NEW YORK — During Olympic years, training seems to never stop, making the heart rate monitor a constant companion for female hockey star Hilary Knight.
“I almost feel like it’s stuck to my body, basically, at this point with all the training on and off the ice,” she said.
Knight, 28, a two-time Olympic silver medalist and arguably the best player in the world, has played with the United States senior national team since she was 17, during which time she has seen everyone become more faster and stronger. Team USA’s off-ice training programs have changed dramatically over the past decade, thanks in part to all the data available.
“I use a lot of technology, actually,” Knight told SportTechie during an appearance at an event hosted by Olympic sponsor Visa. “It’s just the world we live in. It’s almost like you have to keep up, but at the same time, as an athlete and trying to be the best competitor in the world, you’re looking for that 1 This is what having all these portable devices helps you access, trying to go back to the drawing board and see what works.
While the heart rate monitor has become an extension of his persona, Knight also wears a WHOOP and monitors his sleep patterns.
When asked how rigorously she sticks to the results, especially after restless sleep, she replied, “I will change the factors of the environment I am in. The most important thing I learned is don’t watch it if you’ve got a game because that’s all that matters is playing well in the game, and it can’t bother you mentally . You see patterns and that’s what helps or hurts you, it’s how consistently you follow your routine.
As the star of Team USA and the face of the fledgling National Women’s Hockey League, Knight spent a lot of time in the spotlight and felt comfortable in front of the cameras, so much so that ‘she started logging ice time, practices, recreational activities, rounds and everything in between. (Detailed topics include “TrainCation Tennis,” her dog’s first trip to New York, a getaway to Aruba, and advice on how best to wash smelly hockey gear.)
Whether the videos are posted on her own YouTube channel or through third parties such as Team USA, Red Bull or GoPro, Knight is a passionate producer, almost all told with a smile. The content of the training is aimed at helping young players.
“There’s top secret stuff so I never really let it all out,” she laughed, before adding more seriously, “If there’s a way for me to have a positive impact on someone else or change the way they approach their routine or maybe introduce someone to a workout routine they’ve never seen before.
She particularly enjoys the first-person perspective and has worn a GoPro camera while hiking in the mountains, riding the Boston T, or training on the ice rink.
“I like to do stuff in the first person when I’m on the ice because it gives people a better understanding of how hard it is to be on the ice and do what we do,” said Knight. “It’s also a really cool point of view.”