Pro Hockey Coach and Firefighter Preaches the Importance of Hydration

Pro Hockey Coach and Firefighter Preaches the Importance of Hydration

Kevin Ziegler Kevin Zieglerknows fire and ice. Ziegler is a member of Minnesota Task Force 1 in the Minneapolis Fire Department, which he joined 14 years ago. He is also a Strength and Conditioning Coach for hockey players, a childhood interest that led to his role as Global Director of Sports Performance for Octagon Hockey.

“I was into hockey as a young kid,” Ziegler says. “I figured out that hockey wasn’t going to pay for my education but football was.” He attended Iowa State University on a football scholarship, earning a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and Physiology and a master’s degree in Physiology. He also holds certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association and the American College of Sports Medicine.

Ziegler’s hockey career includes work as Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Phoenix Coyotes of the National Hockey League and consulting with other teams, including the New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers. In 1990, he opened his pioneer sports training center exclusively for enhancing academic performance. Clients have won World Championships, World Series Championships, National Championships, and the Stanley Cup.

Although he has received offers to coach NHL teams, Ziegler remained committed to his native Minnesota and his firefighter work for Minneapolis. He was directing strength and conditioning for a hockey team of 16- to 20-year-olds when a nutritionist friend introduced him to The Right Stuff®. kiwi-packet-group2    Now he recommends it to hockey players and keeps it on hand for his firefighting job.

Hydration for Athletes

“We had talked about hydration for athletes. It’s one of the biggest issues,” he says, citing a Yale University study of hockey players that confirmed that those in pads sweat more than those without pads. “It’s something that’s really well known in hockey. Hydration is hugely important, especially for goaltenders.”

Our recovery for our team was much faster for the players that were using The Right Stuff than for the players that weren’t using it.

The Right Stuff is the solution. “Our recovery for our team is much faster for the players that use it than for the players that weren’t using it,” he says.” For the goaltenders, it gave them an advantage. They recovered quicker. They didn’t cramp. It made our travel that much better because our players weren’t getting dehydrated. Once you get dehydrated, it’s very hard to catch up. I found it was very beneficial. From there I started using it in our pro camps in Octagon. I’ve used it with our diabetic athletes to keep them hydrated. We’ve had great results.” [Editor Note: The Right Stuff does not contain any sugars or carbohydrates]

In addition to the benefits during workouts and games, Ziegler notes, The Right Stuff eases the dehydration of air travel that contributes to jet lag for teams flying cross-country.

“I think it would be a great product where you’re put in a situation where you can get dehydrated – flying or playing at altitude,” he says. “For an athlete who has to play the next day, jet lag is something you want to avoid.”

Ziegler drinks The Right Stuff for his own hydration at work. “I use it personally in the firefighting,” he says. “Especially if it’s a hot day, I keep The Right Stuff with me when I’m on the fire truck.”

Pro Hockey (AHL) Athletic Trainer Saves “Heavy-Sweater” Goalie from Dehydration Symptoms

kevin-kacerKevin Kacer chose to attend Indiana Central University, now the University of Indianapolis, because he figured he’d get more experience as a student athletic trainer at the small school. He was right.

“I was the only student trainer there my freshman year,” says Kacer, who had seen programs with dozens of students at Purdue University and Indiana University. “It was a small Division 2 school. I knew I would get a lot of experience early in my collegiate career. I was traveling with the football team, I had the baseball team, I did wrestling and basketball.

I wanted to be an athletic trainer

“I knew when I was in high school that I wanted to be an athletic trainer,” he says, adding that his high school coach and athletic director sent him to summer camps for trainers. “I played sports growing up. I came to that realization that I wasn’t going to go much further playing sports, but I liked it and I liked helping people.”

Kacer earned his degree in physical education and, with his extensive experience, passed a national exam to become an athletic traChicago Wolves Logo croppediner. The head athletic trainer at the university, who had moved to Fort Wayne and opened a sports medicine clinic, helped Kacer get a job with the Fort Wayne Flames pro indoor soccer team. After two years, he moved to the Fort Wayne Komets of the International Hockey League, then the Fort Wayne Fury of the Continental Basketball Association. After two years as an assistant trainer with the Detroit Pistons, Kacer moved in 1995 to the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League, where he is head athletic trainer.

“I have everything to do with the health and safety of the players,” he says. “I manage all of their injuries. I’m the guy that takes care of their first aid needs, emergency needs. I’m that first responder when something happens to one of our players. Their health and safety is my No. 1 concern. I’m doing what I wanted to do.” Kacer is a member of the Professional Hockey Athletic Trainers Society (PHATS) , National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), and American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).

I’ve grown to use The Right Stuff for a lot more of my guys that are chronic sweaters.

A few years ago, he suggested The Right Stuff to a goalie who is a heavy sweater. “And, now he uses it religiously,” Kacer says. “He loses a lot of water weight both in practice and in games. It became a problem with him, getting dehydrated and losing that edge.  (Editor’s Note: Studies show hockey players are some of the heaviest sweaters among team sports athletes; e.g., 3+ L/game) .  I’ve grown to use The Right Stuff for a lot more of my guys that are chronic sweaters. They get overheated and lose that edge. It’s a very, very physical, demanding sport. Our games are usually two plus hours. It’s a pretty good aerobic sport.  The Right Stuff has been helping our team for a few years now!”