The latest installment of the Flyers’ Flight Plan webisode series is up and contain three parts. It follows players in the Flyers’ player development camp, which includes activities both on and off the ice. The title, “Your Job Is To Learn,” comes straight from Director of Player Development, Ian Laperrière. He makes it clear that development camp is not training camp, and players should ask questions and learn from others.
In Part One, Laperrière welcomes the players to camp and has everyone introduce themselves. He gives a speech reminding players to have fun but work hard and pay attention to details. He reminds them to act professional at all times, joking about one of the player’s tweets on Twitter. I think this is a great reminder for young players in an industry where there are many controversies and scandals that can ruin a player’s career.
Part Two follows players onto the ice as they run through drills. Goalie Anthony Stolarz was pointed out as a leader, however he was sent back to the OHL after training camp started. Scott Laughton talks about learning on the ice in addition picking up lessons off the ice. He mentions cooking lessons, and a trip to the grocery store where a woman, presumably a nutritionist, teaches the boys about healthy selections at the grocery store. The Flyers then head out to the beaches of New Jersey for “Trial in the Isle,” the brainchild of trainer, Jim McCrossin. The players participate in runs on the beach, obstacle courses, paddle boating, and kayaking (which Tyrell Goulbourne just struggled with altogether). Many of these activities were made more challenging by blindfolding players. There was also a signing at a local elementary school where kids had the chance to get autographs from the guys, but then it was back to the beach for the first annual Flyers beach volleyball tournament.
Part Three chronicles the first Trial in the Isle beach volleyball tournament, a change from the traditional softball tourney. Fans had the opportunity to face off against the players in round-robin play until the tournament was down to the final two teams. The finals featured Scott Laughton, Cal Heeter, Nick Cousins, and David Drake, who eventually lost the title to Taylor Leier, Reece Wilcox, Anthony Stolarz, and one lucky fan named Jack.
Overall, I enjoyed seeing Laperrière welcome the players to camp and hearing his advice for the week. Much of what he said can, and should, be applied to any athlete at any stage of their career. He suggests players should be professional and work hard, do their jobs and learn from others around them. The best part about the episode though is getting a glimpse at Trial on the Isle. It was fun to see players challenged athletically off the ice, and see them struggle a little bit outside their comfort zones.
The next episode promises a look at some veteran players as they start to arrive for training camp. We also will get a sneak peak at Lecavalier’s first appearance in a Flyer’s sweater.