BUFFALO, N.Y. - Not everyone has the opportunity to train with the Navy SEALs. In fact, most people might not even want to train with the top soldiers in the world. This week, the Buffalo Sabres prospects have the privilege to do so at the team's annual summer development camp.
Approximately 40 of the Sabres top prospects took part in United States Navy SEALs training Monday and Tuesday morning on a local beach. The players went through a variety of workouts ranging from thousands of squats, push-ups, and sit-ups to a swim in the lake at 5 am.
PHOTO GALLERY: Sabres Train with the Navy Seals
Center Luke Adam described the training experience and the Navy SEALs philosophy, "We're not training you from the neck down, but the neck up."
The players were told late on Sunday night during a meeting with the Navy SEALs that they would be training with them the following morning. This prompted some players like left wing Marcus Foligno to check out exactly what Navy SEALs do, "I googled them and YouTubed them the night before because I was a little bit worried."
While none of the players said they were expecting this kind of treatment at camp, many said that the experience will only make them mentally and physically stronger.
Right wing Corey Tropp emphasized that the Navy Seals training should help the team in more than one way, "It was a tough morning, but its also a good opportunity to push yourself and the type of stuff that brings teams together." Tropp also pointed out that the Navy SEALs themselves were a bit intimidating, "Right away you could tell they were pretty intense and probably the toughest in the business."
Luke Adam said that he will take away more from the Navy Seals than just the physical toughness as a hockey player, "I don't know if its as much as (improving) as a hockey player but (more so) as a person." Adam said the SEALs were tough on the guys and reminded him of a bit of his past, "It's almost like mom, make your bed properly, clean the bedroom, clean up after yourself. It's a lot of mental training," Adam said.
First round draft pick, Mikhail Grigerenko, said that he had never done anything like this kind of training before being drafted by the Sabres. "We had to go swim in the lake just to go there and make yourself wet for like 20 times probably and then go back and make yourself all dirty in the sand," Grigerenko said.
The experience will change the way that all of these young men look at the Navy SEALs. Center Cody Hodgson said it was truly an honor to be training with them, "We have a lot of respect for them, but even more appreciation for them now."
The prospects will participate in the Navy SEALs training each morning throughout the rest the developmental camp which is expected to come to a close on Thursday night with a Blue and Gold Scrimmage game at First Niagara Center.