Tag Archive : camisetas de equipos baratas

Soccer or football as people in the British region like to call it is an amazing and thrilling sport. I mean for us fans; soccer is literally in the air. Even if you're a fan of Messi, Ronaldo, and Rooney or just inspired by the famous Sir Alex Ferguson, the fact is that soccer has a special place in all our hearts and when it comes to this sport, all of us are a little sentimental. So for all the soccer fans out there, we have a special gift for you. Just For you, we have compiled a list of the best soccer stadiums around the world that are totally a sight to see. So pack your bags, and plan a trip to these places to get an eyeful on the world's best soccer stadiums while getting low price flight tickets at the same time.

1. Wembley Stadium, London:
With the ability to seat more than 90,000 people at the same time, this stadium is truly the grandest and most fashionable stadium in the world. Usually training ground and home of the English national football team, this stadium has been known to host notable events such as Champions League finals and Olympic Finals as well. Originally built in 1923, this stadium was renovated and opened again for public use in the year 2007. Its design and architecture as well as its geographical location make it the center for the world of soccer.

2. Camp Nou, Barcelona Spain:
This stadium originally had the capacity to hold 120,000 people which had to be reduced due to the change in regulations after the 1982 world cup. Currently it can hold up to 98000 football supporters at one time. This stadium mainly comes under the domain of FC Barcelona which is believed to be more than a football club. Visiting the stadium, you'll be able to see a detailed history of the development of the club on the walls. What's more is that football legends such as Maradona and Messi have played on the fields of this club.

3. Old Trafford, Manchester England:
This place, nicknamed the theater of dreams, is the home ground of one of the most famous teams of the world – Manchester United. This is where your dreams come true and if you're looking for some motivation in life then this is a place you should definitely see. It portraits the story of the fallen team of Manchester United and how they reformed from the ashes of the old.

Now that you have our take on the world's best soccer stadiums, we suggest you wear your running shoes and take a trip to the heart of the soccer world. And while you're planning your trip make sure you get yourself low price flight tickets.

Soccer can never be complete without the perfect trainers and that is exactly what Adidas Samba Trainers do – complete the game. These indoor soccer-training shoes have been one of the very popular shoes from Adidas in the recent times. It is known to have sold over 35 million pairs throughout the world.

The Samba trainers from Adidas are only second to the very popular Adidas Stan Smith and have several color that you can choose from. Although it comes in varied colors and shades, the trainers with the classic black with three white stripes is what seems to have caught everyone’s notice. Those are more popular than any other color Adidas has produced. The distinguishing feature of these pairs of trainers is the tan gumsole. This is what makes it different from the other shoes Adidas has produced.

A little history about Adidas Samba Trainers

The idea behind creating the Samba Trainers was to be able to train football players on icy hard grounds. First produced in 1950, the shoe originally sported the design with the classic three stripes and the gold trefoil on the foldable tongue. It gained popularity from the very first day it was introduced to consumers. However, with time, the design of the shoe also progressed and it evolved into what came to be known as Samba Millennium. This new design was made without the extended tongue. Another version of the trainers came up that was known as the Samba ’85.

Although the Samba trainer has still evolved in design and features, classic models of the Samba ’85 are still in production. However, it has changed a little in name. It is now called the Samba M.

The design architecture of Samba Trainers

The trainers are made of comfortable fabric that is easy to the feet. Only high quality material is used to shape up the very popular trainers. When designing these shoes, a very important thing that must be kept in mind is the comfort level. It must be comfortable on your feet as well as strong enough to withstand the atrocities of the sport. These Adidas trainers well conform to these rules.

When designing the Adidas Samba Trainers, the design architects take care that the shoes are supportive while still allowing it to function in a normal manner. They have been structured so that they are not just lightweight but also provide stability when used. The latest design allows the forefoot and the rear foot to move freely.

Materials used in designing the shoes are traditional fabrics, which are used to reinterpret the iconic styles incorporated in the Adidas trainers. Many of the shoes are often hand-woven, hand-dyed or hand-stitched. The idea behind this is to represent a more traditional value.

It is true that the sneakers from Adidas are extremely popular and history has proven it. It wins millions of hearts through its simple yet stylish design. The best part of these sneakers is that they work well with any kind of style. The Adidas sneakers are today often used for training, futsal as well as street play. However, they are most popularly worn as casual wear because of their smart and stylish look. If you are on the lookout for stylish footwear to go with your new jacket, these Samba trainers could be your answer.

One of the hottest trends to hit the fashion world these days is the over the knee socks and wearing these socks can either make you look very trendy if you know how to wear them or make you look out-of-sorts if you don’t. There are a lot of different kinds of knee highs or over the knee highs that you can choose from and knowing which one to wear and how can make you look fabulous. If you want to look trendy and in fashion, you may want to follow a few pointers about how to wear these kinds of socks and what not to do with them:

  • When wearing this kind of an accessory, try to make sure that your socks are color coordinated with what you are wearing. Do not try to mix printed or patterned socks with printed or patterned clothing. If your clothes are printed or patterned, go with plain socks. If you are wearing monochromatic clothes, you can spruce this up with a bit of color by wearing colorful and patterned pairs.
  • Don’t wear these with short shorts unless you are out to shoot a music video or trying to look like you are going to play soccer or some similar sport. Wear these pairs with short or long skirts, depending on your mood or on the weather.
  • Never wear these socks with open toed shoes unless these are sheer and paired with a feminine number. Always wear these with close toed shoes and try to avoid wearing flats with these if you want to avoid looking juvenile.
  • Always choose the right fit socks. If socks are too tight at the knees, they may make your legs look like sausage links. If these are too loose, they may keep you from walking around comfortably without having to pull them up occasionally to keep them in place.

In Volleyball, Sand Socks are worn when you play on a beach. You can also play indoor volleyball on sand, in courts that are sectioned off by nets. The socks are designed so that you don’t physically touch the sand, and to give you extra traction. I know a lot of people that don’t like walking on sand because it gets in between their toes. Sand also has limited traction. When you are running along a beach, probably about 15% of your energy is wasted as the sand slips away. What this means is that any extra traction or grip that you can get when playing beach volleyball is very valuable. These kind of socks have been around for quite some time now, but have only recently become more popular.

You can buy these sand socks in a few different colours, and they are often moulded around each toe for extra comfort. These socks keep the sand away from your feet and provide that extra traction. Sand Socks have other benefits too. If you are playing in a climate where it is cold, they help to keep your feet warm. There is nothing worse than playing a sport which involves a lot of running around and not being able to feel your feet. Contrary to this, many countries have weather that will burn your skin within an hour if you are not wearing sunscreen. Rather than putting sunscreen on and then having sand stick to you, people choose to wear the sand socks.

This stops the sun from burning their feet, and they are very comfortable too. Sand Socks are not just used in Volleyball; they are used for many other sports that are based around the beach. Beach Soccer (or football) is a great example of this. They are also used for snorkelling and SCUBA diving.

Real Madrid is one of the few clubs in the world with the highest budgets. But will it be enough to survive? Or will soccer be the next area, after finance that will face problems? It is possible. Money or finance is not always enough to achieve the right results.

Management of a team (or department) is often part of a whole (organization). If one team doesn’t perform well that doesn’t mean the management is inadequate. Perhaps the problem resides in the complete organization.

Replacing a coach won’t always be enough to change the course of events…

That is my problem with Real Madrid: the image of a club that can buy it all, but is not performing as such.

The question is whether a club can always be number one. I actually agree with Schuster, when he explained to the press that Barcelona is playing very well, this is the year of Barcelona and RM can only to their best. Was he too much of a pessimist? Was he too foolish to address the press like that in Spain? Was he playing with them, and With Barcelona who they will meet in “the Derby” this coming weekend? If you tell the press and the world that you are confident that you will win, how will that affect the rest of the stakeholders?

Real Madrid won the title in Spain last year. Today Schuster got fired. Very likely because of the way how he addresses the press. There was no change in this handling the press for the year-and-a-half. Why bother about it now?

I must think about a BMW. It stands still in front of a red light. The engine is off. Will it be fast enough when the light switches to green? Is the German approach compatible with the Spanish culture?

I think it doesn’t matter replacing Schuster for the trainer of Seville Juande Ramos. It will – I reckon – not help the club.

The unbalanced number of Dutch Players is another issue. It seems to me that RM is copying Barcelona who has done that before. Think also about how many players of the club are injured. Only time will solve this deadlock. Time will be needed to change. Replacing a trainer won’t do it. I fear.


A replica football shirt is defined as an (official) copy of a kit. In the UK it is a huge business. According to a BBC report from August 1999 about price fixing in the replica shirt market, it was then worth £ 210m – I've not found anything more recent apart from a report by a German company Sport + Markt (www.sportundmarkt.de) which found that at Summer 2008, the top 116 teams in Europe earned 615m euro from marketing. What what 'marketing' includes alongside replica shirts is not stated (I only looked at the free summary of the report), however it's interesting to note that the report also states that English fans spend the most (an average of 65 euro each per annum) and that Nike and Adidas account for 80% of the total number of replica football shirts manufactured. The recent take-overs by Adidas of Reebok and then by Nike of Umbro should further serve to underline just what a huge market it is.

Of course it was not ever so. In the good old days any old red shirt could indicate that you were a Liverpool or a United fan. A dark blue would indicate either Everton or Chelsea. There were only certain teams which deviated – Arsenal had those white sleeves and Blackburn Rovers played in their blue and white halved shirts. But then things began to change. At Coventry City, Jimmy Hill realized the kit was something more than just a uniform to wear on the pitch and he introduced the first ever kit of just one color (other than white) as they changed from their hitherto mostly dark blue shirts with white shorts to a kit of all sky-blue. Bill Shankly only adopted all red for his Liverpool side in 1966-66 – 3 years after Coventry's all sky-blue affair.
Moving into the 1970's Leeds United, who'd changed from their traditional colors of blue and gold to all white in the early 1960's, were the first club to offer their fans the chance to buy replica kits in 1975 as part of their deal with kit supplier Admiral. When Don Revie left Leeds to take over as England Manager the national team entered into a similar arrangement with Admiral. Things really took off when Liverpool became the first club to wear a sponsor's name on their shirts following their 1979 deal with Japanese electronics manufacturer Hitachi. Here's a list of prominent English clubs and their first identifiable kit manufacturer and sponsor:


Umbro (1978/79)

1981/82 (JVC)


Admiral (1974/75)

n / a


Umbro (Aug – Dec 1973) then Admiral

1981/82 (RFW)


Umbro (1973/74)

1979/80 (Hitachi)

Man Utd

Umbro from 1955

1982/83 (Sharp)

Newcastle Utd

Bukta (1974/75)

1980/81 (Scottish & Newcastle)

The purchase of a replica football shirt nowdays represents no small investment for the average fan. Of that 65 euros spent on average by an English football fan on merchandising, a fair chunk is devoted to that all important replica shirt. Whether there's a better way of supporting your team of course is a moot point – in fact it always (well since 1975) has been.

Winning at soccer starts with your feet! What’s on your feet? Whether you need soccer shoes or soccer cleats for men’s, women’s or youth divisions, or whether you are a beginner or an enthusiastic travel player, there are factors to consider when buying soccer shoes or cleats. Particularly, what kind of traction and control do you gain, and which are the types of fields on which you’ll play? This brief guide provides you with answers to these questions. After all, success on the field will come from examining the best soccer player’s greatest weapon: his feet.

Know Your League Regulations

Leagues require you to wear the proper soccer shoes or cleats during practice and play. You can check with your coach or local league association for details. Also, take your coach’s suggestions for the right shoes for your practice field, and inquire if any league regulations are in process to change. Before spending a bundle on your soccer shoes, check your league regulations regarding shoes and the key one’s are summarized here:

  • The National Collegiate Athletic Association: “Shoes shall be worn by all participants in a game. Shoes with soles containing aluminum, leather, rubber, nylon or plastic cleats, studs or bars, whether molded as part of the sole or detachable, are allowed as long as the referee does not consider them dangerous. The NCAA allows metal soccer cleats in addition to soft or hard rubber cleats.”
  • High School Soccer: Each state, local section and league creates some unique rules. A rule that is generally accepted and enforced by them is set by the National Federation of State High School Association. It reads: “The bottom edge of the cleat may not be higher than two inches above the ankle.”
  • Boys’ and Girls’ Youth Soccer: The standard regulations for Youth Soccer confirm that screw-in cleats and cleats from other sports may not be used. In addition, metal cleats are not allowed for safety reasons.

Shoe Construction and Materials

With soccer’s worldwide popularity and the game’s strong competition, research and development for better soccer shoes is always on-going. The result are shoes that are a perfect combination of improved features and new technologies. Their main materials of construction are:

  • Rubber or TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane, a very elastic plastic) produces superior traction which is especially good for grassy playing fields. This is the most common material in soccer shoes due to its ability to prevent slipping.
  • Leather provides breath-ability, strength and durability for soccer shoes. Soft leather provides a comfortable feel when dribbling or shooting the ball. Comfort and fit increase with each use. Leather is extremely flexible and it wicks away more water and moisture than synthetic shoes.
  • Synthetic blends are great for all levels of soccer, and shoes made of them are easy to clean and dry out. These types of shoes generally include a water treatment to help the cleat last longer under poor playing conditions, including wet grassy fields.

Youth Soccer Shoes

Young soccer players need footwear that provides ventilation, durability and the feeling of stability and protection. Youngsters should choose molded cleats for safety reasons since the bottom of the shoe is rubber, not metal. So, check out the soles for the regulation rubber cleats that provide traction and stability.

Although an adolescent or teenager is still growing, buy a shoe that fits. A shoe that is too big can cause blisters and sprained ankles. A snug fit is the right fit, and when the shoe is outgrown in size, buy the next size so you don’t affect the growth of the feet. To get the right size in the first place, try on the soccer shoes with soccer socks and shin guards to guarantee a proper fit. The shoes should be snug at the top as this will allow for better control of the ball when passing, dribbling and shooting. As the shoes get worn in, the uppers will stretch and become more comfortable. Keep in mind that leather stretches and then molds to the foot so this is a good choice for growing feet and stability.

Men’s and Women’s Soccer Shoes

Men’s soccer has produced many stars known for their speed and power. Even before the popular film, Bend It Like Beckham, the women’s game, too, is equally represented by soccer stars known for their agility. In order to achieve the skillful edge necessary for the success of our soccer heroes, both men and women players need soccer cleats that maximize mobility while providing full foot protection. Generally, soccer cleats are usually narrower than other types of athletic shoes and this supports greater control of the ball. To guarantee that you get that winning support when buying a new pair, lace the shoes up tightly and walk around to make sure that the inner seams don’t irritate the foot but give that tight fit. Since having the proper footwear will be men’s or women’s players best ally on the field, new technological advances give us the ability to provide soccer cleats that have superior traction and control without sacrificing speed or flexibility.

The world of soccer shoes has evolved and whether you play indoor, outdoor, or on artificial turf, there are soccer shoes that are right for your feet with a fit crucial to your performance. Here is a brief guide to the types of soccer shoes targeted to the various surfaces the game is played upon:

Firm Ground/Molded Soccer Cleats

These shoes are perfect for beginning to advanced soccer players since they are versatile for most field types and various conditions. They are designed for all surfaces and allow you to keep your footing while making quick turns so you can possess the ball with ease. It is formed on the bottom to help provide traction and control. The cleats come in different patterns, but the cleats themselves are always made of non-detachable hard plastic or rubber. They work well on a traditional grass field and turf. The non-removable molded studs are in either a circular or blade shape and these shoes have between 10 to 14 of these individual cleats in locations critical for pivoting and traction. The cleats are harder polyurethane in the tip for durability. Softer cleats are at the sole and stud base for less pressure on the foot.

Soft Ground/Removable Soccer Cleats

The intermediate to advanced soccer player can play in these on soft surfaces. In fact, they are better for players with more experience who can tailor the removable cleats to their playing field and weather conditions. The removable studs allow players to adjust their length depending on how muddy the field is and how slippery the conditions are. The studs on the bottom can be screwed on and off and replaced easily, and players can choose between metal or plastic studs. The studs are designed so that they are widely spaced to prevent mud from clumping. Most models have four studs under the ball of the foot and two to four studs under the heel.

Indoor Soccer Shoes

Flat-surfaced outsole shoes provide greater grip and traction, and the control and foot traction for lateral cuts and pivots. Speed, traction, and ball control are important for the indoor game. These shoes have light construction and this enables a good feel for both the turf and the ball itself when passing or shooting. The indoor game involves a lot of quick cutting from side-to-side, and lighter shoes are critical for these movements. The shoes are durable, with real leather or synthetic leather uppers and strong stitching designed to withstand regular ball contact and other impacts.

Hard Ground Cleats

The hard ground cleats perform best on a hard, dry-grass field or synthetic grass. They provide players with superior traction and are most useful in dry conditions when fields may not be watered adequately. They feature molded round plastic studs that are much shorter and they have more studs than firm ground cleats. Studs on these cleats rest on the top of the playing surface to provide traction without digging into the ground. The hard ground cleats most often have a dozen shorter circular studs with a group of four near the toes, four between the ball of the foot and arches, and four in the heels.

Artificial Turf Shoes

For artificial turf, non-stud shoes have specialized rubber soles geared toward either playing indoor soccer or playing on artificial turf. The shoes contain various raised patterns on the bottom in place of studs. These are generally good training shoes that can be a back-up game pair for hard-surface conditions.

To sum up, your soccer shoes and soccer cleats are an extension of you on the playing field, so find a style and colors that reflects your personality. Some cleats have a new stud shape which allows increased stability and improved lateral movements. For this sport of concentration, precision, team work and speed, your soccer shoes or cleats will give you the skillful edge necessary for success, and such new technologies and materials will maximize your mobility and provide outstanding foot protection. Now it’s onto the field to break in new cleats and to break old records!

(c) 2012 Elizabeth McMillian

The events of history have been documented as an objective form of non-fiction throughout time. The way in which historians compose these events is termed historiography. Historiography in its simplest terms is a historical form of literature. A more accurate description of historiography is that it is the principles, theories, or methodology of scholarly historical research and presentation. It is also the writing of history based on a critical analysis, evaluation, and selection of authentic source materials, as well as composition of these materials into a narrative subject. It is the study of how historians interpret the past. Historiography is a debate and argument about previous and current representations of the past. Historiography is present in all historical works big and small. The notorious Peace Conference of 1919 has received its fair share of historiography. There are many viewpoints and interpretations of the ins and outs of the peace conference by vast numbers of historians; the historical works that will be focused on in this composition are The Illusion of Peace: International Relations in Europe 1918-1933 by Sally Marks, The Peace Conference of 1919 by F.S. Marston, Great Britain, France, and the German Problem 1918-1939 by W.M. Jordan, and Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World by Margaret MacMillan.

The extent as to which the conference was discussed varies by historian. Sally Marks’ The Illusion of Peace, is broken down into six chapters that focus primarily on peace. These chapters are titled The Pursuit of Peace, The Effort to Enforce the Peace, The Revision of the Peace, The Years of Illusion, The Crumbling of Illusion, and The End of All Illusion. For the sake of this composition we will focus on chapter 1, The Pursuit of Peace, which deals primarily with the Peace Conference. Marks begins The Illusion of Peace by stating that “major wars often provide the punctuation marks of history, primarily because they force drastic realignments in the relationships among states.” F.S. Marston chose to take a slightly different route in recording the occurrences of the Peace Conference in his The Peace Conference of 1919. Marston’s main focus was not on the concept of peace itself but the actual procedure of the Peace Conference. In the preface of The Peace Conference of 1919, he states that his purpose for writing the book was because “there was an obvious need for an objective analysis of the organization of the Conference.” Marston breaks The Peace Conference of 1919 into eighteen chapters. These chaoters go into great detail about the characteristics of the conference. The book begins with “The Paris Peace Conference was a unique gathering of the nations. We are still perhaps too near it and too deeply involved in its consequences to make a final appraisal of its work.”

Another perspective to be discussed is that of W. M. Jordan in Great Britain, France, and the German Problem 1918-1939, which is divided into seventeen chapters. These chapters discuss everything from the concepts of peace of 1914-1918 to the European framework of territorial settlement. Professor C. K. Webster states in the foreword of Great Britain, France, and the German Problem that “this study makes painful but salutary reading. It faces relentlessly certain facts which have produced the world in which we live now. It is objective, and the author has taken the greatest care to be as fair to France as to Britain.” The last perspective to be discussed is that of Margaret MacMillan, who, by far, presents the most information on the Peace Conference out of the previous listed historians. Her Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World, has eight parts and thirty chapters. In the foreword written by Richard Holbrooke, it is stated that MacMillan’s account of the seminal event in Paris 1919 contains several success stories, but is measured against the judgment of history and consequences.

Marks begins, early on in the Illusion of Peace, discussing the sudden collapse of Germany and the surprise it caused to the victors. The defeat of Germany was so prevalent in the minds of the Allies that they failed to consider planning the peace that follows after war. Marks stressed that what little peace planning that was in progress was not even close to being considered effective. She states that out of all of the major Allies, the French were the closest to being the best prepared for matters of peace. She gave the reasoning behind this to be that the French had a predetermined notion of what mattered to them and were less than interested in what occurred on a global scale. Marks writes that the American standpoint on peace was obscured by President Woodrow Wilson’s highly ambiguous Fourteen Points, which are ideally good points, but from a realistic standpoint face a difficult time being implemented because of their complexities.

As for the location of the Peace Conference, Marks writes that Paris was not the ideal place for such a conference. Paris was considered a poor location because “wartime passion [ran] higher there than any other location” and the capital was in no condition, after four years of war, to provide lodging and other important amenities to the leaders. In the first chapter, Marks, uses Erich Eyck’s A History of the Weimar Republic to support information on the relationship between the Allies and Germany. She also discusses the fatal influenza that was sweeping across Europe and the rest of the world. During this discussion, Marks writes that Germany was fortunate in that its people were not starving like the rest of the war torn countries. As for the actual conference, Marks writes that “When the conference finally got down to business, it functioned very haphazardly. Much of the work was done by committees.” She elaborates on this statement by stating that several things played a major part in the haphazardness of the decisions made. Some of these things included influence and idiosyncrasy, and personality and prejudice. When dealing with the League of Nations, Marks writes that provided the circumstances of such damaging characteristics the League was set up to fail and the creation of such a thing presented a misleading illusion of peace that was impossible to achieve.

In Marks’ recordings of the Treaty of Versailles, she explains that the treaty has been criticized a great deal throughout history and deserves to be because of its numerous inadequacies and lack of attention to “economic realities.” Marks writes that despite the criticisms for the economic aspects of the treaty, great care had been taken in the preservation of economic units by the Allied leaders. She presents several different views of certain events in order to provide the reader with as much objectivity as is possible. She explains that despite what has been recorded or despite popular belief, there is always room for argument as to what was and was not effective during the Peace Conference of 1919. The last pages of The Illusion of Peace are dedicated to a chronological table of the events that took place before, during, and after the Peace Conference. There is an extensive bibliography that includes documents and official publications, such as the official journal of the League of Nations, and diaries, letters, and memoirs, such as David Lloyd George’s Memoirs of the Peace Conference. An extensive number of secondary sources were used in addition to several periodicals as well. The last component of The Illusion of Peace is Marks’ notes and references. All in all, this account of the Peace Conference of 1919 was presented in an unbiased and informative manner.

F. S. Marston took on the role of composing a historical rendition of the organization and procedure of the conference in The Peace Conference of 1919. Marston’s position on the organization of the conference is as follows: “The following pages will show the extent to which the throwing away of the fruits of victory twenty-five years ago was due to premature relaxation of effort and failure to make immediate use of the organization that had been so laboriously developed.” One of the first things included in The Peace Conference of 1919 was a chart depicting the general organization of the conference. The Council of Ten is the center of this chart, which branches out into the sub-councils, which in turn branch out into smaller more centralized committees. Marston describes the conference in relation to earlier conferences and events. According to Marston, the most critical development that occurred in the year 1917, just two years before the Peace Conference, the Supreme War Council was formally established. Marston includes references from General Bliss to reiterate a fact about the war council and its roles. The primary function of the council was to monitor the conduct of the war, but it also acted as a political body.

After discussing the Supreme War Council, Marston proceeds into discussing the Armistices in chapter two. Within the first paragraph, Marston writes that “The main background to the peace negotiations of 1919 was foreshadowed by the German Note of 4th October asking President Wilson to take the necessary steps to secure a suspension of hostilities.” The bulk of Marston’s information is based on times, dates, and locations. Chapter two does not focus so much on who did what, but rather when the event took place and for how long did the event last. Marston jumps from the Armistice to the Conference in chapter three and in chapter four. He begins chapter three by discussing the importance of the time interval between the Armistice and the Peace Conference. “It was a time of intense diplomatic activity, but of very little tangible progress, preparation for the Conference being combined with complete uncertainty as to the exact point at which it was to take charge of the negotiations” writes Marston.

In the remaining chapters Marston continues to explain and present the organizational characteristics of the Conference in great detail. The very last chapter is titled Retrospect and includes Marston’s view on how the Peace Conference of 1919 has affected the world and how it will continue to leave its mark. He writes “The Peace Conference of 1919 must certainly occupy an important place in the long succession of similar gatherings, if only because of the scale on which it was organized.” Immediately following the Retrospect, is the Chronology. Marston’s bibliography includes documents, diaries and letters, and general works, followed by his many references. He presents the information about the Peace Conference critically at times, believing that the conference was inadequate in performing the duties it was set to perform.

The perspective of W. M. Jordan, in Great Britain, France, and the German Problem 1918-1939, is one that focuses on disarmament, reparation, and security during the events surrounding the Peace Conference and the events of the Peace Conference. Jordan admits to omitting information that strictly “belongs to the history of this central problem.” As with the historical works discussed previously, Jordan begins chapter one, titled Concepts of Peace: 1914-1918, discussing the events that led up to the Peace Conference of 1919. He focuses on the breakdown of the Versailles settlement among other things. Jordan quotes several key people in the events of 1914-1918. One such person, was an American writer or European origin. This writer, according to Jordan, stressed the President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, was held at esteem by the British because of his principles of idealism. Jordan discussed that “the idealism which inspired the Allied cause in the Great War of 1914-1918 was, in the first instance, the achievement of British Liberalism.” This war was inadvertently a war for democracy. Jordan presented the idea that it is important to understand that the war was not directed at the German people, rather at the Prussian military caste that was controlling them. Jordan also presents two more reasons for the war: the war was meant to liberate nations and become a war to end war. Jordan includes excerpts from Lloyd George’s speeches to convey this message. He focuses a great deal on President Woodrow Wilson’s role in the quest for peace. When discussing the Fourteen Points, Jordan admits that they are too well known to need to be quoted.

In chapter two of Great Britain, France, and the German Problem, Jordan discusses the fact that “historians have paid little attention to the preparation of the document signed on 11th November 1918, which set out the military and naval terms with which Germany was required to comply as a condition of the suspension of warfare.” The purpose of this chapter was to study the political implications of the Armistice. This document started the ball rolling on the Peace Conference. The major players in the composition of the Armistice were Haig, Foch, and Bliss. Jordan discusses that the study of the conflicting views of the three men reveals that the problems with the armistice’s military terms were not of a military order, but of a political order. During this discussion, Jordan presents the reader with several questions of the actions of the three men. It is also, in chapter two in which Jordan opposes the notion that the armistice was drafted mostly from President Wilson’s policy. He states, “The claim is hardly well founded.”

The subsequent chapters of Jordan’s Great Britain, France, and the German Problem, discuss the actual Peace Conference and the results of the conference. Chapter 3 is titled The Conference and the Treaty. In the opening paragraph, Jordan gives a description of what to expect from the chapter. According to Jordan, the Peace Conference’s course of negotiations in relation to the main aspects of the settlement between Europe and Germany is “given separate consideration” in the concluding chapters. Jordan believes that the chronological order of the Conference’s sequence of events is broken up by such an arrangement. He writes, “It may be desirable to preface this chapter by a short composite account of the negotiations in 1919.” Jordan also records the illnesses of the conference’s key players in chapter three. He describes how President Wilson falling ill played a part in changing the speed of the conference. Lloyd George began to lose hope for a quick resolution after Wilson became ill and was not able to participate in the Council of Four.

Jordan goes to great lengths to remain objective in his descriptions of the personal characters of the leaders. He uses a great amount of quoted material from Lloyd George, President Wilson, and Clemenceau. There is a rather lengthy excerpt from a speech given by Clemenceau on December 29, 1918. This speech was Clemenceau’s response to a challenge by Albert Thomas on the eve of the Conference. Jordan is full of questions about the events of the Conference; on every page there is a question or some form of insight presented to be pondered upon by the reader. Jordan presents the perspective of several different countries during the Conference. He discusses the plight that France faced as a result of the Treaty of Versailles. Jordan writes, “France is now left to bear alone the brunt of German resentment. She must insist on the payment or reparation; she must protect the new settlement against disturbance by Germany.” Jordan explains that Great Britain’s opinion of the Treaty of Versailles was condemning and spawned many debates. In describing the views of the Treaty, Jordan presents the idea that worrying over the criticism the Treaty of Versailles was receiving, necessitated too much digression and is unessential. He focuses on the misjudgment of the purpose of the Treaty. He writes, “That the Treaty had been conceived in the wrong spirit-this was the more general and the more trenchant charge.” In discussing the Treaty, Jordan includes his evaluations of many historical works, one of which was Economic Consequences of the Peace by J. M. Keynes. He focuses his attention on two passages of which he claims come to the conclusion that the Treaty was “incompatible with the economic prosperity of Europe.” Jordan stresses the idea that Mr. Keynes’ economic criticisms were embedded in political philosophy. Jordan provides a historical work of the Peace Conference of 1919 that transcends the times in which it was written. He is bold in his statements, forthcoming with his questions, and fair as one can be in discussing the leaders themselves.

One of the most recent historical renditions of the Peace Conference of 1919 is Margaret MacMillan’s Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World, which was published in 2001. MacMillan provides a well balanced look at the events in Paris in 1919. She is able to work past the easily taken road of blaming the many ills the world has experienced since this time on the Peace Conference. MacMillan also readily admits that many mistakes were made by the peacemakers. Some of these mistakes could have been easily avoided. Macmillan does an excellent job in taking into consideration the many factors that made many of the decisions made during the Conference seem more reasonable. She addresses countless issues involved in the meetings and committees of the Versailles conference, as well as the politics involved amongst the victorious allies. She addresses the fact that the Conference is most remembered for the production of the Treaty of Versailles; however, she writes, “but it was always about much more than that. The other enemies had to have their treaties.” MacMillan seems biased and apologetic. She attempts to win over readers by using an unorthodox approach which is oblivious to the balance of historical facts. For example, MacMillan explains that Keynes was “A very clever, rather ugly young man.” Keynes physical attraction seems irrelevant to the events surrounding the Treaty of Versailles, but MacMillan finds it important to make such a statement in describing his entire character. She also makes it a point to bring up the idea that the “Big Three” leaders were from democratic governments.

The format of Paris 1919 is interesting because each chapter focuses on a specific area of the conference. As a reference it is helpful, because each country is focused on in its own chapter. The negative side to this format is that it eliminates the chronological flow of the conference; therefore, making it difficult for the reader to follow the order of event occurrences. The cultural differences among the French, English, American and Italian as well as the German, Japanese, Chinese, Greek and others was outlined rather thoroughly by MacMillan. This book goes section by section through the world and talks about the effects of peace on the east, Middle East, Africa, and Europe. It redraws the borders, shows the alienation of Italy as well as the harshness of German reparations. The failure of the League of Nations is coached in this treaty and these six months were a catastrophe for the world. She also outlines the evolution of America into a world power. MacMillan addresses the contrast among President Woodrow and his European counterparts. Wilson was adamant about international morality; whereas, his counterparts focused on national gains as a result of the war. “Hitler did not wage war because of the Treaty of Versailles,” MacMillan writes in her concluding chapter. Even if Germany had retained everything that was taken from it at Versailles, he would have wanted more: “the destruction of Poland, control of Czechoslovakia, above all the conquest of the Soviet Union” as well of course as the annihilation of the Jews.”

In the introduction of Paris 1919, MacMillan writes “We know something of what it is to live at the end of a great war. When the Cold War ended in 1989 and Soviet Marxism vanished into the dustbin of history, older forces, religion, and nationalism, came out of their deep freeze.” She believes that it is a valid argument that resurgent Islam is our current menace; whereas, in 1919, the menace was Russian Bolshevism. Chapter one is dedicated to discussing Woodrow Wilson and his trip to Europe; a trip that is in itself one for the history books. This is so because never before had a United States President ever traveled to Europe while in office. MacMillan focuses on Wilson’s biographical information; discussing when and where he was born and the way of life during this time. She also discusses in great detail, Wilson’s struggle with depression and illness. This discussion can lead one to doubt Wilson’s credibility and ability to make proper judgments during the Peace Conference, because of his weakened mental state. MacMillan goes so far as to discuss President Wilson’s relationships with women and the gossip surrounding such relationships. She writes, “During his first marriage he had close, possibly even romantic, friendships with several women.”

Chapter four is dedicated to one of Wilson’s counterparts, Lloyd George. This chapter begins almost like a fictional novel. MacMillan writes, “On January 11, David Lloyd George bounded with his usual energy onto a British destroyer for the Channel crossing.” This is a rather playful description of the British leader. It seems a bit out of place in a historical rendition of a vastly serious world event. MacMillan goes into great detail about his character and physical appearance as well. MacMillan seems to place great emphasis on building up the British leader. Her objectivity can be questioned because of her familial connection to Lloyd George; she is his granddaughter, a fact that she fails to acknowledge in Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World. Armed with this information, it is hard for the reader not to see the pedestal Lloyd George is placed upon by MacMillan.

MacMillan’s chapter five moves beyond the descriptions of the leaders and moves into their unity as the “League of the People.” It is in this chapter in which MacMillan deals with the composition of the Supreme Council. In addition to discussing the Council, MacMillan deems it important to provide the reader with descriptions of meeting places and how they appear present day. She writes, “The great staterooms at the Quai d’Orsay have survived the passage of time and a later German occupation surprisingly well.” She goes so far as to even describe the furnishings and color scheme of the room. MacMillan provides a great deal of information on the meeting held in places such as this. She writes that the Supreme Council met at least once a day, sometimes two or three times. These events led to the creation of The League of Nations, which MacMillan writes, “Only a handful of eccentric historians still bother to study the League of Nations.”

MacMillan recorded a thorough rendition of the Peace Conference of 1919 in Paris 1919. She left no area of interest untouched. Her four hundred ninety-four page work is broken into eight lengthy units which include thirty chapters total. She includes maps of Europe in 1914, Germany and Europe in 1920, East Central Europe in 1919, The Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916, The Middle East from the Treaty of Sevres to the Treaty of Lausanne, China and the Pacific 1914-1919, and Africa in 1919. She also includes many different photographs taken during the Peace Conference and its surrounding events. She addresses issues in many different countries; such as, China, Poland, Palestine, Italy, Austria, Hungary, and Yugoslavia to name a few. MacMillan’s appendix is composed of Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points and nothing else. She has a very extensive bibliography and an extensive note section. MacMillan’s evaluations of the many different works lead to a rather interesting historical rendition of a complicated and controversial period in history.

There is little doubt that the events, and the outcome, of the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 played a major role in changing the world. Every historian discussed in this paper believed this to be so. Their views on certain aspects of the Conference, and how significant certain aspects were, may vary. All works are presented, in their forewords, as objective historical works that are composed of by extensive evaluations of other historical works and documents. The Illusion of Peace: International Relations in Europe 1918-1933 by Sally Marks, The Peace Conference of 1919 by F.S. Marston, Great Britain, France, and the German Problem 1918-1939 by W.M. Jordan, and Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World by Margaret MacMillan have provided readers with different views of the Conference. The way in which these historians composed their views of the Conference is termed historiography, which can described as, simply, a historical form of literature. A more accurate description of historiography is that it is the principles, theories, or methodology of scholarly historical research and presentation. Marks, Marston, Jordan, and MacMillan combined all of these aspects to carry on the legacy of Peace Conference of 1919 and the end of the First World War.


Jordan. W.M. Great Britain, France, and the German Problem 1918-1939. Surrey, England: Gresham Press, 1971.

MacMillan, Margaret. Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World. New York: Random House, 2001.

Marks, Sally. The Illusion of Peace: International Relations in Europe 1918-1933. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1976.

Marston, F.S. The Peace Conference of 1919. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1944.

The National Centre for History Education. “What is Historiography-and why is it Important?” Available from http://www.hyperhistory.org/index.php?option=displaypage&Itemid=735&op=page. Internet; accessed 23 April 2008.

In this article, I’m going to discuss the long term goals of your training so you can gain perspective on what you want to accomplish this week, for your next fight, and for the toughest fight you’ll ever have. Like most of us still in the fight game, we haven’t reached our full potential just yet, and the positive aspect of this is that we have a lot to look forward to in terms of work to be done, skills to be had, and fights to be won.

The problem however, is that fighters don’t have standard metrics to measure themselves against, they don’t really know their current level or what’s possible. It’s often a guessing game. If you are a 100m sprinter aiming for the olympics, then you know that you have to pull off sprints somewhere under the 10.50s mark if you want to be remotely competitive. If you are an aspiring pro basketball player, then you are measured by points scored per game, or rebounds per game, free throw percentages, your vertical jump height, your actual height etc… coaches and scouts can get get a pretty good idea of what this will translate into at the professional level.

Having said that, your goal as it pertains to the fight game is twofold:

1) Start to define these metrics for yourself through your own experience

2) Keep an open mind as to what you are capable of and the work you are willing to put in (don’t sell yourself short)

In boxing, you don’t always know for sure what it takes to be a champion. You are only as good as your competition and it’s hard sometimes to even know how good they are at the international level. Even if you’ve won a solid amateur title it still comes down to how good the competition was and how you performed on that day. And unlike a lot of sports like tennis, basketball, soccer, hockey you can’t afford to play hundreds or thousands of matches to figure out what works. In the fight game, that’s just a bit too much wear and tear.

So, ask yourself this:

1) How can I take the guess work out of what it takes to be a solid fighter at all levels. How can I tell now if I will be good before I take a beating that wakes me up?

2) What’s it going to take in the gym to become the best fighter I can possibly be in the long run?

The most important thing you can do is focus on what you can control, and the answer to both of the above is threefold:

1) Set goals

2) Benchmark your training

3) Continuous improvement

I’m sure you’ve heard the sayings, ‘the harder you work the luckier you get’ or ‘the more you sweat the less you bleed’, you need to turn those sayings into hard data, something you can measure, and we’ll start with the end in mind. Ask yourself, what you would need to do, how would you need to train to beat Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather, Roy Jones jr. in his prime, or Bernard Hopkins in his prime. Your goal as a fighter is to build up to that level of training. There is a direct correlation between how you train in the gym and how well you do in fights, even if you are the type of fighter who has mental issues when you step in the ring for the real deal.

A fighter like Floyd Mayweather throws around 5,000 – 6,000 punches per workout, guys like Pacquiao often perform 40-50 rounds of total work in the gym on any given workout. Let’s say you typically run 3-5 times a week, and when you hit the bag you usually do 6 rounds, with 3 on the speed bag, 3 on the double end, 3 for shadowboxing, along with some padwork, burpees, ab work, weight training etc. These are decent workouts, but the hard truth is that they’re not enough to beat Manny or Floyd. To be successful, you have to be extremely critical and self-confident at the same time.

Unfortunately, we are all limited by our current level of fitness and ability (nobody expects you to beat Floyd tomorrow), plus we have limited time (you may need to work or go to school full time to get by), motivation is a factor (getting motivated for an amateur show is not the same as fighting for $20 million in front of the whole world). I understand that this plays into your life, which means that even more so you have to take advantage of the time you have.

Let’s talk about what it’s gonna take.

1) Set Goals: Take serious note of what you are doing now, how many times a week are you in the gym? How many rounds do you do on the bag? How many punches do you throw per round (video yourself over 4 rounds to get a feel)? How many miles a week do you run? How often do you perform sprints? How many burpees can you do in 5 mins? How fast can you run the 800m, 400m, 100m over multiple sets with a minute rest? How often do you spar? How many total rounds do you perform each workout?

2) Benchmarking: Set standards for yourself that indicate whether you are in shape for your current level. I know I’m in decent shape when I can bust out 100 burpees in 5 minutes anytime, anywhere. I also know I’m in decent shape if I can run the mile in around 5 mins 30 seconds (of course I have other measures, but those are examples). Start to set standards for yourself in anything that you can think of. Measure by total rounds, speed, punch output, number of times per week etc… measure what you can control, and take advantage of what you can control. When you get ready for a fight, you build up to these measures and maintain them for a couple weeks before the fight. You can’t keep training the same way you always have, you have to constantly look for weaknesses and opportunities to improve in your training.

3) Continuous Improvement: Gradually increase your output, frequency, intensity and start to train the way you would need to in order to beat Manny or Floyd… add rounds to your workout, add punch volume, punch intensity, more sprints, more rounds of sparring etc. Do it one piece at a time, one brick at a time, don’t try to knock it out all in one month. One thing to keep in mind is that you will need to have breaks and down times, and this is where benchmarking comes in again. As you get better over the long run, you set your benchmarks higher so you know what you need to get back to in order to continuously elevate your game. 6 rounds on the bag per workout might have been good in your first 3-4 fights, but your gonna need to step it up to 10 eventually, or make sure that those 6 are at a hard pace where you crank out 250 punches per round. The specifics are different for everyone, but I think you know what I mean.

This endeavour should take years, and that’s the whole point of the time you are investing, to realize your full potential as a fighter, as an athlete. Your coaches can help you, they can guide you, your stable-mates can motivate you, and work with you, but it’s ultimately up to you to take it to that level. Nobody is going to hand it to you!

Today you’re in for a special treat. I’ve been fortunate to connect with Ryan Van Asten from Hockey Canada. Ryan is the Strength and Conditioning Coach for the National women’s hockey team as well as the conditioning coordinator for the National Luge team. Needless to say 2010 has been an exciting and busy time for Ryan. Read on as Ryan shares with us a little bit about his background to bring him to where he is, his training philosophies, with specific emphasis on hockey, what working for the National Team has been like as well as his dream team of practitioners and the best resources he has found to allow him to have had success with his athletes. So sit back and enjoy a one on one with Ryan Van Asten.


Chris Collins – Where did you go to school? What made you want to do this for a living? What was your sports background? Who were some of your mentors along the way? What are some of the interesting places you’ve worked?

Ryan Van Asten – Master of Science (Exercise and Health Physiology) – University of Calgary

– Bachelor of Science (Honours) (Subject of Specialization – Life Sciences) – Queen’s University, Kingston Ontario

– Bachelor of Physical and Health Education – Queen’s University, Kingston Ontario

– Certifications: CSCS (NSCA), Certified Exercise Physiologist (CSEP), NCCP Level 1 Olympic Weightlifting, FMS Certified

My sports background was varied as a child (i.e. hockey, soccer, lacrosse, baseball, alpine skiing, water skiing, wakeboarding, etc.) but specialized in Hockey and Lacrosse as a teenager. Eventually, just focussing on hockey I played Provincial Jr. A in Ontario, 4 years collegiate (Queen’s University), 1 year semi-professional in Germany – retiring at age 24 to peruse my graduate degree in Calgary. As a result of my sports background, dry-land training was always a part of my life and I loved every second of the training. While at Queen’s University I was fortunate enough to work with and play hockey with Anthony Slater (now a major part of a company called Athletes’ Performance in the United States). Anthony (although young himself at the time) put me on a training program one summer and the results were astonishing because for the first time in my life I was on a periodized program that wasn’t centred around bench press. After that I was hooked and couldn’t get ahold of enough information on training – I was digesting the stuff like it was my job…one problem: it wasn’t. At the time I was just finishing up my Bachelor of Science degree and wasn’t sure which direction to go…this had all changed by that point, I needed to work in sports performance. So the following year I enrolled in the Bachelor of Physical and Health Education program at Queen’s to bring me closer to my goals. It was in ‘Phys Ed’ where I met David Frost (a Mechanical engineer who also had a passion for training and biomechanics). Dave was a big guy who loved to train and knew a hell of a lot more about pretty much everything than I did – so I hung out with him a lot and since we were the old guys in a class full of 18 and 19 year olds we clicked right away. Training with Dave brought my strength to an even greater level, however, it was not necessarily do to the physiological aspects anymore – Dave was skilled at breaking down and assessing biomechanics and he tweaked pretty much everything I did and my strength went through the roof. This is when I realized that it is not about the exercise or the exercise selection; it’s about the coaching and the implementation of the exercise in an appropriate manner that are the important factors. Evidently, today Dave is finishing up his PhD at the University of Waterloo where he is mentored by Stuart McGill (now famous in the realm of strength and conditioning).

My first two mentors (and continue to be to this day) in strength and conditioning were Anthony Slater and David Frost. I then moved to Calgary and began my graduate research – working under Dr. David Smith and Dr. Stephen Norris (two of the most prominent exercise and sport physiologists in the world) my knowledge expanded even further. I was also fortunate enough to get exposure to excellent Strength and Conditioning coaches at the Canadian Sport Centre – Calgary (I am one of them now…ha)(Matt Jordan, Scott Maw, Mac Read, and Matt Price) – These are guys who have training numerous Olympic and World champions in both summer and winter sports and I have learned a lot from every one of them and continue to learn from them on a daily basis.

At the tail end of my Masters degree I was looking for ways to hone my coaching skills to bring me to the next level – then I ran into Mark Verstegen and Kevin Elsey (both from Athletes’ Performance – although I knew Kevin from Queen’s University) at an Adidas Conference at the University of Calgary. I asked them about the possibility of an internship and that got the ball rolling. So at 27 years of age, I dropped everything to move down to Pensacola Florida to do an unpaid internship at Athletes’ Performance for four months. This decision turned out to be the best thing I have done in my career. At AP I learned how to coach and I learned about physical movement. Up to this point I prided myself as being an expert in the weight room – but put me on a field or track and I was lost in terms of coaching and drill progression. I had to be on my game at AP, working everyday with NFL pro-bowlers and other professional athletes and watching some of the best coaches in the nation work. I really learned the value of watching other people coach and looking at things from a number of different angles.

Right before my Athletes’ Performance internship was almost complete the Canadian Sport Centre – Calgary called and told me there was a job opening and the rest is history.

At the same time the University of Calgary offered me a position as a lecturer in Kinesiology for a sports performance class. I lectured for one school year and evidently got too busy working with Hockey Canada and the Canadian Luge team that I reluctantly had to give up my duties as a lecturer.

I Attended the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics as the head strength and conditioning coach for the Women’s national Hockey team which won the Gold Medal and was the strength and conditioning coordinator for the Canadian National Luge team which posted the best result ever at an Olympic games for Canada.

Training philosophies

CC – What type of a coach/trainer are you? What aspect of the training continuum (rehab, conditioning, strength, power, speed) are you most passionate about? What few pieces of equipment can you not work without? If $$$ didn’t matter how would you spend it to benefit your athletes?

RV – My personality is pretty laid back and therefore I am not a the type of coach that is extremely vocal unless required. I treat all my athletes with respect and work very closely with them to do what is right for that particular individual. With regards to the training continuum – I am passionate about optimizing performance. So depending on the athlete that might require a higher percentage of one variable over another, and that will be different for every athlete. On the personal side of things – I am most passionate about gaining strength. I love to lift heavy.

I love the Keiser training equipment, however, these are not necessary tools for training. The few things that I can’t train without include: Barbell and weights, dumbbells, kettlebells, cable machines, medicine balls, and foam roller/lacrosse ball/soft ball. Pretty much everything can be done with minimal equipment. Personally I travel with a TRX and it is a tool I utilize with all my athletes. Stability balls and adjustable benches are also on that list as well.

With an unlimited budget I don’t think I would change a whole lot to tell you the truth – the basics will still be in place and will always be. I would utilize the Keiser pneumatic technology, whole-body vibration technology (in certain instances), different recovery modalities (i.e. pneumatic compression, EMS, contrast therapy, cryotherapy, etc.).

Training for hockey

CC – During the off-season what are 3 things an amateur youth hockey player should focus on? Is there anything hockey players could do a better job of with their training? (maybe improved technique on lifts, or better warm-ups, more soft tissue work, better programs in general etc).

RV – This answer obviously has an infinite number of possibilities – here are a few:

A well balanced approach to training with logical steps and progression (i.e. learn the requirements and importance of a proper warm-up, movement training, power/strength training, conditioning, cool-down/recovery techniques) – athletes need to know that it is not OK to skip steps and do the “cool” or “flashy” exercises because this will not make them a better athlete. In fact, it might make them worse in the long run by perpetuating poor movement patterns and mechanics… and worse, when you add speed or strength to these poor mechanics it is a recipe for disaster.

Most of the young hockey players I know have awful nutritional habits and performance nutrition habits. They will not reach their full potential until they are educated and understand how important nutrition and exercise nutrition is.

All hockey players should work on their single leg strength and stability in a low position. Along with this many of the hockey players I work with have inhibited glute max muscles partly due to tonic hip flexors – get these athletes off the bike in the summer and have them sprinting. Work diligently on mobilizing the anterior hip complex and subsequently activating the posterior chain. If the athlete is not using their posterior chain muscles adequately during skating it is likely that they will put too much volitional stress on their adductors/hipflexors putting them at risk of strain and improper stride mechanics may also lead to presentation of sports hernias and hip labial tears.

That being said, if the athlete is under the age of 14-15 years old they should not be specializing in “hockey” training in the offseason. They should be playing as many sports as possible and becoming athletes. It is far too often that we push these kids into specialization because someone is out there telling parents this is what their kids need to do in order to make it to the NHL – the reality is these guys just need a pay check in the summer and they’re not doing what is best for your child. Both Hockey Canada and USA Hockey are taking this stance with their long term athlete development models urging kids to be playing multiple sports and gain a wide sporting experience. Become an athlete first before you become a hockey player.

National program

CC – What has 2010 been like for you? What are some of the behind the scenes challenges you’ve faced? (scheduling, facilities, injuries, travel, budgets) How is it different working with the women’s team? Goals for the future?

RV – 2010 was an unbelievable year. There were a lot of great times with the winning of the Olympic Gold medal and a lot of tough times as well. As a strength and conditioning it was a year of tremendous growth for me in many aspects. Managing 35 athletes from two different sports was not an easy task given our travel schedule and some of the facilities we had access to for training (which on many occasions was nothing). With the National Women’s Hockey their on-ice practice and game schedule was extremely hectic and demanding. It was like walking a tight rope when planning appropriate physical stress and recovery off-ice. But, in the end we could not have done a better job preparing our athletes physically for the Olympics. They went into the Games knowing their preparation was superior and that confidence in knowing you didn’t leave any stone unturned goes a long way as well.

The travel schedule during the 2010 season with Hockey Canada was pretty intense. Starting in May 2009 we were on the road pretty much 2-3 weeks a month with games and training camps.

Budgets with Hockey Canada aren’t too much of a concern but we always try to optimize our spending to make sure it is going in the right places.

Working with the women’s is not much different that working with a men’s team. They basically played a full NHL game schedule last year, on the road most of the time. The athletes were all unbelievable in terms of their work ethic and dedication to winning the gold medal considering they had lost the previous world championships. And it showed – we played the USA 10 times before the Olympics with a record of 7-3 with all seven wins coming consecutively leading up to the Games. Two of the three losses were in August while we were still in the infancy stages of our on-ice training, the other was in November.

With Hockey Canada there is only one goal always and that is to win every tournament. On the physical side of things we can still get better as a whole in many areas… even though we are Olympic champions we need to prepare as if we’re the underdog.

With the Canadian Luge team our goals are similar on both the men’s and women’s side. That is to be a top 10 contender every race and to podium in every race.

Dream team

CC – If you could assemble the practitioners of your choice regardless of availability or cost who would you choose as a:

RV – s&c coach – I already work with some of the best strength and conditioning coaches on the planet – the Canadian Sport Centre Calgary athletes routinely account for the majority of medals won at Winter Olympic games (i.e. 58% of medals won for Canada in Vancouver were won by athletes who train with the Canadian Sport Centre Calgary).

– nutritionist – Not sure

– physio – Gray Cook, Kent Kobelka

– massage – Dominic Manchisi

– motivator – Dr. Peter Jensen

– wild card – Dave Frost (Strength Coach and Biomechanist – University of Waterloo)

Best resources

CC – What has been the best:

RV – conference attended – European College of Sport Science Congress 2008

– book on training – Supertraining by Mel Siff and Yiri Verkhoshansky

– blog you follow – Too many to list

– colleague to call with a question – The fellas from the Canadian Sport Centre – Calgary

For everyone reading this post please take a few points from the interview with Ryan. In particular:

Notice that he paid his dues. He did all the schooling and even took an unpaid internship to improve his coaching abilities.

Practice what you preach. Having theoretical knowledge is great but also being able to step up to the bar and demonstrate is equally important.

Surround yourself with and seek out great mentors. Find people that will teach, inspire, challenge and support you.

For young athletes focus on becoming a better athlete first. There are foundations to training and you can’t simply skip ahead to the sexy drills and exercises too soon. Failing to do results in less substantial results and potential problems later.

No one piece of equipment makes a hockey player great. Focus on the basics. Look to develop single leg strength, mobile hips and strong glutes.

Recognize the value of regeneration and recovery both during the off-season by practicing other sports and in between training sessions as well.

Ryan thanks so much for taking the time to do this. Please keep us posted on your developments with Hockey Canada and anything else hockey related.

For more info check out Ryan’s site athletesadvantage.ca.

All the best,