Club news

Blaze appoint Strength & Conditioning coach

The Genting Casino Coventry Blaze are pleased to announce the addition of Steve Nightingale as the club’s Strength and Conditioning coach.

Last season the Blaze began working with Dave Grant, a personal trainer who will continue in the role and work alongside Steve in providing expert support and advice to ensure the Blaze players are at peak physical condition and prepared for the demands of the Elite League season.

“Dave will be the ‘man on the ground’ doing the day-to-day work-outs with the guys,” explained Steve. “I’m based in Kent but I will be actively involved every day. My role is to plan the overall fitness approach, which has started by looking at the season as a whole and then working down into blocks until writing out the individual work-out plans. To monitor how things are going, we'll be using the heart rate system that the team are equipped with. The players will be expected to wear them every time they work out - on or off-ice, and games too - and the information comes straight to my laptop. That way I can adjust sessions accordingly, and Dave will have a strong input from working directly with the guys. I'll be heading to Coventry for pre-season training camp, and multiple times across the year to make sure things are going to plan.”

Steve, graduated from the University of Bedfordshire in 2009 with a degree in Sport and Physical Education, and went on to complete his Masters degree in Strength and Conditioning at Middlesex University in 2012.

After spending several seasons in the English National League playing in goal for the Peterborough Islanders, Steve switched to working behind the scenes. As a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, he spent a season working for the Peterborough Phantoms in the EPL where the team won the treble before moving on to Invicta Dynamos of the ENL South, whilst also working with a semi-professional rugby team.

Alongside his new role with the Blaze, Steve is also the Head of Strength and Conditioning for the English Ice Hockey Association which involves working with all of the junior national teams, implementing fitness plans, carrying out fitness testing, educational sessions on nutrition and hydration, and running group fitness sessions at the national team camps. Since 2012, he has supported the Nathan Craze goaltending camp and recently took back to the ice, putting the pads back on for NIHL1’s Invicta Dynamos for the past 2 seasons and will ice for the NIHL2’s Haringey Racers this coming year.

“I’ve played hockey for a long time,” said Steve, whose wife also plays in the Women's Elite League for Guildford Lightning. “I grew up in Peterborough watching the Pirates and then Phantoms, and played all through the junior system and in to their ENL team for a couple of seasons. I've had a few breaks over the years to concentrate on education and work, but more recently I’ve got back into it playing in the NIHL.”

Outside of hockey, the 33-year-old is the Programme Leader and lecturer for an undergraduate degree in Sport Studies at South Essex College, a researcher and also an author.

“I've been at the college for 4 years, and teaching for 7 years in total,” explained Steve. “My main philosophy is that my training is evidence based and research backed. To demonstrate this, I have written and published many fitness related articles in well-respected journals both in the UK and internationally.” You can find an example of Steve’s work here.

On the Blaze role, an excited Nightingale commented, “Whether you’re on the ice or not, being in a team environment and seeing results is an awesome experience. I’m a bit gutted that I won’t get the chance to be part of the locker room, in and around the guys each day but I’m excited to work in partnership with Dave, Danny (Stewart, Head Coach), James (Pease, Director of Hockey Operations), Nic (Sherlock, Physio) and the other backroom staff, using my expertise to ensure the players are the strongest, fittest and most well prepared that they can possibly be.”

Director of Hockey Operations James Pease said, “We’re really happy to bring in Steve. As an organisation we are taking big strides forward in a number of areas and this is another important addition for the club. Dave Grant has done a fantastic job working on the fitness side with our guys and we feel Steve’s expertise in this area will only supplement and help to advance the work that Dave has already started. What we like about Steve isn’t just the fact that he is an expert in this area, but also that he has good hockey knowledge and experience so understands the demands of the sport directly. We all look forward to working with him.”

Visit Steve Nightingale’s website which includes details about personal training and also e-training: