Nov 16, 2023
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Yoni Rosenblatt: So excited to have Jeff Lovecchio here. Joining us on the True Sports Physical Therapy Podcast, Vex, thank you so much for making time. And thanks for being a pro, we're excited to have you here.
Jeff LoVecchio: Absolutely, I'm excited to be on the show, man. Thanks for having me.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Absolutely, so dude, a ton of professional athletes think in their head, when I'm done with this, I'm gonna become a strength coach when I'm done playing, I'm gonna become a strength coach right now, that was... You did that at some point. You had that conversation in your head when I'm done with this maybe I'll be a strength coach. Why did it work for you?
Jeff LoVecchio: Well, the conversation in my head wasn't maybe I'll be a strength coach, conversation was in my head was I've only ever loved two things, hockey and training, and so luckily, through my work ethic and determination and consistency and all those things, I was able to be a professional hockey player for 10 years, and I loved what I did, and I was like, I can't imagine not loving what I do, so the only other thing I love doing is training, so I was like, I will find a way to make that a career. But the reason it work for me, bittersweet, it's because my career didn't pan out the way that it was supposed to, I guess you could say, or I was going to. So I went to Western Michigan University, and I left after my junior year and signed in the NHL, with the Boston Bruins that summer. The first time I was skating, I had a terrible fall where I went in the board's full speed, completely unconscious, lost memory, all this stuff I missed a year and a half, a hockey. I didn't play hockey for a year and a half, I missed my whole first season of my pro contract.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Wow.
Jeff LoVecchio: Thought I was never gonna play again. Unfortunately, that set me up to have more and more concussions as my career went on, I was lucky enough to play nine more years professionally after that, but I was never the same, I didn't make the same amount of money that I... Obviously, somebody who's not healthy or play in higher leagues and stuff, right. So after my third year plan pro, I was playing in Utah, I got hit from behind, six fractures in my jaw, just a stupid hit.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Wow.
Jeff LoVecchio: And I got a concussion and I was like, Okay, I'm gonna go over and finish my career and you're up play however long I can over there, it's a little bit less physical, a little bit more of a skill game, but at the same time, that concussion was probably like 10 or 11 for me at that time, and I was his know a lot, I should have a playing.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Wow.
Jeff LoVecchio: But it was on me and I did what I did and I chose to, right. Totally fine with that. So I started training, I got... So I went to school for exercise science at Western Michigan, right. And, then... So, I started training athletes in St. Louis, during the off-season before my first year in Europe, I was like, I just wanna help kids get better, so I got certified, I started training guys, and I would come home for four months a year, maybe five months a year, during my own off season, I would train in the morning. Pros were paying to train next to me, I wasn't even training them, it was just like they did what I did and they paid to train with me, and every year I get more and more kids to train with me and the quality of player got higher and higher and higher until my 10th year playing, I trained 300 kids that summer and guys, college juniors, pros, kids. I went to camps and trained camps and did all these things, so that after my 10th year, I decided to retire probably a few years early because my business was doing so well, and because I had already had those concussions.
Jeff LoVecchio: So it worked for me because I didn't have the career that maybe I would have if I didn't have that injury. Right. So I wanted to, I had more time, I wanted to help, I wanted to give back, and I kind of had to... It wasn't like, Oh, my career is over. I'm sitting on 8 million in the bank, 10 million in the bank, what am I gonna do? Maybe I'll dip my toe, no, it was like, I gotta be good at this. I don't know what my career is gonna end, when the next concussion is gonna end my career, so like I gotta set myself up, I wanna learn about this and I just like giving back.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah, well, the one thing that you just said that stuck out to me was you knew what, you loved, right. And you knew you figured out VEX, and you realized, Hey, I love hockey, I love training, I gotta figure out one way, one path to go in that I think that lands with me because coming out of grad school, I thought this is what all PT was. I thought PT was just working with athletes, and I knew that's what I loved, and I went through graduate school and I did the crap that you learned in grad school that is not sports rehab is immense. It's immense. And I'm like, dude, I'm not. I can't do that crap either. I gotta go to law school. Like if I'm not gonna work with athletes, I like, get me the hell out of here. But I think it's similar to you is that I just figured out what I love. And I think that's really good advice. So I think that's what's unique about your story, is you love what you do and you realize you weren't good enough at it yet, but you were willing to work really hard. And it sounds like for as long as I've known you VEX it sounds like that's kind of your MO, you're not willing to do things half-assed. You're gonna go all in. So how did you get yourself better at being a strength coach?
Jeff LoVecchio: Practice relentlessly going after earning opportunities, not even going after earning opportunities, I've, you know, now people pay me to speak at events or whatever, or come speak to a team or do a zoom call with a team, or, you know, whatever it is, I still now will go and do stuff for free, but like back then I did it for free every time. I was asking coaches, Hey, let me come in and speak to your team. Let me tell them why training is important, how it's changed my life. Because also, like I, you know, you said I do what I love. I said, I do what I love. Like people feel my passion for training, because like literally it changed my life. I was the skinniest, weakest mentally and physically kid. You know, it's not like my family was rich or anything, but I didn't want for anything.
Jeff LoVecchio: I had a great upbringing. My parents were amazing. They were hardworking people and provided for us, which probably made me a little bit soft, you know? And then I started hitting more and more adversity in my hockey career and in my life, and I just had to battle. And I made the decision to battle and push myself and earn every opportunity I got. And a lot of those lessons and things I learned that I could like, find a way to like make it was literally in the gym. Like, I learned so much from the gym and I'm so passionate about it. So it, it was just a lot of that. And, because of that, when I was playing throughout my whole career from 16, 17 years old on, I was best friends with every strength coach I had.
Jeff LoVecchio: I asked them every question, why, but not in like a, why are we doing this? I was like, why are we doing this? Like, I wanna know at 16, why are we doing that? Why are we doing that at this time of the year? Unfortunately, a lot of coaches couldn't answer those questions.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah. Yeah. I bet.
Jeff LoVecchio: You know, that was part of my evolution of, you know, what I call like training smarter and things like that. And I was just always inquisitive, always wanted to learn about why am I doing things and how can I do them better? And then I just brought that, that's how I was able to make it in hockey, quote unquote. And I just brought that into my training career. And the way I did it was I listened to my client's feedback. I asked them questions, especially in the beginning, how was today?
Jeff LoVecchio: You know, how are you feeling? And, and I started training my mom and who is now my ex-wife. And I said, I want you at the end of every session, tell me like what you thought about it, like me as a coach. And I was awful. I was awful. Part of that is I was coaching my mom and my wife at the time, right. [laughter] Yeah. Not a good idea. You're not a good idea, but what I realized was I knew what I knew, but what I was saying, they weren't understanding. And I was getting mad at them for not doing it how I wanted it, but in my head, I know what I'm saying, and they don't. And one of them said to me, it's not what, you know, it's how I take it. And that was like the biggest light bulb ever as a coach.
Jeff LoVecchio: And if anybody follows me on Instagram and watches my videos when I'm coaching guys, like I will say the most ridiculous things ever to get them to understand what I want and not forget it. Right. You know, like, like I want them to engage their glutes or whatever, simply like, there's a hundred dollars bill on your butt cheeks, squeeze that bill.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Yep.
Jeff LoVecchio: And then they're like, oh, I'm there. I didn't, okay. Those are my glutes. Like, just stupid things like that. Yeah. But like, me being like, okay, get into a neutral spine, tuck your pelvis, and they're like, my mom's like, what are you talking about? Neutral spine. Yeah. You know, so like me learning, that was probably one of the biggest things that, that ever helped my career.
Yoni Rosenblatt: It's not what, you know, it's how your client takes it.
Jeff LoVecchio: Correct.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Dude, put that on a shirt.
Jeff LoVecchio: I know.
Yoni Rosenblatt: And I'm put that on a bumper sticker because that dude, that's the ethos of anything that works. It's...
Jeff LoVecchio: Right.
Yoni Rosenblatt: No one cares about the coach, it's about the athlete that's in front of you. And if you can't relay all that beautiful information that's in your head, you're a waste and you're wasting their time, you're wasting your time.
Jeff LoVecchio: Put the smartest coach in the room with half a team and me [laughter] not, like, I mean like book smart, like, and then me in there, I'll get better results every single time through connection, obviously. Like I know what I'm talking about, but there's people obviously way, way, way, way, way, way, way smarter than me. But it, it's, what can I get the athlete to do? Can I get them to understand why they should be giving a hundred in this moment, or why they should need to be, be focusing on their breathing? And if I can't get them to understand that and then do it, they're getting maybe seven out of 10 of an, of an exercise. So you can know, you can know everything and you can use all the big words you want, but if your client's not doing it at you know, 100% of their ability, you know, you're only getting whatever percentage out of them that they're doing, you're not facilitating that extra percentage to help them understand how, what, when, why, where, all of those things. And that's the most important thing. Mike Boyle says it all the time. Like, if you're a guy who's using every anatomical word in the world in the gym to make yourself sound smart for your clients, or just because that's how you talk, you're not a good coach because nobody knows those words but us. You know?
Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah.
Jeff LoVecchio: So like, why don't use those words? They don't know those words. They're paying you to help them. Right. You know? So.
Yoni Rosenblatt: And that's what it's about. You mentioned Boyle, outside of your boy, Paul Goodman, who else kind of shows that to you? Or where, what's a great resource to dive into where I can see that and learn that?
Jeff LoVecchio: I mean, Cal Dietz is awesome.
Yoni Rosenblatt: He's awesome.
Jeff LoVecchio: He's a savage. He ran a RPR thing at my gym a few months ago, and I was already certified in RPR, but to like meet him and hang out with them for a while and the night before and just see how he operates was pretty cool, but for me, Boyle was my biggest influence still is like, not only has training philosophies changed my hockey career as a pro when I started like thinking the wit more like he does and trains like he does versus like, you know, bilateral all the time back squat, deadlift, barbell bench press. Like when I got away from that, I became such a better athlete and hockey player. It was insane. I'm not saying never use an exercise. Every exercise has an application that you can find, but I think there's always better selections for the time for the athlete, for their body type, for their sport, you know? So, but Boyle has really been the biggest influence on my philosophies, how I coach the exercise selection. He started my brain down thinking a different way, and it changed my hockey career immediately. So, and I would hope, and I would say probably the hockey careers of a lot of hockey players that I've worked with over the years too.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah. I'm sure, a guy named Kelly Stewart, is a guy who did that for me. I mean, he's a PT. He made his name in the CrossFit world, but his similar to you, like, his passion, his ability to explain, his ability to get his information across, is second to none. He's the reason I'm still a PT, so that definitely lands for me. And man, like boy's Boyle's breakdown of a Bulgarian.
Jeff LoVecchio: Yeah.
Yoni Rosenblatt: It's like magic, right? It's magic, you know? And there's such gold there. So it sounds like you've, you've kind of spoken to it a little bit, but if you walk into a gym, outside of what you just mentioned, which is getting your point ideas and then movement across to your client or your athlete, how do you identify an elite strength coach?
Jeff LoVecchio: Can they get the athletes to do what they're, they wanna do? That's all I care about. I was just on a call with a former NHL strength coach, assistant strength coach, and was like literally, basically saying that, like, I've told people the dumbest stories, the dumbest anecdotes, the dumbest I'll draw the stupidest visual. I don't care. I need you to understand what I'm trying to get you to do. However, I have to do that. I will do it if you will do it in the way that I want at the intensity that I want. Like whatever the goal is. Like if I can get you to do what I'm thinking, then my program that I'm running as the coach is gonna be ran at 100%. Versus if the buy-in is 90 you know, now the athletes are only getting 90% out of my program, or less, or less.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Yep.
Jeff LoVecchio: And so for me, do the clients buy into the program? Because obviously I believe in the way that I do things. I'm sure every successful coach has that same thought process, but I also am not naive. And I do believe there's, there's a million ways to skin the cat. You can get great results doing a whole bunch of different training methodologies. It's just gonna be, you know, in those percentages of what maybe could've worked better, but at the same time, if the athletes bought in and they enjoy being there, I think a lot of coaches don't understand the psychology of training, maybe because I don't think you need to be a high, have it been a high level athlete to understand this. But like, buy-in is literally everything and wanting to be in the gym training is everything. Hockey off season can be anywhere from three to six or seven months for little younger players, right?
Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah.
Jeff LoVecchio: So like, I gotta want them to wanna be in there because if they don't, they're getting nothing out of the session. It's a waste of energy, a waste of time. And they're creating bad movement patterns and mechanics that they're just gonna go back into over and over because repetition will do that to them. So like for me, do they buy into the coach and what he's doing? Obviously the coach has to be good.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah. Yeah. I think that makes a ton of sense. Now, you mentioned it a little bit, your strength facility has really developed a reputation for outstanding culture, and it's really centered around giving 100% that that's from both coaches as well as the athlete. How the hell did you create a culture like that?
Jeff LoVecchio: As my personality honestly, like, all my guys know everything about me. Like I tell to them how it is and, and like luckily there's a whole lot of evidence to back it up. You know, you can see what my career was on elite prospects and then you can see me skate and then when I tell you, look, all you guys in this room have more skill than I do. All of you, all of you watch me, you know, look me up on YouTube or watch me skate out there when I go out with you guys so they can see that.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Yep.
Jeff LoVecchio: And then I'm like, and then look at my stats. Look where I played. I got paid to play for 10 years. It wasn't because I was naturally gifted. It's because everything we're doing in here, I did it 100% consistently every single day from 17 years old until I retired at 32.
Jeff LoVecchio: And I promise you that if you do things with 100% intensity, like I'm asking you, you'll be a much better hockey player by the end of the summer. Not even taking hockey stuff into consideration, how your body moves, how it functions, your speed, power, your ability to resist injuries because you're in better shape. All of these things. And I just look them all in the eye and tell them that. And then I also say, and there's a waiting list of over a hundred athletes. So I've only cut two people in 16 years now, but if you don't show up and give me that you're out of here because I only wanna work with players who really wanna reach the next level in their career. And that's whatever it means to them, whether that's A to AA, AA to AAA, AAA to juniors juniors or college college or pro I don't care what the jump is you're trying to do in your career, give me a hundred or else you don't train here.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah.
Jeff LoVecchio: And that's just how it is. And luckily the guys hold each other accountable in the gym too. But that's also something I foster and I coach. You know, you're not always gonna feel your best in here. If you see a guy who's down, you better pick them up. You better grab him. 'cause you're gonna come in here down one day. Or if you're an older guy, maybe you went out and you're hung over in here. I need the other guys to pick your ass up and push you on those days. So it's your job to do it on the days you see them dragging or, you know, stuff like that.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Dude makes me want to put my skates on [laughter], that's freaking good stuff. What was your weakest point as an athlete? What were your deficits?
Jeff LoVecchio: Yeah, vision, vision.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah, how about physically? I mean, like, I think you're talking about like ice vision, right? But but physically what were you so far at?
Jeff LoVecchio: So that's, but that's something that I, it's another reason I think that I excel is that a lot of coaches in the gym, strength coaches, performance coaches, they only focus on lifting weights, jumping and speed.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Yep.
Jeff LoVecchio: But like, if you're playing a sport like, like a hockey, football lacks like an actual sport, not track and field. You don't do just that. You have to perform skilled movements. And so I incorporate vestibular work eyes into training depth perception, understanding space and time in our agility or our plyos or whatever. So like that is a massive part of it that can be trained and isn't, which is why I have had the success I have because it's something that I focus on. 'cause I didn't have that. I got my bad concussion. My vestibular system was mangled. I had to do vestibular system, vestibular rehab three days a week at Mass General Hospital in Boston for like six months.
Yoni Rosenblatt: And then when I got healthy and I came back, I kept doing those things and realized, oh my God, like now that I'm healthy-ish, these are making me better on the ice. I'm noticing more in my peripheral vision. I'm not off balance when I have to move my head as I'm skating down the ice. So I kind of dug into that and I kept doing more and kept creating more drills and started bringing in more coordination things. Because dexterity and fine motor control at elite sports at that level is massive.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah. It's everything.
Jeff LoVecchio: Like if you get 1% better at your fine motor control and you're playing in the MLB, you might make millions of dollars more.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah.
Jeff LoVecchio: And hit more whatever, you know what I mean? So for me, like vision, was it... As a kid, I was weak, dude. I got... If you look at my muscles compared to my bone structure I am supposed to be, I'm 222 right now. I'm supposed to be like 155. If I don't work out for like a week, I'm gone. I turn sideways and I disappear. So I was naturally weak. I had to work... I worked out six days a week every single week for 16 years.
Yoni Rosenblatt: That's a lot.
Jeff LoVecchio: I stretched every, in season it would be a little bit maybe it was four but whatever I was gonna do in season would be in season out of season six days a week every week. I stretched every single night from seventh grade until I retired at 32. Every single night. Every single night, most of the time for 30 minutes mobility and stretching. Again, I wasn't very good it was because of everything I did off the ice, which is why I'm so passionate that I know that the better you get there, it's gonna help you over there. And so, why wouldn't you do that? How much do you care?
Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah. Okay. So let's get nitty gritty. A little clinical here. You're teaching box jumps or you're doing some hurdle work and you want to include some of that vestibular system you mentioned, right?
Jeff LoVecchio: Yeah.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Where do you start with that?
Jeff LoVecchio: I wouldn't necessarily do it on like a box jump, but if I was, dude, I mean a simple thing is I want you to turn your head to the opposite way you're jumping, as you jump, I want you to look left, or as you land, I want you to look left 'cause you're gonna lose sight of the ground. You're gonna lose where you are in space and time, and that happens a lot in sports. But if you can get used to the movements and how you're feeling and maybe you're looking this way, but you're getting better and better at seeing your peripheral down here and learning how to do that while you're moving. The repetition then, and then I tell them, okay, now I'm like I want you doing that same stuff on the ice. Same stuff on the ice, bring that into, because hockey, and I'm sure football with all the blocks and things coming from not right in front of you.
Jeff LoVecchio: The better you are at scanning, mapping, knowing where people are, if you can practice like it went through repetition, understanding, okay. That's what five feet looks like, and within five feet, I know I can do this. But I can't do that. That is massive. When you're playing a game where you have to create, have skilled movements while avoid being hit.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Sure. Yeah. I've seen that... I've seen that with my offensive linemen where I'm working with dudes who are 330 pounds and yes, they're massive and their strength and their power output is off the charts, but their balance and stability is elite. I mean better than the a 180 pounders out there and that's incredible. So I love that you are training that and you're bringing that to the ice. Just take that example where you gave me a rotation away from their landing spot. How do you continue to progress that once they nail that?
Jeff LoVecchio: It would just depend on what the skill is and how I'm working on it. But I start with simple stuff standing still I head still eye moving then progress to wider field of vision and then maybe something's moving and they have to track it and then moving while your head is on a fixed object, but you're, but your head is moving as your body is going in a straight line. So trying to bring all of those in and then... And in every drill, it's just progressing on those. Okay, now we're gonna make it a one-on-one drill where like let's say like for instance, instead of doing just... Say you're gonna do a shuttle and it's gonna be a change of direction shuttle. Let's say you got starting line cone at five yards, cone at 10 yards. Okay?
Jeff LoVecchio: A lot of people, if they were gonna do a forward backward variation, they would just run up to the cone, stop, backpedal back, run to the next cone, backpedal back finish with the sprint. Okay, that's great. And there is a time for that. But at a certain level, you're fast enough. Your sport isn't track. So I have them line up next to each other, two by two... Two guys at a time, and your head is forward, but you've gotta keep that guy in your peripheral vision the whole time. And I want your head forward, but I want you to be able to see that guy while you're moving. Everyone when they start doing this, immediately slows down by like at least 50%. It's hard. On the ice. You are doing that the entire game. The entire game. As you're moving, you're mapping, you're seeing where are guys, you're turning your head. And then I'll do one where it's reactionary to progress that, okay, now you're gonna go on the whistle, you have 15 seconds, you can move forward and backward as within this 20 yard span or 15 yard span as much as you want, however you want. But you can only go forward backward.
Jeff LoVecchio: But the guy next to you is gonna try to be your shadow and he can only look forward and can't... He's gotta use his peripheral vision. And then I make them switch sides. So they're working both sides of their peripheral vision. And a lot of drills like that like just trying to find a way to bring your eyes into your movements.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah. For those of you who are just listening at home and not seeing me grinning like a dumb ass. The reason I'm grinning like that is because you're describing concussion rehab, right? And it just sounds like you have married this concussion, cognitive neuro world into the performance space. I think that is such a game changer and such a separator and applicable to every sport.
Jeff LoVecchio: Yeah. I mean it's like I said man it's... Once I started doing that and I made that part of my training, everything got better for me.[laughter]
Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah. That's all.
Jeff LoVecchio: I started doing it with other guys and it got better for them. And I was just like, okay, we're onto something here.
Yoni Rosenblatt: We're on to something.
Jeff LoVecchio: And we just kept doing it.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah. That's really cool. And it takes a lot of coaching, right? Because you gotta... These guys have never done this before, so you have to tell them and explain to them, and they have to understand what's a good rep, what's a bad rep, how do I improve on it, etcetera. We have a outstanding therapist that works with us named Dr. Christie Chiesa. She did her residency, I believe up at Mass General. She's a concussion specialist. She incorporates all of this stuff into a rehab now it's making a lot of sense. It sounds that can get very, very sports specific. So that makes a lot of sense to me. When you were overcoming your billions of concussions, who were you working with? What profession and what really helped you?
Jeff LoVecchio: I was working with a vestibular rehab therapist. I was working with a neurologist and I was working with... He was a different neurologist. And it was wild. He would do a whole bunch of needles in my neck and my skull. And I had really, really bad whiplash, which exacerbated, masked took over post-concussion syndrome as well. It's not something I found out till way later. Which is unfortunate because I think I could have been back way faster. But he would exhaust twitches is what he called it.
Jeff LoVecchio: So he'd put the needle in and when I... I would go to him once or twice a week for, I did it for like probably six months. And my traps were so like ungodly tight that the first time he ever did it with me, he only did one spot. And it took 30 minutes to exhaust the twitch. And the first 20 times my shoulders are jumping off the table and it was almost painful. And he's like, "We're gonna go until it won't twitch anymore." So I wasn't working out, but I would leave there and I would be so sore. And it was only one spot, and then go back the next time he'd hit another spot. And then he started to do multiple spots 'cause they started to relax at least a little bit. And then all the spots in my head too, which now I know like if I have a headache or something I kind of push on these certain spots and they give me relief.
Jeff LoVecchio: And he taught me that with all these like needles and stuff and so that was pretty interesting and cool. Worked with trainers, but what really turned my recovery around I went to University of Pittsburgh Medical Clinic and I saw Mickey Collins. And they were like, okay, we're gonna put you on this medicine, or I was already on it. And they were like, we're gonna up your dose. Which helped because they found a correlation between vestibular rehab and this medicine. Okay. So they did that. They told me something so simple when I was trying to come back, whether I was walking or riding a bike, don't look around. When you walk or when you ride the bike at the rink, when you're trying to come back, do it when no one else is in the gym.
Jeff LoVecchio: Don't look at other guys, don't talk. I want you to put the bike right in front of a white wall with nothing on it. And just look at that. Because up to that point I would ride the bike for 30 seconds and the world was spinning and I was upside down and pukey and whatever. But I was also in there facing the middle of the room with a bunch of guys working out and I'm trying to be in there with the guys and so I started doing that and... Okay. That was better then they had me do a bunch of stuff for my neck. Oh. That got me better. They said "You don't have to just try and come back with riding the bike." Which was like the only protocol for pro hockey, college hockey, junior hockey for probably like 10 years.
Jeff LoVecchio: Ride the bike for 10 minutes with a heart rate at 125. If you do it the next day, bump it up to whatever, 150. And if you do it two days in a row and you're good, then you can skate. But if you fail on either of those days, you gotta take two to four days off and then just retry it. So that's all I was doing for like six months. I go to Mickey and he's like tells me those things about the head straight and the neck and then he was like you could try lifting weights 'cause you can manipulate your heart rate better. And I was like, dude...[laughter]
Yoni Rosenblatt: Where's this been?
Jeff LoVecchio: I could've been doing that the whole time. Because like I told you in the beginning of this thing, my only two passions in life really, now entrepreneurship is one of them, but were hockey and training and I could do neither. So that was super hard. But, so like I started, I remember I was bench pressing the bar super slow. Super slow, 10 reps. And then I'd have to sit there for... In the beginning, some days it might've been five minutes, get my heart rate completely backed down, slowly lower myself.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Try again. Yeah.
Jeff LoVecchio: Try again. Keep heart rate monitor on, sit there for five minutes. Okay. Let's go do a lat pull down like one plate on and... But it was progress. It went from doing nothing to that. And literally over like two and a half months, I went from the bar and one plate and five pound dumbbells to like 80% back. It just kind of went like this after I saw Mickey and that's when I was able to get back on the ice. I didn't play that first year, but I got to practice one time in a real practice at the last practice of the year, which gave me confidence. And then I went into full speed training for the off season. And I went and won testing with the Bruins the next year.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Hell yeah. So, it sucks. It's kind of disheartening, but I hear this story all the time and a lot of times it's with concussion we have a number of concussion specialists within our practice. But dude, this happens with patellar tendonitis as an example. Where I'll get athletes coming in, it's like, I've tried everything. Okay. What have you tried? Well, I've been to PT for the last six months. It's no better. What have you done? I've been on the bike. I've stretched my quad. I'm like, okay. It's all about how do you acclimate to the stressor, right? And so it's easy with patella tendons, like to load up the tendons properly or achilles tendons. It's harder with the brain 'cause we don't see it and we don't know how much we're loading it, but that's what you're describing.
Yoni Rosenblatt: You're loading your vestibular system in what you were just describing even with what we call dry needling, which what you were calling acupuncture. It's like, can you identify those muscles that we know they're attached to your eyes? If you dig your hands on your superior obliquus capitis at the base of your neck and flutter your eyes back and forth, you'll feel that muscle twitch. So how do we reverse engineer that and say, let's deal with that muscle and see if that calms it down. There's so many ways to do it. By the way. It sounds like what you were saying before, which there are a million ways to skin a cat. There are a million ways to rehab, fill in the blank. Definitely concussion. You gotta know where your athlete is and what are their deficits and how do you attack them like a sniper instead of just trying everything.
Jeff LoVecchio: Yeah. And the biggest thing with concussions too, and this is something I tell everyone, never go to your MD if you have a concussion. As long as it's not at an extremely, extremely, extremely minor one where it's like barely one. But if you have a concussion, get to a concussion specialist. It's night and day what you're gonna get like nobody... And I was an HO. Nobody talked to me about what I was eating. And so me as the guy who wins testing and like that's who I am and my identity. And that gets me the chance to be at the higher level. I'm like well, I haven't worked out in three and a half months, even though I can't like I can't be eating poorly.
Jeff LoVecchio: I don't even wanna overeat. 'cause I wanna be ready to come back. I don't want my... I don't want them to test my body fat and I'm at 20. Whereas before this I was at six or seven. Which now too low knowing what I know now. But that's kind of where it was. And so nobody talks to me about nutrition. My sleep was god awful. I should have seen a psychologist they did offer to have... And I'm not blaming the Bruins, like this was just concussion.
Yoni Rosenblatt: That's where what it was. Yeah.
Jeff LoVecchio: Protocol. It was just so archaic. Luckily like that year and the year before and the year after, like two or three of the biggest stars in the NHL got bad concussions. And so everybody started putting money into concussion protocol research. All this stuff. So it's so much better now. So I'm happy now for the guys who have to go through this stuff.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah. I think the NFL had a lot to do with that also. They're just worried about their dollars and cents and that's a massive issue but you make a good point with these pro athletes, how they need to find a team outside of the organization to help them get better. Everyone you just mentioned. Yes. Mass General. Yes. UPMC, they're not necessarily in-house. We've had a lot of success with that of guys finding us on the outside. And we are almost as passionate as you are about what we do. And so it, you gotta be working with people that are dying to learn what's next and what is the best out there. You don't always find that in the locker room. How do you feel about NHL from a strength and conditioning perspective? Are they at the bleeding edge?
Jeff LoVecchio: I think more and more people are yes. In that sport. But hockey is so dynamic. Every other sport for the most part is played on the ground and you train on the ground. You run in the ball in football or you run in track. It's the same way you run in the gym when you're practicing sprints. But the way that you sprint in the gym is not how you skate. It's completely different mechanical motions. And hockey is so demanding. You have to be very good at a bunch of things. You have to have speed, you have to have power, you have to have balance, you have to have agility, you have to have vision. You have to. You have to understand depth perception and space and time and how to manipulate those things. And that's where I was going back to saying like, the reason that I've had so much success and trained so many players that trust me is because we're working on all those things. I'm not just making your muscles bigger. I'm doing that but also all this other things, you know what I mean? And it's funny because I was a mean head when I was younger, like all I did was lift.
Jeff LoVecchio: I just loved lifting. Just lift, lift, lift, lift, lift. But then I realized like, oh, well if I lift a unilateral dumbbell bench press more often than a barbell bench press, that makes me better at hockey. The barbell bench press is negligible. Because you know that you... There's nothing like that in hockey at least you're having to resist rotation. You're working both adductors, your glutes, your back, your... You are literally working everything while you're doing the exact same pressing motion. And so it's just like very simplistically that makes way more sense than those old school ways now. I think way more hockey trainers are getting into that. Hockey players have gotten smaller because training has gotten smarter. When I was playing guys were training like football players and they moved like football players. Well now they are skilled guys can be smaller and they're making it and so they're faster so they're pushing the pace, so now you don't need to 62240 you need to be 62215.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah, you got to be...
Jeff LoVecchio: And agile. You've gotta be able to keep up with that little water bug who's skilled as hell and can stop and start on a dime and all those things, 'cause if you can't catch him, you can't hit him. It doesn't matter how big you are. So I wouldn't say hockey's behind, but like younger hockey still is. In my opinion.
Yoni Rosenblatt: What's the best way to train that skate form in the gym?
Jeff LoVecchio: Oh. Again, it's so like different than anything you really do.
Yoni Rosenblatt: So tell me what you do. Yeah. What do you do?
Jeff LoVecchio: Slide boards are great for something that's similar. We do lots of like 45 degree reverse lunge, reverse lunge, forward lunge, lateral lunge, I mean rear foot elevated split squats. Hockey is played on one foot at a time. You skate one leg at a time, you shoot for the most part on one leg. Especially at the higher levels. You're getting hit while you're changing your stride. So it's not like you're stuck in the mud like a back squat. And again, well, I hate back squats. I don't have anybody back squat. Never have, never will. But if you are training more unilateral in nature, your body just gets used to being one foot, one foot, one foot. And I'm not saying I don't train bilaterally ever. We do, but I'd say my off season programming is probably 70, 30 unilateral to bilateral maybe.
Yoni Rosenblatt: You sound like boil Boyle.
Jeff LoVecchio: Right. But in season though, I do flip that. In season I flip that to being way more bilateral than unilateral because I want it to be easier on their system. I don't want their adductors super sore. When you're doing anything unilateral, you're gonna be using your adductors more and we use those croup time and hokey and I want them to be able to get in and out of the gym faster in season all I focus on is strength mobility pre-hab, strength, pre-hab, mobility that's it. They're getting all, and Boyle said this on my podcast, fill up the empty buckets. And I've quoted him forever since that, it was probably five years ago in season. I wanna fill up the empty buckets out of season, same idea. But now they're not skating, they're not getting all the unilateral work, they're not getting all that stuff. So we work on that type of stuff in the gym.
Yoni Rosenblatt: That's really smart. Like the way you look at periodizing, that and the way you look at attacking that, which they're not overusing to avoid the overuse stuff. You mentioned skating one leg at a time. One skate at a time. What's the best way to mimic and enhance shot velocity in the gym?
Jeff LoVecchio: Oh man, that's so hard. That's such a tough question actually. 'cause it's...
Yoni Rosenblatt: Thank you.[laughter]
Jeff LoVecchio: Shooting is again, and shooting and skating are very similar. And that technique is everything. You can see like one of the best players in the NHL right now, Jack Hughes, he's this big. He's this big. But his stride efficiency is unparalleled. His balance on his skates is unbelievable as he's making all these moves, right? So like, you don't need to be a monster. You need to be strong obviously, and resilient and all these things. But technique is so much of hockey in the way that you shoot because there's so much technology in the skates and the stick sticks are not, like when we grew up, I just became, a partner with Bauer, the biggest company in hockey, which is like a dream of mine. And I was just out at their headquarters in New Hampshire like two weeks ago.
Jeff LoVecchio: And I'm holding all the new sticks and they're all telling me like, when I played I used like 105 flex and now guys are using like 75. It's like a noodle. But it's because they don't have to put as much energy into it. 'cause they're using the technology of the stick, how it should be to their advantage. So there is a lot of technique with it. But, we work, a lot of carries for the grip and forearm. We do some kind of loaded carry two to four days a week all summer long. Almost every day. We're doing some kind of loaded carry, whether that's single hand, both hands, waiters carry overhead. I don't care what it is. We're gonna do some kind of carry a lot of forearm stuff. We use fat grips.
Jeff LoVecchio: We, strengthen, oblique slings and how you're gonna move when you shoot and things like that. Acceleration, deceleration from the lower body because you kind of, like, you don't jump into a shot, but you kind of like explode into it and push down on the stick so it pops off. So a lot, my philosophy is 90% of training across most sports is probably pretty similar. It's like that last 10% and then like the individualized portion within that 10% for what your role is in the sport.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah. Like position specific. That makes me think of, I just had an athlete come in with a UCL strain. He's a pitcher. And so I was working with one of the therapists who's primarily working with him. And he was doing carries. He sounded like exactly what you were doing. I said, why don't we grab in instead of doing a dumbbell carry, why don't we grab two plates, split that weight in half and have him pinch it. Because now we're getting all the way down to your pincher grip. And we're getting all the way down to the little muscles that are controlling that flick as that curve ball comes off the fingers. Make him own that, control that in the gym. So that's what you're talking about. That's that last 10%. Of how do we get position specific, how do we get split and then position. So I'm sure that that carries over to kind of what you guys do. How do, how about a goalie? How do you get goalie specific?
Jeff LoVecchio: We just really work on like, people like hate on like buzzword terms.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Give me a buzzword.
Jeff LoVecchio: Online in like the training community. But when you go back to realizing why, obviously there's idiots out there don't know what they're doing and saying stupid things. But again, we go back to what we talked about in the beginning, especially with Boyle. Like not dumbing it down, but making it digestible for the people who aren't us who are obsessed with training and the body and all those things.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Movement, yeah.
Jeff LoVecchio: So like for me, like we try to bulletproof their ankles, knees and hips, as best we can. We're gonna work on a whole bunch of stuff to load them in positions. Maybe they're in, work on their tendon strength, a lot of ankle work, a lot of hip work, a lot of T-spine rotation work.
Jeff LoVecchio: A lot of what I call a quiet upper body while their lower body is moving. So like when players are doing plyos when you skate, you're kind of throwing your arms to help facilitate better movement, more efficient, but also like it kind of throws you forward and helps you a little bit.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Sure.
Jeff LoVecchio: With a goalie, if they're sliding across the net and they're opening up their arms, well now they just opened up holes to get scored on. So when I do plyos with them or a lateral skater jump the players, I'll let them throw their arms, if that's what that day calls for. Goalies are holding whatever they're, every goalie has a different hand position. They're in their stance and they're doing the lateral skater jump. And I'm screaming at them, don't move that glove. Don't move that glove or whatever. Don't, your blocker moved. I just buried on you. I just buried. You just lost a game. I went, Poul don't you move that blocker as they're jumping. You know? And I want them to get very comfortable with that quiet upper body. 'cause that's what they do the whole game.
Yoni Rosenblatt: That's awesome.
Jeff LoVecchio: So, with goalies I care and goalies, like, I care way less about strength. Like obviously I want them strong. I want everybody's strong, but like I care more about completely owning their movement. I want them to I don't like, I want you to own your movement because they are, they have to be precise because if they're moving and a limb moves, you're opening up a hole where the puck's going every time.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah. We call that end range resiliency, like when we're talking about being all the way outstretched. So I think that makes sense. I recently had a guy named Morgan Cox on the pod. He's the long snapper for the Titans. This is like year 14. You talk about movement specificity, dude does one thing, but it's exactly like you said, his T-spine, his spine needs to be dead quiet while his arms are rapidly accelerating through his zone. That doesn't show up in a lot of sports. And so how do you get specific with, okay, yeah, the guy's coming in for golfer's elbow, but how do you force him to own his T-spine maneuver? So, and then load his wrist flexors to overcome the pathology. I think that's where strength and conditioning meets physical therapy, sports, physical therapy. And that's what makes a great sports PT. So you hinted at it a little bit. Tell me what is the number one thing that hockey strength coaches screw up?
Jeff LoVecchio: Well, at the higher levels or like looking at hockey in general?
Yoni Rosenblatt: Hockey in general.
Jeff LoVecchio: They train them to be good in the weight room or football. Again, I love training my, like the people who don't, people who want to chirp like the way I do things and it's because of what I put on Instagram. Well, I can't show everything we do every day, especially 'cause I put more volume on my guys than anyone I know. I can't show everything. I hate, it's ridiculous. I'm not afraid to, it's just I can't. And so I show stuff on my social media for players who are at home that they could do something at home or it's like, well I know in your gym you're only lifting, so I'm gonna show you everything that you're not doing that maybe you could watch and try and see how impactful it is. So like that's kind of how I do things during the off season to show what we're doing.
Jeff LoVecchio: But they, when I was younger, I was lifting to be better at lifting. Even though I had a great strength coach, and, some of the stuff we did, obviously there's translation from GPP obviously. Certain point that stops. I think, but what I was doing was leaving so much on the table and I, but, and I was winning testing everywhere I went, for, especially body weight to strength ratio was off the charts for a hockey player, but it stayed in the freaking gym. I'd go on the ice. I wasn't nearly the strongest guy on the ice.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Didn't translate.
Jeff LoVecchio: I'd fall over I'd go to hit a guy and I'd fall over. My balance was always off. I'd go to hit guys and I'm falling. And they're not, even though I'm 10 times stronger than that guy. So I was like, why? Why? And actually I went to, Washington Capital's dev camp after my freshman or sophomore year in college. And, Jack Blatherwick, who was the strength coach for 1980s Olympic team.
Yoni Rosenblatt: It's not a bad resume.
Jeff LoVecchio: Yeah. Yeah. A lot of people call him like the godfather of hockey training. He's wrote books and stuff. And I didn't know who he was was till I got there. Looked him up and was like, oh my God, I picked his brain the whole week. He said something to me that also changed everything for me. He said, if you're doing all of your, if all of your training can be done in a phone booth, you're not training to be a hockey player. And I was like, okay, my program at college is squat, bench deadlift, pull ups...
Yoni Rosenblatt: In a phone booth.
Jeff LoVecchio: All of it in a phone booth. I could probably do all of those at the same time in like three phone booths put together. Just not moving at all. And I was like, wow. And at that camp, the first day we had testing and I was probably like 190 at the time. And I think I benched 275 bar to chest seven times.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Geez.
Jeff LoVecchio: I had the second highest bench. There was a guy who was a meet, he was like probably 220 and he benched like 280 like five times or something. Barely beat me. He was also older. I'm still pissed off I lost.
Yoni Rosenblatt: I see that.[laughter]
Jeff LoVecchio: But, so I went, and then after me, Nicklas Backstrom goes, he was just drafted fifth overall that year. He had all this hype on him. The media was just all over him the whole time. He could not bench press 135 once.
Yoni Rosenblatt: I love it.
Jeff LoVecchio: And I've told the story a million times and I watched that and I went fifth overall pick, gonna be in the NHL this year. I think he actually, after that next season, that season, his first year, I wanna say he won Rookie of the year in the NHL or he was at least very close for sure got over a thousand points in the NHL. This guy can't bench press my warmup weight. What is he doing that I'm not? And what am I doing that I don't need to do that he's not doing where he can't bench press the warmup, weight.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Everything.[laughter]
Jeff LoVecchio: And then Blatherwick says that to me in the room and I'm like, okay. And then I sign in the NHL the next year and at the airport I bought Boyle's book or online and I read it cover to cover in a day and a half. And I immediately was like, this makes more sense. This is the gap. Like me just doing all this stuff in a phone booth, I'm gonna start doing this. I did it that summer. Well, when I was healthy and bam. Unbelievable. And I still won testing and I didn't use a barbell for bench or back squat or deadlift one time ever again.
Yoni Rosenblatt: That's awesome. That's awesome. That's, I mean, that sounds like, I think Kevin Durant like couldn't get 125 up in his combine testing. It doesn't matter.
Jeff LoVecchio: Doesn't matter.
Yoni Rosenblatt: It doesn't freaking matter. I have this conversation with the NFL guys. Like, there's a bar you gotta pass. Like there's a, like a, just, just a marker you have to do. But once you get over that, like, spend time on your sport, on your skill, dude, that's a ton of outstanding information. I just, I love the way you look at the game. I love the way you look at strength. Everything kind of makes sense as to why you're so goddamn successful. So good on you Vex. Here we go. Lightning round. You ready? The Eric Cressey lightning round.
Jeff LoVecchio: Let's get it.
Yoni Rosenblatt: I know you're a big fan of sayings, coach. What's your favorite, favorite saying?
Jeff LoVecchio: Get more, be more baby.[laughter]
Yoni Rosenblatt: If it's not get more, be more. What is it?
Jeff LoVecchio: Life gives to the giver.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Ooh. That's freaking good. Life gives to the giver. And what does that mean to you?
Jeff LoVecchio: The more you give, the more will come your way. I believe in Karma. When I was younger and I first started like in my room doing pushups at night when I was young and I was a little weakling, I ripped out from a magazine, a military ad that said, life Gives to the Giver and takes from the taker. And I taped it to the back of my door. My mom was pissed 'cause it ripped... She's like, it's gonna rip off the paint. And I was like, I need to see this. So I do my pushups. I've always been like, I need sayings around. It helps me. And I started to live that way and, give more, be more my clothing brand and it's in my gym and everything like that kind of came as a spinoff of Life Gives to the Giver.
Jeff LoVecchio: I stopped saying that, saying, because I don't believe in negative words. I think words have a lot more power in your own head than anyone realizes with your own self-talk. So I think and takes from the taker, leaves it open to put it out there that, well if I ever do the wrong thing, it's gonna screw me. And yeah, obviously I believe that, but like, I just wanna leave it on a note in my head that makes sense to go forward, never leave anything to go back. And that's where I kind of translated over to give more, be more.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Well, you talk about giving with that answer. And before we started recording, you were talking about some of the programming that you're putting together to make all of this awesome information accessible on Give More Be More or gmbm.com. Tell me a little bit about that.
Jeff LoVecchio: Yeah, man, I'm really excited 'cause it's taken me a year. I am not technologically savvy, which is hilarious 'cause I have a pretty large online training platform now. And I actually just signed up my 21st team or organisation for this season right now, so that's pretty cool.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Congrats.
Jeff LoVecchio: Yeah. Thank you so much. It's been a grind and it's really rewarding. And what I'm trying to do with that is make great training extremely affordable to people who can't afford a coach in person. You can still have great training, obviously the best option is a very good coach. Most people can't afford that. Most teams can't afford that. And so that's what I'm trying to do online and with my website, I'm just trying to, put out as much free information as I can.
Jeff LoVecchio: I'll have a blog on there. I'll probably have a blog on there sometimes. Another thing too, man, when you're a pro athlete, you get everything for free. Like, it's just part of the gig. It's awesome. And then you stop playing pro and if you're not a huge name, nobody caress, you get nothing for free anymore. And so as I kind of grew my social media following and my podcast is really big and grown and stuff. People wanna work with me, companies wanna work with me and I'm always like, well, I gotta get a deal from my clients online in person and my followers. And so on my website too, it's like all the companies that I work with, where you can get a discount because like I reach out to them sometimes I'm like, yo, all my guys use LactiGo, for example, I don't know if you've ever heard of this.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Yep.
Jeff LoVecchio: Dude. Like unbelievable. I didn't believe it would work. I was like, no way this works. And every single one of my guys that uses it is obsessed with it and is a hundred percent in their head convinced it works. That's all I need to hear. And so, you know that, okay, you can save money on that or gym equipment or whatever. So part of it too is like, I kinda wanna create a community where I can help people through information having fun. They can sign up for my online training or when I eventually start doing like courses for coaches, you'll be able to sign up there, you can reach out to me directly on there and then, whenever.
Yoni Rosenblatt: That's awesome. And I can't wait for you to add True Sports Physical Therapy to your list of brands.
Jeff LoVecchio: Let's go.
Yoni Rosenblatt: We'll, I mean we'll offer the ACL course that we just launched at a discount. We will give...
Jeff LoVecchio: Hell yeah.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Free online assessments if they mention Vex. I can't wait.
Jeff LoVecchio: Love it.
Yoni Rosenblatt: I can't wait for that dude.
Jeff LoVecchio: Love it, bro.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Okay. That is awesome. And it sounds like an awesome mission. By the time this thing airs, gmbm.com is gonna be live. So I'm excited for all these sports PTs to figure out what a good hockey strength coach is. Okay. Next lightning round question. Ready? What's the book that has impacted you the most?
Jeff LoVecchio: The Secret or RSF Relentless Solutions Focus.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Love it. Okay. If you could have, if you could grab a beer and let's say and train one current professional athlete, who is that?
Jeff LoVecchio: Oh man.
Yoni Rosenblatt: That you're not currently training.
Jeff LoVecchio: That I'm not. Okay. I was gonna say one of my guys. Honestly, I would go with a guy who's not an athlete anymore. I would go with Joe Rogan.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Because?
Jeff LoVecchio: Well, I mean, the conversations with the people that he's had conversations with are like the smartest, best outside the box, inside the box, every possible thing that you could ever like wanna talk about or learn. Like he's had people on that have done that. And I think that he's so open-minded and looks at things from a zoomed out lens where he can kind of take in things without having a lot of bias. And I think it would just be very cool to hear about all the great people he's met in the conversations he's had.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah. He is so good at it. He is such a good listener. It's crazy.
Jeff LoVecchio: Yeah. Yeah. And he's phenomenal. He's phenomenal.
Yoni Rosenblatt: It boggles my mind that I mentioned, I'll be talking to an athlete that I'm working with. I'm like, oh, did you listen to Rogan? They're like, no, I hate that guy. I'm like, how is that possible? Like, he's so incredible. I've learned a ton from him. That's a good answer. That's a really good answer Vex.
Jeff LoVecchio: The one I used to say when people ask me that, but it was because of his mindset, he doesn't have it anymore, was Conor McGregor, it obviously because he won his, he won because of his mindset. But like, I mean, he, I think he's awesome and all that stuff and the way that he did things, he outsmarted the game and like he was calculated and all these things, but his mindset when he was the guy was, you could see it in his eyes. Like I remember the first time he lost the fight was about to start and I was watching, I go, he's gonna lose. He's a hundred percent gonna lose. He did not have the same look in his eyes leading up to the fight. He was not in the same head space. You could see it. And it was just like, but when he was the guy and he hadn't lost, like, I don't care if they sent a bulldozer in front of him, he would run through the bulldozer. I believe that because he was so dialed and believed in mind, body, everything was all one and it was going there and he will not be stopped. And for me, like mindset is everything. And so that was just like when he was on top, it was like, it was it. I've never seen anything like that.
Yoni Rosenblatt: You think he just got complacent?
Jeff LoVecchio: How do you, not if you become a 500 millionaire or whatever he had going into the first, fight with what's his face...
Yoni Rosenblatt: But look at, look at what Mayweather.
Jeff LoVecchio: Yeah. Yeah. But he's, it's boxing and MMA are so different. You can get, you can, boxing is obviously technique is a MMA, but there's so many different ways that you can get caught that like sometimes technique like, because there's so many techniques that anything can happen. But with boxing, if you are a technical boxer, you're so obviously anything can happen. But like Floyd Mayweather is the best technical boxer of all time. So like he is so much better than every other guy at not getting hit. That like, it's easier for him, I think, than than a MMA fighter to continue to win at that type of pace. I'm not taking anything away from it, but.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah. I think those are good points. Okay, last one. What's one trend you wish would come back?
Jeff LoVecchio: In the world or training?
Yoni Rosenblatt: The world.
Jeff LoVecchio: Jnco Jeans.[laughter]
Jeff LoVecchio: Do you remember those?
Yoni Rosenblatt: Don't... Of course I remember. Unfortunately I remember, of course I remember wearing them with a chain wallet, so yeah.
Jeff LoVecchio: I actually don't want them to come back, but I always see memes about Jnco Jeans and obviously I wore them, so.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Obviously wore them. Dude, if fanny packs could come back, if...
Jeff LoVecchio: Oh bro, I got a bunch of those.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Want sneakers. Of course you do.
Jeff LoVecchio: Yeah. I played in Europe. I took my style cues from all the Europeans. I came back here at first and guys would be like, what are you wearing? And then a few years later, it starts to catch on. But yeah. That's hilarious.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Well, and you played pro hockey in Asia?
Jeff LoVecchio: Yeah, I played, so when I left the US I played Italy, Norway, Austria, Norway, Japan, Japan, Austria. And in Japan, the league was actually the Asian league. It was Japan, Russia, Korea and China. So we flew everywhere. Like it's the best I was treated in my whole career other than in the NHL. And when I was in camp and preseason and all that stuff. Best I've ever been treated it like, it was amazing. There's only three imports allowed on every team, so it's actually pretty hard to get into that league. A lot of guys that were in the league when I was there had NHL games and had good careers and like that was kind of, towards the end, go there, get paid well, played a little bit of an easier league, but it was still, it was still like a challenge. The game was way different than anywhere else I've ever played.
Yoni Rosenblatt: And what were the fans like?
Jeff LoVecchio: Hilariously quiet.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Really?
Jeff LoVecchio: Sitting in their seat.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah, it's so interesting.
Jeff LoVecchio: And, me dude, I like to have fun and when I left the US one of the things that probably because of my concussions and just the way I was brought up, I was like kind of, I was always nervous around authority figures, like with teams GMs, not nervous, but like I just wanted to like do the right thing all the time.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Sure.
Jeff LoVecchio: And yes sir, and shake their hands and stuff like that. And other guys are like, yo, what's up? And like that, like, I wasn't comfortable with that, but when I went to Europe I was like, I'm gonna be myself. I'm gonna be comfortable. And with the fans, I'd always have fun. Always have fun with the fans. 'cause I also realized that without fans there's no leagues. And that's something I'm very passionate about. Players need to treat fans, not better, but like, they need to remind themselves that you're making all this money because they're in the seats and if they're not in the seats, you don't have a job. You're in the street playing street hockey, bro. So like, you're not like better than everybody out there, you know what I mean? So, when I would do interviews and stuff, I had a dish that I love there called Ebi ten Soba. It was like fried shrimp with soba noodles and egg. And I would eat at every pre-game. So I would just interviews all the time, like on the ice, if you were the MVP of the game, which I was a lot, so.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Obviously.
Jeff LoVecchio: At home, I'd get a microphone and I had the translator there to say whatever, and then I would just grab the mic and yell, Ebi ten soba and mad. Then they'd die laughing, it was ridiculous, but it was fun.
Yoni Rosenblatt: That sounds like a good time. This has been a blast. Thank you for your time. Thank you for your knowledge. Thank you for your outlook. I think sports PTs just got a lot better at understanding strength and conditioning. So Vex I really appreciate you man. Give us your handle. Tell us where we can find you. Let us know. Tell us.
Jeff LoVecchio: Absolutely, man. I appreciate the opportunity. I love what you guys do and I take a lot from PTs, a lot. Like, you can't avoid injuries like the, 'cause they're gonna happen, right? You can't avoid all of them, but you can mitigate maybe the severity by doing the right things. And I literally use a lot of PT stuff as my pre-hab, like I all the time, like not all the time every day. Like that is a staple of my training. And I think that's why, again, you can't get all the injuries out of the game or anything like that. But I think that's why so many guys that train with me are pretty healthy throughout the years. So I love PTs, I love learning from them. So thank you for having me On. My Instagram handle is just my name @jefflevecchio, the word love-C-C-H-I-O. And, my new website drops, here in the next day or two. And it's gmbm.com. My podcast for hockey, if we've got any hockey people out there, we've got, we've gotta be at a million and a half downloads now.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Hell yeah.
Jeff LoVecchio: I haven't checked. Yeah, I haven't checked in a minute. But we're probably approaching 1.5 now and it's called the Hockey Think Tank Podcast.
Yoni Rosenblatt: Sick. And, dude, I've spent the last, three weeks doing deep dives onto that thing and it's been awesome. One of our PTs, Danny Willy is like, oh my God, you are having Vex on like.[laughter]
Jeff LoVecchio: What's up Danny. I Said, what up?
Yoni Rosenblatt: Oh, it's awesome. Thanks for being an inspiration. Thanks for being a great interview. Thanks for your time, dude.
Jeff LoVecchio: Absolutely, man. Thanks a lot.
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