unique, patented training equipment
- Rapid skill development through unique training techniques & repetitions
- Constant training and product innovation
- Proven to develop more skills in less time than any Skating or Pylon drills
- Kids love PEP=REPETITIONS ….necessary for any skill development at younger ages

Compared to other training aids on the market how does the PEP match or supersede them?
PEP holds two U.S. Patents and have filed in Europe as well. The functionality of PEP is like no other training Device. Most devices are for off-ice training. PEP is the only on-ice training system of its kind and utilizes 3 different sizes of PEP Trainers with different functions. These devices are set up in a variety of training circuits for balance & agility, stickhandling & puck control, Cycles down low for scoring, Defense specific. Over 28 different layouts..

The ``Crosby on the Fly`` is a great skill drill that we teach with the PEP Trainer and the PEP Freestyle is another favorite of the players where they get to be creative and have the freedom to make their own decisions through the circuit.

Who is using the PEP today?
Amateur players , NHL players from the New Jersey Devils, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Colorado Avalanche, Memorial Cup Champion Halifax Mooseheads and Saint John Sea Dogs of the CHL ,USA National Team Development Program, NCAA Teams, Young stars like Connor McDavid started training with PEP every day from age 10 yrs old.

Team Trainings and our PEP PAKS are very popular with Minor Hockey Associations, high school, prep schools and Pro. Once kids train with PEP , they don`t want to go back to traditional pylon drills. I believe because PEP is fun, interactive and challenging. (Florida Panthers Erik Gudbranson left traditional training and tried PEP… made a huge difference..

We are gaining market share with over 15,000 minor hockey players training with PEP. Ringette teams and Floorball are now wanting to use the PEP system as well for skill development.

Tell us more about how you see the potential market for this kind of an improvement tool?
Small area training is becoming the staple for elite players and teams ..two thirds of the game is in 1 zone now. Teams that have the ability to create space in small areas , have more zone time and ultimately have more opportunities to score. Players that can`t create space down low will have difficulty playing the new game.

We assume this product is made in Canada?
We contract manufacture the product here in the Greater Toronto area.. export to the U.S.A and are looking potential distributors to expand into Europe.

Are there some other of products connected to the PEP or related?.The Ultimate MOBILE TRAINER- Provides all the video resources in an iPad for ease of teaching and on-ice demonstrations of all PEP SKILLS. The Ultimate Mobile trainer puts all of the PEP training system at your fingertips! IT is easy to use and will empower coach`s to develop all players individual skill regardless of their coaching experience. All participating coaches can download the PEP APP to their own tablets as well. The Ultimate Mobile trainer takes hockey training to a whole new level
Ongoing PEP Product Development:
The Power Edge Pro ‘Power Band’ (patent pending). Currently in testing, the band will incorporate passing applications into the training.
The Power Edge Pro ‘Power Stick’ (patent pending). This will introduce a battery operated moving stick with motion sensors that activate the power stick to help improve players ‘reaction skills’. Players will love this challenging feature. This will be a great tool for team trainings and hockey schools.

Any other lessons you want to share?

Players have a puck on their stick an average of 8-12 minutes each practice and less than a minute in a game so playing more games is not the way for more skill development.
One efficient practice will give a player more skill development than 11 games collectively. (Average movement for full practice is approx. 20 mins)

PEP trainings are strikingly different from any training system before it. To meet the needs of today’s hockey of small area play and handling the puck in traffic, here is what you get from a PEP training session:
On average, a player will take 50 shots, executes 45 cross overs, 65 power turns, 55 edge control moves, 45 change of direction movements, 35 balance and agility moves, 75 puck control/stickhandling moves, 45 weak side training moves, 40 transition moves. Players are forced to develop their weak side, no longer favouring strong side transition.
Constant repetitions of maneuvering pucks around, reaching over and through PEP Pro Trainer. Players develop stick and hand /eye co-ordination with speed and precision puck control
Today’s game is about transition, speed and small area dominance with 2 thirds of the game being played in 1 zone.

Thank You Joe!
Hmm, we think parts of this sounds utterly interesting and you know what - We think we might have good reasons to see if we can not run another more applied story on the PEP in a week or two.
Hold out
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Research suggest that eye-injuries are more common in Floorball as compared to Tennis, but less common as compared to Squash (similar to Racquetball).
To minimize this risk of injury Floorballcentral recommend: Use certified protective eye-wear (mandated in many European areas for the youth). Do not lay down on the court. Follow the rules strict on stick height.

Also if you get addicted to this sport - do not blame us!