Whereas his crew is being rebuilt, NHL star Jakob Chychrun continues to construct his physique

One of the toughest aspects in professional sport is remodeling. The process tests the patience and loyalty of a fan base, organization, and athletes as growth and development are a priority. This is the case with the Arizona Coyotes, who currently rank last in the NHL rankings. To make matters worse, some of their key players suffered injuries early in the season, such as: B. Player Jakob Chychrun.

It can be difficult to see the bigger picture when the bottom line in the profit and loss column grows at the wrong end, but when faced with the odds of 23-year-old NHL defender Jakob Chychrun, it's not hard to believe better days are imminent.

“You have to have a short memory,” says Chychrun. "For me personally, it's all about controlling what I can control, staying positive every day and just having fun working with my teammates, going to the rink every day, putting on my skates and trying to to get better as a group. "

A native of Boca Raton, FL, was drafted the 16th overall pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft and suffered a number of setbacks to start his career. In his rookie season, Chychrun had an operation to repair a ligament in his left shoulder. After his first season, he tore his left knee meniscus and a cruciate ligament tear in his right knee the following year. He treated each of these setbacks as lessons and as evidence of his resilience and talent. Last season he had career highs in goals (18), assists (23) and points (41) and was one of only five Coyotes to appear in all 56 games.

While it can be difficult for any competitor to pilot a tag, Chychrun's firsthand experience of fighting through physical adversity makes him an ideal candidate to guide the struggling coyotes through the process. Chychrun explains the mindset required for such a task.

NHL defender for The Arizona Coyotes Jakob Chychrun at a one-armed landmine pressKelsey Grant / Arizona Coyotes

MAKE YOUR FAITH STRONGER THAN YOUR DOUBTS

The most important thing is that you always have full faith and confidence in yourself and in your abilities. You have to be your own greatest supporter. I would not take back any of the hardships, operations or adversities that I have experienced in my life. At the end of the day you learn so much about yourself as an athlete, but also as a person and what you are able to do when faced with adversity.

As crazy as it sounds, I think the injuries really helped my career. You'd think two major knee surgeries and a few other injuries would be a major setback. At that time they happened, but I've gained so much knowledge and worked with so many people who have helped me come back and have given me so much knowledge of things that I can get better at; how to better prepare and take care of myself and how to stay healthy. It sucks the moment but if you embrace it and never lose confidence in yourself believing that you will come back better than you were, that's the biggest part of the fight.

THE VALUE OF A GREAT SUPPORT SYSTEM

Family has always been everything to me. You've been by my side since day 1. There is no one you can rely on more than your family. They will always be your greatest supporters. My mom and dad were always with me when I had an operation and in the early stages when it was difficult to take care of yourself. They are definitely the ones who can keep your spirits up during such a time. There are long days of rehab, but when you are done with it it is nice to have your family there to re-center your mind and get back to normal life. It is very important to have my grandpa who is my biggest fan and role model. I look up to my grandpa like anyone else. He turned 85 this year and still plays hockey with me once a week during the summer. It's a special bond that I have with him and my father. The three of us meet on the ice in the summer and are a great support system.

Arizona Coyotes NHL defender Jakob Chychrun in a Bulgarian split squat with dumbbellsKelsey Grant / Arizona Coyotes

CONCENTRATE WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL

Obviously, if you're out and about and can't be on the ice with your teammates, you're missing the game. I am very goal-oriented and motivated. I think staying positive and just focusing on what I can control each day has helped me get through difficult times and know that I would come out better on the other side. My dad used to tell me, "The only thing you can control is how hard you work every day." You cannot control whether you are injured. Every time I was hurt I was pretty emotional for about 24 hours and I assumed it knew what the process would be and how long it would take to recover. I just let it all come out of me in the first 24 hours. Once I'm able to get that out of my system it's like a 180 mind shift and I go straight into my driven mode to get back better than I was before I was injured. I think the way I'm wired helped me with these injuries.

Returning from the first (knee injury) seemed a breeze compared to the right one. I wasn't in much pain when I got back and I was really just able to get started. The right side was an ACL repair and they had to take my patellar tendon and use it as my new ACL. I had severe tendinitis because of it. I've been dealing with that for a long time. It takes a full year to feel normal. When I started playing again, it was much longer warm-ups and activations before every workout, game, and workout. I really had to make sure I was prepared for activity to make sure my knee was in a good place and wasn't hurting. It takes a long time to heal and feel completely normal.

USE IN WORK

Hockey is a pretty unique sport when it comes to training. I think it's one of the few sports that you really need to be a balanced athlete in, (especially in) the gym and when exercising. You need to have a really strong lower body, really strong core, strong upper body, and great cardio. It's not easy to train, but at the same time I think it makes it fun and keeps it interesting. You are not running out of things to work on. I think the big things for me over the years when it comes to weight lifting, your basic exercises are key. Different variations of squats, lots of deadlifts, and Olympic weightlifting exercises translate well into athleticism. With my knee surgeries, I need to find ways to get creative with cardio. I used to run a lot and now I have to be a lot gentler on my joints. I've done a lot of pool workouts over the past few years. I think it's a great tool for your health and fitness, and there are so many things you can do to help relieve stress on your joints.

As for some of my favorite workouts, I have to say: front squats with a raised rear foot and a safety squat bar. I like to do overhead snatches, like an Olympic barbell lift. The last one would likely be a sumo or Romanian deadlift.

POST HOCKEY RESTORATION

We will do a lot of lifts after the games. They are not crazy elevators. They will be full-body exercises, roughly two to three sets of three or four exercises. When there are games that we don't lift afterwards, I like to ride my bike on a pretty low setting and flush my legs that way. I also do a lot of stretching, foam rolling and that helps me keep track. We often use our tubs as a contrast to warm and cold. This will also help flush out some lactic acid.

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