By John Vogl
Tyler Myers employed new tricks over the summer to improve his body and mind. Why?
"You have a year like you did last year, you want to change some things," the Sabres defenseman said today.
Last year was as forgettable as it comes for Myers. Fresh off cashing a $10 million signing bonus, he arrived in training camp out of shape and never got right. He labored through 39 games, putting up only eight points and a minus-8 rating, before breaking a bone in his leg during the final weeks.
"I’ll be the first to say, that’s not me as a player last year," Myers said in First Niagara Center. "I have to be much better, and it’s just a matter of taking it day by day and focusing on improving each and every day, right up until that first game, and then continuing that throughout the season."
Myers appears in peak form physically during training camp. He spent much of the summer training in Buffalo, and he even brought a Sabres strength and conditioning intern back to his home in Kelowna, British Columbia, for more work.
"I still got the benefit of seeing friends and family at home, but the way he pushed me in mornings and what we got out of the Sabres’ program, I’m really happy I did that," Myers said.
The 23-year-old was a mental wreck at times last season, his confidence broken by the on-ice troubles and off-ice comments. He's trying to get ahold of the head games.
"It’s just a matter of the way you handle different situations and make sure you stay on yourself to continue that each and every opportunity you can," he said. "The mental side of it is something that’s pretty new to me. I’ve never really branched off in that area before in the past to this depth, I would say, but the steps that I’m taking with that they’re really helping me."
To hear Myers' frank, 14-minute chat, click the audio file below.