For athletes of all sports, fitness is everything.
“This year I realized how much you need to be in shape in order not only to play in the USHL but to be an impact player in the USHL,” said Defenseman Christian Jimenez
After only getting in 48 games this season before the USHL cancelled the remainder due to COVID-19, the Sioux City Musketeers are doing whatever they can back home to keep their bodies in shape, and their skills sharp.
“Without the rinks open right now it’s hard to get on the ice and do that kind of stuff on ice,” said Forward Brenden Olson. “But obviously off-ice there’s stuff to do around the house. We have a shooting tarp out by my garage so I get out there, shoot some pucks.”
“I have a rack so I can squat, I’ve got a bench and some weights,” Jimenez said. “I’ve also got a bike [in my basement] so that’s pretty much all you need.”
“Find a smooth cement parking lot or tennis courts, or a blacktop parking lot, pull out some rollerblades and get skating, get on your edges, work on them,” said forward Sam Antenucci. “Maybe pull out a tennis ball and start stickhandling the ball on your stick.”
With players as far away as Texas and Finalnd, the Muskies are all over the place, and they’re staying together as a team as well as they can.
“Seeing what they’re up to at home and just checking to see what they’re doing back home to stay in shape,” Olson said. “Obviously I’m keeping in touch with those guys and keeping close with my friends”
“Time differences are a bit challenging, but it’s so important to keep in touch. Because you get so close with those guys they become your brothers,” said Jimenez
After such a short season, those bonds will be important as the team enters the long offseason, as they look to make the most out of 2021.
“I know the team will be ready to go next year. We had some ups and downs this year and that weid end to the season,” Jimenez said. “But I believe everything happens for a reason and next year we’re gonna come out flying.”
This USHL season may be over, but when it’s time for hockey once again, you can bet the Muskies will be prepared.