blank'/> THE PUCK REPORT: Rob Blake Interview - Pro Camp Sports

Friday, September 11, 2009

Rob Blake Interview - Pro Camp Sports

Last week we met with Norris winner (1998), Triple Gold Club member, and 20 season veteran Rob Blake at Gold's Gym in Venice Beach to discuss his off-season training with T.R. Goodman, rookie residence with Wayne Gretzky, and love for surfing. These are his stories.

Q: Tell me about training with T.R. Goodman at Pro Camp Sports.
A: Well they’re pretty grueling early morning circuits non-stop for an hour. But you know there’s nine or ten of us out there and it’s kind of a competition. I’ve been doing it for 15 years now. It’s kind of the pre-game ritual I do before training camp every year.

Q: How many weeks do you spend at Pro Camp?
A: I start right away here when I get home. Now the kids are in school so I’m not back until the beginning of June. But I’m here from June right on through training camp.

Q: Is the workout this intense every morning?
A: This is the month of August so he turns it up. You know before it’s weight training and preparing you for these circuits and then the month of August is all these circuits. High tempo and high reps. It keeps your heart rate up for an hour pretty good.

Q: Does T.R. split you guys up by position, seniority, or something else?
A: Kind of seniority now. You pick your times. They've got an early morning group going at 6am so those are the young guys usually. The guys who have been around for a while take the 8am spot.

Q: Tell me about living with Wayne Gretzky when you moved to LA?
A: Well just being able to be around him and seeing how he acts as a professional I mean that's the thing you want to learn the most. The hockey skill and talent will come but learning how to be a professional prolongs your career. Being surrounded by him, Tony Granato, Marty McSorley, Charlie Huddy, and Jari Kurri, guys like that help you become a better professional.

Q: I understand you’re an avid surfer.
A: Yeah.

Q: What kind of board do you ride?
A: Well I’ve got a few different ones. Anywhere from 10’ down to 7’. And now we do a lot of stand up paddle surfing (SUP) with the bigger board. That’s more of a hobby in the summer. We kind of put it after this. We’ll go home and if it’s nice out we’ll go out and surf or paddle. It’s a little extra workout.

Q: Where are your favorite breaks?
A: I go right in front of our house. We’re in Manhattan Beach. So for the most part we go there. If we take trips we’ll go down to San Onofre, which is down by San Diego, or El Salvador. A friend of ours has a place down there.

Q: Who do you paddle out with?
A: Most times Glen Murray and Nelson Emerson. Sean O’Donnell will come out sometimes too. We have a little local group. There’s a few neighbors that go out too. We kind of take that to ourselves there.

Q: Did Paul Kariya used to surf with you?
A: He did. When we’d go down south we used to surf with Paul a lot. Joe Sakic was down there. There was quite a few guys that used to make the journey every once in a while.

Q: Who’s the best surfer in the group?
A: Glen Murray is pretty good. Paul won’t let me say that though. Paul would like to say him for sure.

Q: Describe the transition from Los Angeles to Colorado to San Jose.
A: I mean, you know a few different types of organizations. Playing in California is one thing where you’re surrounded by hockey when you’re at the rink but outside of that there’s not a lot of it. When you go to Colorado it’s more of a sports town, a hockey town, and people outside of the rink would recognize the hockey. Plus they had a franchise that was at the top of the game at the time. You know, winning two Cups and being that competitive for five or six years. It was a fun atmosphere.

Q: What are the next steps for the team in San Jose?
A: Well we got to figure out a way to get through the playoffs. I mean we’ve got a strong team, you have to be to win a Presidents' Trophy. But the matter that counts is the playoffs and we got to find a way to do that.

Q: Have you guys got a spot for Chelios on the blueline?
A: I hope so. I hope so. He could definitely add a lot to our team for sure.

Many thanks to Rob for speaking with us. Best of luck next season.