Kevin Neeld — Hockey Training, Sports Performance, & Sports Science

Sports Performance Internship

It’s that time of year again. Our off-season hockey group is growing rapidly, and with the addition of a few camps Endeavor will be running I’m more excited for this Summer than ever.

With that said, I thought this would be an appropriate time to repost an article I wrote last year about internships. We had a great internship candidate have to postpone his commitment, so we’re opening up another 1-2 slots for the Summer. If you think you might be interested, I’d encourage you to read the article below and complete an application ASAP.

Regardless of how many good candidates we get, we’re taking a MAX of two more interns. With spots filling up on a rolling basis, it will be important for you to get your application in quickly.

Sports Performance Internship

With the Summer rapidly approaching, and a lot of our junior players already starting to trickle back in for assessments, the hockey off-season is officially upon us. The Summer is an extremely busy time for us at Endeavor, not only because we have 50+ elite hockey players training with us every day, but we also have dozens of youth hockey players, all of the athletes competing in other sports, and our general population clients. This is on top of the speaking engagements I’ve committed to, the continuing education courses members of our staff attend, and at least for me, an extremely busy wedding season (apparently my friends don’t take my work schedule into account when planning their weddings). Needless to say, it’s a very exciting and busy time for us.

With that said, it’s extremely helpful to have a few outstanding interns to help ease the load. Last Summer we had a huge intern class, with interns relocating from Canada, Ireland, England, and all over the U.S. to spend the Summer with us. This Summer, we’re looking at bringing in a smaller number of interns so our staff can spend more time training them and teaching our methodology. If you’re interesting in getting a ton of hands-on experience working with the full spectrum of ice hockey players, complete the application available here: Endeavor Sports Performance Internship

Endeavor

To answer the most pervasive question I get…No, the internship is not paid (more on this later) and we don’t provide any assistance in the way of accommodations.

You will be considered a stronger applicant if:

  1. You have some previous coaching experience either in a private training facility or at the collegiate level.
  2. You’ve been following my work and are familiar with the general layout of our programs and the exercises we use most frequently
  3. You’ve purchased and watched Optimizing Movement so you’re familiar with our assessment process and how it influences our program design
  4. You feel comfortable teaching exercises, cuing, and interacting with clients across a wide range of ages and abilities

Optimizing Movement Cover-Small

Our system for viewing, assessing, and optimizing movement.

To be extremely up front, the application process isn’t about telling us what you know; it’s designed to get a feel for your experience and passion. I’ve read a lot of applications over the years and it never ceases to amaze me when applicants use their entire essay to discuss how prepared they are to design programs for hockey players and how they know what it takes to succeed in the sport because they played. I don’t know of any reputable facility that would let interns design programs for paying clients. Simply, that is not your role in this position. In our setting, the goal is to make you a better coach and equip you with the knowledge, experience, and confidence to transition into your own coaching position. Use the essay and to convey your enthusiasm for learning and coaching instead of how much you know, and you’re more likely to make it through the first round of reading.

As another tip, you’d do well to familiarize yourself with the exercises we use at our facility when filming the exercise you’re teaching. If I get an application with videos of a prospective intern doing crunches, dips, and burpees, I know they haven’t done their homework on our methods and the application is immediately rejected. This discussion is not meant to scare you, but just to help you understand what my (and likely many other internship coordinators) perspective is in reading applications.

Making it in the S&C Industry
A couple weeks ago on HockeySC.com, there was a forum discussion on what education and certification organizations could do to produce better S&C coaches. While a lot of ideas were proposed, the one common theme that everyone agreed on is that students needed more actual coaching experience. There is a very clear link between coaching ability and hours spent in the trenches. Simply, you need to put in your time, and the only way to expedite your coaching abilities is to gain experience working alongside coaches that possess the knowledge, skills, and/or experience you aspire to have.

From a financial perspective, interning sucks. You spend a lot of time, work really hard, and you don’t get paid. If you relocate, you also have living expenses that you need to pay for. As an aside, the Summer between my two years of grad school at UMass Amherst I was set up to come back to the Delaware area and run hockey clinics, camps, and lessons on the ice all Summer, in addition to doing some training work on the side. I was very excited about this because I loved coaching and teaching and it was a great opportunity to spend a lot of time on the ice. It was also the best paying job a student could ask for, and I was looking forward to saving a lot of money to pay off student loan debt. Instead, I paid out of pocket to take a Functional Anatomy class as part of Boston University’s DPT program and interned at Cressey Performance in Hudson, MA. I estimate that that decision was roughly a $20,000 swing in the wrong direction for my bank account. That said, I can still say confidently that it was the smartest career decision I’ve ever made.

 Tony Gentilcore

You will not learn this in school.

Here’s the thing about interning: It’s not an expense; it’s an investment. And there’s much more of a “return” on that investment than just the coaching experience. I was accepted into the Cressey Performance internship because I got a good recommendation from Chris Boyko, who I volunteered for my entire first year of grad school at UMass. During my internship at CP, Eric introduced me to Mike Potenza, the S&C Coach for the San Jose Sharks, who not only invited me out to help with their prospect camp and pre-season training camps (incredible experiences) , but later became a business partner with HockeySC.com and has become a great friend. These are just a couple very isolated examples, but I can essentially take every person I know in the field and trace it back to an introduction that stemmed from one of my internship experiences. This has given me an amazing network of extremely bright, driven, motivated, and successful coaches for me to bounce ideas off of and observe. Further, this is also how a lot of S&C professionals find out about job openings; someone in their network hears from someone else and passes the information along.

Finding great interning opportunities and committing to working as hard as I can while I was there has had an incredible impact on my career, and it can on yours as well. I’m currently looking for 2 GREAT interns for this Summer that have a passionate interest in working with hockey players. You’ll not only gain a ton of hands-on experience, but you’ll get a first hand look at how we assess our athletes, how assessment findings are used to individualize training programs, and our current data tracking and analysis methods. If you want to join the Endeavor team for the Summer, and work with nearly 100 players from the youth through professional ranks, this is your chance: Endeavor Sports Performance Internship

If you have any questions, post them in the comments section below and I’ll get back to you ASAP.

To your success,

Kevin Neeld
HockeyTransformation.com
OptimizingMovement.com
UltimateHockeyTraining.com

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“Kevin Neeld is one of the top 5-6 strength and conditioning coaches in the ice hockey world.”
– Mike Boyle, Head S&C Coach, US Women’s Olympic Team

“…if you want to be the best, Kevin is the one you have to train with”
– Brijesh Patel, Head S&C Coach, Quinnipiac University

Kevin Neeld

Kevin Neeld Knows Hockey

Kevin has rapidly established himself as a leader in the field of physical preparation and sports science for ice hockey. He is currently the Head Performance Coach for the Boston Bruins, where he oversees all aspects of designing and implementing the team’s performance training program, as well as monitoring the players’ performance, workload and recovery. Prior to Boston, Kevin spent 2 years as an Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach for the San Jose Sharks after serving as the Director of Performance at Endeavor Sports Performance in Pitman, NJ. He also spent 5 years as a Strength and Conditioning Coach with USA Hockey’s Women’s Olympic Hockey Team, and has been an invited speaker at conferences hosted by the NHL, NSCA, and USA Hockey.