By Staff Writer – Jason Langvee
It’s been a long cold winter, and the only thing warming us up is the prospect of the 2015 CFL season hitting the field in June! We contacted Grey Cup Champ: Jeff Hecht, to see what he’s been up to since helping his squad earn the trophy in BC last November. Here’s what he had to say:
CFLPA: Hey Jeff, thanks for taking some time to answer a few questions about your off-season. In a few words, what have you been up to since the end of the 2014 season?
Jeff Hecht: “Since the 2014 season ended I have really taken time to enjoy the successes of the Grey Cup win with my teammates and my family. I took some time to just relax and enjoy it as much as I could. Now that that had subsided, I have got back into working and training full time to get focused on building on the 2014 year and rolling it over into 2015.”
PA: What goals have you set for the 2015 off-season?
JH: “This off-season I have concentrated on rehabilitation first and then really wanted to work on my flexibility and stability to help maximize my physical conditioning. I “started at square one” you could call it with a lot of my training and worked from the foundation upwards to get ready for another extremely demanding football season.”
PA: What kinds of things does a professional football player need to think about when preparing an off-season plan?
JH: “The key I have found with an off-season training program is balance. You can’t just train non-stop and always go all-out, but at the other end of the spectrum you can’t just leave yourself a few weeks before the start of season and expect to bring yourself into camp in optimal shape. You need to balance training, with your job as well as make time for yourself, your friends and your family. The key for me is balance.”
PA: Are there any unconventional aspects of your off-season training regimen? What would fans be surprised to know you include in your program?
JH: “I don’t know if I would call any of my training “unconventional” really. I am an avid skier so a lot of my winter is spent conditioning my legs for those long days on the mountain. It definitely is beneficial for my football training both physically AND mentally. As I mentioned earlier about balance, I find skiing in the mountains the perfect balance of pushing your body physically and pushing yourself mentally, all while enjoying every second you are out there.”
PA: Do you plan on including any vacation between now and the start of training camp? If not, what will you do to relax before the start of the season?
JH: “I definitely have a “work hard; play hard” approach to life so I tend to get away for little vacations whenever I can. Working 50-60 hrs a week you really need to exploit those days off when you can. I have gone skiing a good amount this winter, although it’s never enough. One of my best trips this off-season actually was for one of my best friends and fellow CFL player Ryan King’s birthday. I am hoping to get out once more this season, hopefully with Matt Walter so he can show me some more difficult terrain. Also, I just got back from a week in Hawaii with the girlfriend visiting Keenan MacDougall which was great. As much as I love the mountains, any vacation you can take that you have to wear sunscreen every day is a great one in my books.”
PA: Outside of football, what does 2015 hold for you?
JH: “Outside of football I don’t know exactly what 2015 holds for me. I started taking some courses through Athabasca University to prepare myself better for the future, so that’s an exciting venture to tackle. Outside of that nothing specific planned for myself. Just try and enjoy life as much as I can while building for the future.”
Thanks a lot to Jeff for taking the time to sit down and answer a few of our questions. We wish you the very best as you try to match your 2014 successes on and off the field!