SUN Hockey Pool

Oil rookies eat it up

Robert Tychkowski, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:26 PM ET

You don’t put regular gas in a Ferrari, you don’t put cheese burgers and fries in an elite athlete.

 

At least you shouldn’t. But for too many young athletes who leave home early and have to fend for themselves, with little knowledge of cooking or nutrition, junk food is daily dietary staple.

So part of Edmonton Oilers development camp this year included a trip to a local eatery where cooks and nutritionists gave them a few tips. Cooking with Oil, as it were.

“It was really cool,” said Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. “We went to a restaurant and got to cook ourselves some stuff. It was really cool just kind of learning how to fend for ourselves helps a little bit.”

Defenceman Dillion Simpson picked up a few simple recipes to go along with what he learned on the ice.

“I’ve got a good pesto sauce that I can make now,” he said. “It was great.”

Nutrition, psychology, sleep habits, everything about a major league athlete today is put under a microscope in search of an advantage. It’s a long way from the old days, when players ate steak before a game and made fun of anyone who dared meet with a sports psychologist.

“It’s been quite amazing the way the game has evolved,” said Oilers co-ordinator of development and long-time coach Billy Moores. “In today’s world, if you’re going to make it you have to pay attention to all of it.

“Nutrition has to go hand in hand with strength and conditioning otherwise you’re not feeding the body. Then you have to have the mental skills, can you handle the pressure.

“It’s education and you hope they take it to heart. Some take it to heart more than others.”

ROBERT.TYCHKOWSKI@Sunmedia.ca

TWITTER.com/SUN_TYCHKOWSKI

 


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