September 21, 2011

Hockey Team Participates in Judgment Day

NORTH ANDOVER, MA – Over the past weekend, the hockey team at Merrimack took part in 'Judgment Day'; a two-day, team-building camp that required teams to complete physical tasks while coping with mental exhaustion.

Day one of 'Judgment day' began at 5:30 am in South Boston on the beach and day two began at 9:00 am. The hockey team took part in land and sea exercises throughout both mornings. The land exercises consisted mainly of a rigorous calisthenics routine which included push-ups, jumping jacks and more and team related relay races with the use of a lifeboat.

The sea exercises consisted of races from the beach into the water, carrying the lifeboat over their heads into the water, a 100 meter race into the water, and back to land where they then need to carry the lifeboat over their head to the finish line. Each team needed hard work, team unity and stamina in order to win the race, which helped the team gain trust in one another.
 
At the end of the team-building camp, one participant is chosen as the t-shirt winner, for being the most outspoken and hardest worker. This year that award was given to junior defenseman Kyle Bigos (Upland, CA), who was given the award for his excellent performance.

"The Program's Judgment Day is a mentally and physically challenging, team-building and leadership development training," said Erik Kapitulik of the Program. "Integrity, discipline and confidence is what we hope to instill in each of our student athletes."

"It's amazing after just one weekend how different the hockey team is," said strength and conditioning coach Mike Kamal, who oversees the Judgment Day program. "Erik provides one of the most unique and effective methods for promoting accountability and team-building."

Coaches and players alike have quickly become firm believers in the process and appreciate what Judgment Day has already done for their teams in terms of camaraderie and leadership.

"It's what we do," said head coach Mark Dennehy. "It's a good demonstration of our core principles, and also a great test to whether the winning culture that we have worked hard to develop has been handed down."
 
"It was a great weekend for our team to build and work as one," senior assistant captain Ryan Flanigan (Rochester, N.Y.) said. "It seemed like the team was prepared from the beginning of the camp. Most of the guys stepped up in leadership roles and everyone was accountable for themselves and their teammates."
 
The Judgment Day initiative, spearheaded by Kamal began in the summer of 2009 and has been embraced by the Athletics Department at Merrimack College. Judgment Day will continue to enable varsity programs to partake in the team-building sessions throughout the academic year.