High-Performance Living Symposium Review

One of the things I enjoy doing most is learning from intelligent individuals, who would care less about the sport of hockey. Taking in information and learning outside the constructs of the hockey world allow me to challenge my own assumptions and beliefs, and let me see things from a different perspective.

This past weekend I had the opportunity to visit New York City and attend the High-Performance Living Symposium, hosted by Equinox. The day was full of events where we got to engage industry leaders in movement, nutrition, and regeneration.

Topics of discussion included:

  • the future of high-performance lifestyles
  • nutrition strategies to maximize genetic potential and brain health
  • new findings in sleep science
  • the importance of regeneration, recovery, and pre-covery
  • designing high-performance training programs for greater movement potential
  • facilitating behaviour change

These presenters hold PhD’s, and are highly influential in their respective areas, but like I said, could care less about the sport of hockey. Why is this important to me?!

Interestingly, attending events such as this gives me the unique opportunity to combine cutting-edge research in the area of human performance and potential with my expertise and passion for the game of hockey. My endless curiosity on the best ways to enhance human performance as it relates to hockey is what drives me to understand these heady topics, transform them to digestible and actionable takeaways, and implement them with the players and coaches I work with.

High-Performance Takeaways

  • We may be able to survive on the standard North American diet, but by no means are we thriving on it. Therefore, If you want to be better at anything, it begins at the gut level and the health of our digestive systems.
  • Consistent lack of, or poor quality of sleep will drastically decrease the effectiveness of whatever performance training activities one is participating in. In other words, quality, quantity, and habits surrounding sleep hygiene should be the first area of focus for athletes who wish to excel to the highest levels.
  • Mindfulness, mental training, and improved consciousness (awareness) are highly under-utilized tools that are key to increasing performance. Hopefully (sooner than later..) these tools will become cornerstones in any high-performance athlete’s program.
  • Lastly, we need to shut up and let our player’s free play more. Allow the nervous system to do its job, rather than get in the way of it. Our job as coaches should be to guide our players to discovery and push them beyond their comfort zone. The best coaches don’t necessarily have the best drills; they know how to make the processes the most fun, allow for mistakes, and more learning opportunities.

In Conclusion, applying the above points will be difficult. But if we only stick to the worlds we know and are most comfortable in, we are never forced to adapt and grow. However, in my view, it is our ability to pursue continued growth and exploration that is the essence of high-performance living.

“If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse.”

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