NEWINGTON, CT -- Although the “dog days” of summer will soon be upon us, the Connecticut Chiefs organization is hard at work preparing for their sophomore season in the Eastern Hockey League.
A major undertaking for the Chiefs is the building of new locker rooms for a trio of teams within the organization.
“There is a lot going on with our facility,” explained head coach Neil Breen. “We have three new locker rooms being built for our top three teams: our Eastern Hockey League team, our EHLP team and our 18U AAA team.”
“The best way to build a program is to treat players the way they deserve to be treated for all the hard work they do to push to the next level. The facility is a big part of that. They spend a lot of time in there so we are sprucing that up.”
The Chiefs have assumed a wing of the building and the locker rooms are an integral part of that area of the facility.
“These are three good sized locker rooms that each have about 30 stalls in them. We are going to set them up so the boys have a great little home at the rink,” added Breen.
Breen has a background as a mixed martial arts instructor and competitor in addition to having served as a strength and conditioning coach in the USHL.
Those experiences will provide his players opportunity in fitness training that may be unique to the Chiefs’ program.
“If you have a group of guys that aren’t really engaged in lifting weights, you can get them going on Jiu-Jitsu and they are having a blast and don’t realize what a great workout they are getting. Over the years I have found that the more non-traditional stuff you do with these guys, the more you get out of them,” offered Breen. “That’s a whole other level of engagement for them.”
“If I was doing it (martial arts training) with groups other than hockey players, it wouldn’t work,” assessed Breen. “Hockey athletes just seem to grasp onto mixed martial arts really easily.”
Breen has been encouraging additional engagement from his team as he has the squad communicating with each other via social media throughout the summer.
“Since camp, the guys have been doing that and the new guys have been jumping on. I will send out messages and get a network of discussions going,” Breen said.
Wanting no part of the lethargy of the summer months, this Chiefs team is engaged and working toward the 2019-20 EHL season.
Follow Jim Smith on twitter @BlueLineNotes.