Justin Brooks, Director of Athletic Development and DEPTH Partner
Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Hamilton Bulldogs, OHL
MSc. Physical Therapy, BSc. Kinesiology
Precision Nutrition Level 2 Master Coach
Justin is the leader of the strength and performance component of the Off-Season Hockey Training Program at Depth and is entering his 8th summer in this role. Over the past 8 years Justin has used his diverse education and experience in hockey to create a comprehensive off-season program which provides players at all levels from minor hockey to PRO with the tools they need to reach the next step in their playing careers. During this time Depth has seen 7 players drafted to the NHL, 25+ players in Major Junior, multiple NCAA scholarship offers and 100+ athletes playing Jr. A or Jr. B.
As we enter OS2018 Justin has worked to assemble a team of additional coaches and experts all working together with 1 common goal; produce RESULTS! We are looking forward to another high energy and high paced summer with Justin directing this program.
What do you bring as a coach to the off-season program?
I bring an eye for excellence and the ability to oversee the progress and results of several athletes simultaneously to help identify where they need to improve in order to give themselves the best chance of playing at the highest level possible. I have worked with hundreds of hockey players during the past 8 years and can quickly identify areas of strengths and weakness for each player which we need to address with our training. Working with players at the OHL level and having several NHL prospects on our team in Hamilton has also provided more insight into what is required to not only play, but compete physically against other top players in the province. All of this provides more direction for our training programs and coaching to help maximize their time in the gym.
What is NEW about the 2018 Off-season?
This summer is shaping up to be our most exciting off-season yet for 2 reasons:
1) We have and are currently making some major changes to our training facility to help maximize the resources we provide our athletes by upgrading everything from our flooring, turf, strength and power equipment, training software and just the general look of Depth. We want our athletes to step into Depth and feel they are in a high-performance environment that demands their best every training session.
2) We have added to our coaching and training staff more than ever this off-season to provide athletes with every resource they need to get results. We have such a diverse group of coaches all with their own area of expertise who add different elements to maximizing our athletes’ performance; we have added to our rehab team by bringing on more experts with strong therapeutic skill sets and increased the number of nutrition coaches able to provide our athletes with sound nutrition education and advice.
What is your favourite part about the off-season program?
What I enjoy most about the off-season is just the energy and atmosphere in the gym during the summer! We are fortunate to have not only a lot of great athletes but great people in general at Depth during the off-season. Everyone comes in ready to work hard, everyone pushes each other to be better and every athlete shares the same goal – to get better! It brings an energy and enthusiasm that is hard to match and this makes it a lot of fun for all of us as coaches.
What advice do you have for athletes starting their off-season program?
My biggest piece of advice is to start practicing good training habits early and focusing on the little things that will lead not only to great training sessions, but helping to maximize the benefits of this hard work.
- Eating a healthy meal or snack at least 1-2 hours prior to your training session.
- Taking time to focus on your goals prior to each training session to ensure you commit to executing your training session at a high level every day.
- Putting as much time and focus into your warm-ups and post-workout stretches as you do to the strength and power training exercises.
- Listening to your coaches and trying to get better in some way every session.
- Get out to the field sessions (at RIM and Bechtel Park) which provide more open area for extra speed, agility and conditioning work.
- Making sure you have a healthy meal within 1 hour after your workout.
- Getting 8 hours of sleep each night to help maximize your recovery from training.
My last piece of advice is to SHOW-UP. In all of my 8 years with Depth, the athletes who do not skip workouts, who show-up every day, and who work hard on a consistent basis are the athletes who see the best results.