WALKER – For more than a decade, Todd Johnston has been the head of the Kenowa Hills High School physical education department.
During that time, Kenowa Hills has carried on a tradition of being one of the best physical education departments in the area.
Beginning this fall, Johnston will be sharing his expertise in physical education and training as the new head of strength and conditioning for HAWK Hockey (Hockey Association of West Kent) that plays out of the Walker Ice and Fitness Center.
At Kenowa Hills, Johnston developed a program called PEAK (Physical Education at Kenowa Hills) that has grown in popularity over the years.
In his position with HAWK Hockey, Johnston is using many of the same principles that he uses at Kenowa Hills and is calling the new program HAWK PEAK Performance.
The opportunity to work with the hockey players in HAWK Hockey is something Johnston is looking forward to.
"This new position with HAWKS is really exciting for the nearly 200 kids that play out of Walker Ice and Fitness for the Hockey Association of West Kent (HAWK)," Johnston said. "Essentially, I will be providing the formal strength and conditioning for all of the kids in HAWK Hockey. This will include teams from Squirts through Midgets.
Johnston has some very hockey-specific training methods that he is going to be implementing at his new position.
"The goal is to provide a top-quality strength-and-conditioning program for the kids, and provide a resource of age-appropriate training methods for the coaches," Johnston said. "We believe this will help us offer a top-notch injury prevention and performance-enhancement program, including improvements in speed, strength, stamina, and suppleness (flexibility)."
Having a full-time strength-and-conditioning coach that handles all the dry-land training is a big benefit for the HAWKS program. It especially helps the coaching staff that will be freed from time spent training hockey players to focus entirely on coaching hockey skills.
"We have used this program informally with several of the teams at different levels for the last few years, in addition to providing the strength and conditioning for the Kenowa Hills varsity team, as well," Johnston said. "This new position just formalizes the arrangement for all HAWK teams."
The HAWK strength-and-conditioning program will also focus on all of the more than 200 kids playing at all levels of the HAWK program and not just focus on elite players, Johnston said. It will also be age-appropriate for all the kids involved in HAWK hockey.