Sharpening the Edge: Matt Cullen and Sanford POWER
A simple sheet of ice surrounded by boards…
For Matt Cullen, Minnesota Wild center, it’s the playground of his dreams. The place where top-end speed, precise passing and shooting, and leadership have scored him 15 years in the National Hockey League.
“Sometimes I have to pinch myself,” says the Moorhead native and 2006 Stanley Cup winner. “First, I can’t believe how blessed I’ve been -- this year I played my 1,000th game with the NHL. Second, I can’t believe how much fun I’ve had!”
Is your passion hockey?
If you dream of playing pro hockey, there’s no better place than the Upper Midwest. "This is where youth hockey flourishes," says Matt.Consider the decades of growth in Fargo's program alone:
- In 1979: 56 teams (first grade through high school) comprised of 568 boys.
- In 2012: 81 teams comprised of 1,073 boys AND girls.
- In 2016: a projected 109 teams comprised of 1,354 boys and girls.
- In 1979, hockey kids had five sheets of ice in Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo.
- In 2012: 13 sheets! And more are needed to meet the region's growing demand.
"We’re in one of the very best areas in the country -- and world -- to be an aspiring hockey player,” says Matt. “Just some amazing opportunities -- and close to home.”
Advance at Sanford POWER
Matt’s earliest memory of hockey is holding a stick at age 2. From little on up, he’s practiced and perfected his skills wherever and whenever possible -- the basement, garage, backyard ice rink. From stickhandling to shooting to skating, he’s never stopped practicing.
“Early on, my dad -- a high school hockey coach -- taught me an important lesson: You have to keep improving or you’ll get passed by,” he says. “To be a good hockey player, you have to pour your heart and soul into this game.”
If you’re an aspiring hockey player, what are you doing to improve? Are you seeing results? Have you considered Sanford POWER Center?
“It’s ideal -- a fantastic place to train,” says Matt. “Sanford POWER has everything you need -- knowledgeable staff, the right equipment and a program that really impresses me. It’s all right there for you.”
Your individual triumph
Open since August 2011, Sanford POWER provides year-round high-intensity training for hockey players of all ages and levels.
Phil Faught, director of Sanford POWER Hockey Academy and athletic trainer with the Fargo Force, explains what sets it apart: “The individual attention is absolutely key. Coaches have time to work with teams, but at Sanford POWER we work with individuals, beginning with that very important initial evaluation. An accurate, scientific evaluation sets the stage for an individualized program -- and dynamic growth.”Other game-changers at POWER:
- Specific dry-land training to develop strength and flexibility, particularly in the legs.
- A well-designed hockey treadmill to refine skating skills, stickhandling and shooting.
- A sheet of synthetic ice to further refine skills.
- Consistent emphasis on injury prevention and proper strengthening/conditioning.
“We strive for well-rounded, healthy athletes who are strong in the right areas,” says Phil. “That’s how we succeed.”
Off-season and on, the POWER Center builds better hockey players.
Work hard, have fun
It’s a hot morning in July. Matt and several cohorts, including some from the NHL, converge on an indoor ice arena in Moorhead for drills and a scrimmage. With agility, momentum and speed, they own the ice.
At the end of his four-hour workout, the player with the #7 jersey takes a moment to sign autographs and share one more lesson from his dad.
“Before every game he’d always tell me, ‘Work hard and have fun,’” says Matt. “I still believe that. You can’t have one without the other.”
Your best shot
Ready to pour your heart and soul into being your best?
Call Sanford POWER at 234-8999! Recognized by Matt Cullen, it’s your home for winning-edge hockey.
Posted Date: November 2012