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  • Writer's pictureRon McKeefery

IGCT Episode #253: Mike Potenza "We Don't Want Rust"

Updated: Mar 23, 2019


Mike Potenza M.Ed., C.S.C.S, TSAC-F Director for Strength and Conditioning for the San Jose Sharks Hockey team Managing Partner and Director of Performance for Tactical Fitness and Performance Potenza is a Managing Partner and Director of Human Performance for Tactical Fitness and Performance since inception (2009). TFP is an innovative small business with a specialized focus on Human Performance for the Tactical Operator. TFP created and managed the Human Performance Programs for two United States Air Force Pararescue teams within the National Guard Bureau. The 131st RQS (California) and 212th RQS (Alaska) began their programs in 2009 and 2012 respectfully. Potenza held the following roles and responsibilities as the Director of Performance with both the California team and Alaska team: 1. Design and implement the daily physical sustainment training program for over 100 Battlefield Airmen. 2. Provide direction to the full time Strength and Conditioning Coach on daily sustainment training implementation and Operator Specific programming. 3. Provide direction to the Physical Therapist resource who manages the therapy of all injured team members and who implements the reconditioning program efforts for all injured personnel. 4. Hire and direct the Orthopedic Manual Therapist as a team resource who treats soft tissue injuries, and performs Musculo-skeletal maintenance on the injured and healthy Operator population. The Human Performance Program uses this role to enhance injury recovery timelines, correct Musculo-Skeletal dysfunctions and perform daily structural maintenance to enhance the physical durability of team members. 5. Create a Physical Performance testing profile to measure Operator fitness. 6. Establish reporting metrics on injury trends, resource usage and team readiness. Graduate of Springfield College in 2000 with a bachelor of science degree in applied exercise science. After receiving his bachelor’s degree, Potenza earned a master’s degree in Physical Education with a concentration in Human Movement Science from Boston University. While there he held a graduate assistant position within the Strength and Conditioning department working with all 21 Varsity intercollegiate sports. Other NCAA Strength and Conditioning Coaching experiences include; University of Wisconsin, Harvard University and Colgate University. During his time as a Master’s student Potenza had the opportunity to work as a Strength and Conditioning Coach for a private training facility that instructed professional, amateur and collegiate athletes in the Boston area. The facility specialized in strength training, metabolic conditioning, speed development, plyometric, flexibility and rehabilitation programming. Potenza is currently in his 12th year as the Director of Strength and Conditioning for the San Jose Sharks hockey team. He is responsible for the team’s comprehensive health and performance enhancement program, including the physical testing and evaluations during training camp and rookie development camp. He works closely with the Athletic Training staff on the rehab and reconditioning programming of all injured players. Potenza oversees the Strength and Conditioning staff for the Sharks minor league affiliate (San Jose Barracuda, San Jose CA). He is also responsible for the physical fitness evaluations and design of the physical performance enhancement program for the 20 plus prospects within the San Jose Sharks organization. Potenza has implemented a specific strategy to track player readiness through workload monitoring, blood analysis and a daily health assessment. The information is used to create individualized workout routines, player supplementation strategies and on-ice training intensity/frequency.


In This Episode We Discuss:

  • What experience in his journey impacted him the most, and Why.

  • Biggest mistake he has made and how he learned from it.

  • Mindset of Professional hockey players.

  • What he wish he knew coaching that he knows now after spending a decade in the pros.

  • Post season hockey training considerations.

  • Best piece of coaching advice he has ever received.

  • His favorite quote, Book/App/Website recommendation.

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