From Whitby to the sun-drenched city of Anaheim, California, Mark Fitzgerald has made a strong name for himself in the hockey world.
The 36-year-old is owner of ETS (Elite Training Systems) located in Whitby, but was recently appointed as the strength and conditioning for the Anaheim Ducks before the start of the NHL season.
Click here for- Mark’s NHL bio
Fitzgerald signed a three-year deal with the Ducks after previously working with the OHL’s Oshawa Generals and the AHL’s Toronto Marlies.
He remains very grateful for the experience he gained while working with the Marlies and it has allowed him to make a smooth transition into his current role, he said.
“It was great to work with coaches who had a lot of professional experience, being around them set me up perfectly for my job with the Ducks,” Fitzgerald said.
While working in the NHL he has noticed a clear difference between the Ducks and the other teams he has worked with.
“The main difference is professionalism, the players in the NHL know what they need to do on a daily basis to stay here. They are dedicated with everything they do and they are the guys who get the small things done,” said Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald was keen to implement his own style into the Ducks’ strength and conditioning program when he arrived.
The main thing he added was a lot more technology.
The players are weighed daily before and after practice, and the scale is linked up to a laptop where the data is kept. This is to give their ‘well’ weight and to check hydration levels, Fitzgerald said.
To add to this, players are tested before and after a long road trip to see what toll it has taken on their bodies. Players are also tracked on the ice to see what their heart rate is during practice, Fitzgerald explained.
Click here for- A video of Mark working
Although most of his work is with the Ducks, Fitzgerald still works closely with ETS, as it is his own business.
“It won’t ever take a back seat, that is my business and I’m very lucky that I have a great team back in Whitby to help me,” he said.
Fitzgerald Skype calls his ETS team daily and is still heavily involved with marketing, advertising and gaining partnerships, he explained.
Fitzgerald is proud of his achievements, but claims that he still has a lot more that he wants to do and always thinks about what is next for him.
“Hockey is growing like crazy and my mind is going crazy at the thought of what I can do here, I especially want to do a lot more speaking and help hockey continue to flourish,” Fitzgerald said.
His hometown however, will always be Whitby.
“Whitby is my home and it’s where I grew up, but I like California and it is certainly growing on me,” said Fitzgerald.