Translations by Tomas Jandik
Jagr's Deke - Reflex magazine - 14-Dec-00
by Jaromir Jagr
When I came to NHL, I did everything like my teammates. A lot of them rode stationary bikes after the game and stayed there for quite a while. I started going to the gym, and started putting a steel circle on my stick to make it heavier. Then I dribbled with it. Now, after years, I look at it differently. I believe that physical preparation is not everything - mental preparation is the key. How come a player plays a great game on Friday, but looks so tragic on Sunday? Or if you put a board on the floor, you'd walk on it easily. But try to hang it fifty meters above ground.
I asked Marian Jelinek to come. We have been trying new methods of training for several years, and I hope he will help me to get out of the crisis. We have always tried to do things a little differently. Some players go to the gym every day, they have giant muscles, but they fall on ice anytime somebody touches them. They simply do not exercise the right parts. With Marian, we for example did push-ups, but we put balls under our hands and legs. Exercising is then far more difficult. But on ice, you have no stability, either.
In December, we don't play that many away games, in addition, we are going to see some warm weather - we play two games in Florida, so there is enough time for practice. I really have to catch up. Despite how badly I felt lately, I haven't had any injuries, and that's the most important thing.
These days I have been trying yet another method of training. There is a way how you can move muscles thanks to extreme concentration, so that they are strained just like during the regular practice. Thanks to this mental exercise you can achieve the same effect like during a physical training. Obviously, it does not mean like that I'm spending my days on a coach imagining how I exercise. The physical preparation is still the foundation, even though I do see big reserves in the mental one. I have thought about it a lot lately. And I know that for example Kariya goes the same way and also studies the impact of various kinds of energy.
Today I speak about training so much, because it is the only way to get out of player's crisis. It definitely won't help me instantly, but the first results should be seen in couple of weeks. Fortunately I get help from Andrea who prepares for her exams here with me, and also "Cuzak" Rys makes it easier for me.
My beginning of the season was the worst in years. And just when there is a new coach behind that bench whom I wanted to help so much. Several days before I went to Pittsburgh me and my father had visited him and talked about that we were going to do. Hlinka believed in me a lot, and that's why I do not want to disappoint him. Aside from my performance we do not play bad so far and that most important is still ahead of us. After all, no European team ever made it into the playoffs.
Tomas Jandik is the resident Czech on LetsGoPens.com and is a man who unifies all the goodies of the American dream - meaning, of course, being a Pitt graduate, a Razorback, and a Penguins fan.
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