NHL star Seth Jones is a defenceman and alternate captain for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Protected by D3O® and CCM Hockey, he gave us his take on how the right impact protection helps keep you at the top of your game.
It was always a dream of mine since I began to play hockey to make it to the NHL. It was a goal and I always strived at a young age to be the best player I could be. I was surrounded by people who constantly pushed me to be better.
Every time I stepped on the ice I thought in my head I could be the best player out there, and that was just a mindset I had from the way I was raised. I lived in a competitive household with two brothers and competition was always on our minds.
The physical journey didn’t really start until I was about 12 to 14 years old. That is when youth hockey allowed actual hitting. Each time you progress to the next level, kids are bigger, stronger and faster and the game is quicker, so the physical element becomes more important within the team concept of a game. You may find yourself getting more and more sore after games or practice or certain hits.
It has obviously gotten more intense over the years. Physically you want to be strong on the ice, there are many things that lifting weights or off-ice training can do for your game. Whether it is winning one-on-one battles against an opponent or for injury prevention.
Conditioning-wise, you must be in top shape during the season to stay with the pace at which the game is played. A typical day for me would be wake up, get a nice breakfast in, go to the gym and work out for about an hour and a half.
Then I get lunch and head over to the rink where I skate for an hour and work on different parts of my game that need to be improved. Near the end of the day, I head home and cook a nice healthy meal. And repeat.
Players face shoulder injuries, knee injuries, wrist and ankle bruises and soreness. Concussions are the most dangerous injuries which are part of our game as well.
Protection is the single thing that keeps my mind off injuries and lets me go out there and just play the game and enjoy what I do. It puts my mind at ease as to the injuries that can occur, whether from blocking a shot or taking a hit or getting slashed. Protection gives me the confidence to go out and play hard 100 per cent of the time.
Mindset plays a huge role in my sport. Having D3O® protection allows me to focus on just playing hockey and giving maximum effort every shift and every game. I know that D3O® will protect me like no other padding will.
For someone new to hockey that wants to get involved in the game, safety is definitely the most crucial topic. I believe respecting the game is very important and respecting the players around you is more important. Injuries are going to happen and accidents are going to happen. That is just a part of sports.
I truly believe that if you are constantly thinking about not getting hurt or getting injured, that’s when things start to go wrong. You must have a mindset of total commitment and trust the protection that D3O® provides.