Charlie Bando (Wakefield, Mass.) and Freddy Meyer’s (Sanbornville, N.H.) paths crossed at the perfect time.
Bando, then training athletes at Prentiss Hockey Performance in Stamford, Conn., was looking for something more stable. A friend of his had told him about Meyer, owner of Dream Big HockeyStars and a former NHL defenseman, looking to add an off-ice component to the athletes he trained.
The two hit it off and created a partnership that’s thrived to this day. Now, Bando Performance has locations in Woburn and Worcester Mass., and trains athletes in multiple ways. Dream Big Hockey trains players on the ice, offering private lessons and camps.
Bando and Meyer joined host Stephanie Wood on the latest RinkWise podcast to discuss their partnership, what it takes to train hockey players and Meyer’s path to the NHL.
How Charlie Bando found his love for training:
Bando: “I actually used to work in a little hockey rink back in the day. I worked there for eight years from when I was a freshman in high school until I was leaving college. They had a gym in that facility and every once in a while, the gym would throw out equipment and that’s how I accumulated equipment. I tried to do the best job that I could and make do with the equipment that I had and I would go dumpster diving…I kind of fell in love with the physical preparation process and just trying to do everything that I can to better myself from an off-ice standpoint without having mommy or daddy telling me what to do.”
Freddy Meyer on how parents factor into training:
Meyer: “The landscape is confusing and there’s a lot of options and you get new emails every week that has you sign up for another program or another team and you’re trying to do everything you can for your kids…It’s being smart with those opportunities and signing up for a summer workout program, which is going to be more valuable than playing in a random event in July. I look at it the same way from a skill development standpoint. Adding in some private lessons or small group training is probably going to be more beneficial than touching the puck three times on a weekend and spending X dollars at a local rink.