Raaymakers Training For The Top

Joseph Raaymakers

Joseph Raaymakers training with Athletes Fuel – Contributed Photo

Gone are the days a goalie, or any hockey player, hoping to reach the next level, can rely solely on their natural talent. That’s why Chatham’s Joseph Raaymakers, who plays for the Chatham-Kent Cyclones Minor Midget ‘AAA’ team, is training to be one of Ontario’s up and coming netminders with Athletes Fuel Strength & Conditioning.

“Gone are the days where the hockey goaltender is developed only on the ice,” says Athletes Fuel owner and trainer Colin Roeszler. “Raaymakers is a reflection of today’s goaltender. He not only focuses on his technical work on-ice, but also improving his athleticism off the ice.”

Raaymakers, although he has yet to be selected by an OHL team, is considered one of the drafts top goaltenders, and he knows, if he hopes to move to the next level, his off ice training will be paramount to that development.

“At the OHL and all pro levels, everybody trains, if someone didn’t they wouldn’t be playing in those leagues,” says Raaymakers. “Now a days you can’t get away without training, the game is too fast. For me training is extremely important and is even more important to train off-ice in the summertime rather then on the ice.”

According to Roeszler, who trains many of the regions top hockey players, Raaymakers hard work off the ice is paying dividends.

“He is one of the most athletic kids I have ever trained; one of our fastest sprinters, highest jumpers, and is our strongest 15-year-old in terms of lower body strength,” says Roeszler. “He has such exceptional and rare fast-twitch muscle capabilities. I have had the pleasure of training Joe for just over a year now. We have improved his hip mobility and lateral hip stability, which has allowed him to spread himself wider across the crease, as well as getting from post to post much faster. We have improved his lower body strength by constantly manipulating lower body lifts, and have built his explosive hips through linear and lateral plyometrics, and Olympic lifts.”

Raaymakers himself is seeing those improvements as well,

“Personally I’ve seen a lot of improvements from my on ice game because of training off the ice,” explains Raaymakers, who was one of the Alliance’s top netminders statistically this season. “The biggest thing for me was getting my upper body and lower body stronger. I’ve noticed that I’m a lot quicker on the ice with stronger and more powerful slides, and now they’re effortless to do. Also, getting a stronger core helped me with being in control of my body.”

Raaymakers is likely to be one of the highest goaltenders selected in the 2014 OHL draft, and was identified as one of Canada’s top netminders after being selected to participate in the All-State All Canadian NHLPA Mentorship Camp this past summer.

According to Roeszler, if Raaymakers gets the chance to show off his athleticism at the OHL Combine prior to the draft, he’s sure to impress.

“If he is invited to the OHL Combine, he will undoubtedly put coaches and scouts in awe with his phenomenal explosiveness.”

With a long road ahead, Raaymakers is thankful for finding Athletes Fuel, and for the training he’s received to this point. After his season ends this spring however, Raaymakers is ready to go back to work, and prepare himself for an OHL camp and Junior hockey, even though his training won’t be easy.

“At Athletes Fuel our off season training is tough,” says Raaymakers. “That’s where we gain all of our strength. Results don’t show up overnight, it take a while, but if you put your heart and mind to it you’ll see results.”

As for Roeszler and Athletes Fuel, Raaymakers feels he made the right choice for his training, and believes that other local athletes could benefit from Athletes Fuel’s training programs.

“Colin is one of the best strength and conditioning coaches out there,” says Raaymakers of Roeszler, who has worked with many athletes who are either currently, or have competed at the Junior, NCAA, OHL, and pro ranks. “He dedicates his work to make us better. He knows his stuff. Athletes Fuel is the best strength and conditioning program in Southwestern Ontario and the whole province.”

For more information about Athletes Fuel Strength & Conditioning you can visit their website at www.athletesfuelsc.com

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