Q: When did you start using Polar heart rate meters with your team?
A: Fall 2004
Q: Where did you get the idea that these devices would be helpful for your team?
A: First I saw them being used a year before at Vierumäki during our camp and then last summer our goaltenders Ari Sulander and Matthias Schoder used them extensively in training together with their goalie coach with some very good results. At Tampere cup in August I tested the equipment from goalies with some forwards and that convinced me on their usefulness.
Q: What are the main benefits you see in usage of the Polar devices?
A: The main benefit for me is to be able to control the whole team at the practices (ZSC has team set and belts for all players) as well as individuals. I can also read a lot of information from the heart rate charts of individual players. It’s important to see when they are in shape, need more practice or may be overdoing things and need more rest.
Q: So how do you use the Polar team system?
A: We don’t make all players wear the belts at all events rather than choose individuals on a need to basis to wear them at both games and practices. If everything is OK and as things should be it could sometimes be another month before that player needs to wear the belt again, but with some players we may have to use monitoring quite often when we are working on certain personal programs. It varies a lot. I also analyze all results carefully with my assistant coach Henryk Grüth.
It’s also very handy for us coaches to have players just wear belts and we can go to them with our receivers anytime during the practice and quickly check their heart rate. This can be used for various things like determining the right pace, length of the breaks etc…