Off the Record (OTR)

How does Jaromir Jagr do it?

Jaromir Jagr recently became the third player in NHL history to score 750 goals. When you join a list that only Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe are on, you have achieved the very highest level of hockey success. Perhaps the most incredible part of this accomplishment is that Jagr scored his 750th goal at the age of 44. At that age, most players are already several years into retirement, and he is in fact the only member of his draft class still playing. However, Jagr is an ageless wonder. Here is a look at how Jagr is able to defy Father Time and keep playing hockey at the highest level in his 40s.
If you want to figure out how Jagr is able to keep performing even as he gets older, the first thing you need to consider is his tireless work ethic. While other players will go home after a game, Jagr stays to train for hours after the game ends.

The way that Jagr trains is the stuff of legend. He puts on 45-pound weighted vests. He skates with a 10-pound hockey stick. He uses a seat belt to strap weights around his waist to drag behind him. He repeatedly shoots an eight-pound medicine ball into a wall to strengthen his shot. These are just some of the ways that Jagr trains hard to keep his body in shape. He trains relentlessly like no one else in the NHL does, and that is why he has been able to succeed at an age where most players are enjoying retirement.

If you want to understand why Jagr trains so hard, you have to look at his childhood. He was born in Kladno, Czechoslovakia. In those days before the Iron Curtain fell, there were two paths to success in Kladno. You could either become a singer or an athlete. Jagr could not sing, and his dad pushed him from an early age to become an athlete.

At the age of seven, Jagr started doing 1,000 squats every day. His family’s farm was eight kilometers from their house in town, and Jagr would jog behind his dad’s bike to and from the farm daily. His weight room was the farm, where he worked hard to help his dad.

When you have an upbringing like that where hard work is the only constant, it is little wonder that a work ethic becomes part of your DNA. Jagr knows no other way to live than to train like his life depends on it. It is the cornerstone of his existence, and it allows him to remain focused when distractions off the ice threaten him.

Even when gambling problems and blackmail attempts rear their ugly heads, it doesn’t phase Jagr. He simply trains that much harder. With the focus and passion that Jagr has, he will likely continue to play for several more years.

In fact, he has stated that he wants to keep playing until he is 50-years-old. With his ability to focus and legendary work ethic, it wouldn’t be smart to bet against him.

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