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Local man making a living on the farm

Peter Dale works with a group of high school hockey players at The Farm in Sussex on July 19. Dale uses the farm to train players in conditioning, shooting and stick-handling skills.

Peter Dale works with a group of high school hockey players at The Farm in Sussex on July 19. Dale uses the farm to train players in conditioning, shooting and stick-handling skills. Photo By Todd Ponath

July 23, 2013

Farm Tough will get you rolling right here in Sussex. Introducing the area's top farmhand, Peter Dale.

If any hockey player wants to better their skills, improve fitness level while gaining mental toughness, The Farm, located at Hwy 164 and Hwy K, is the brain work of Dale, a man passionate, stopping at nothing to get the most out of players young and old.

The Farm, five and a half acres includes three barns, a guest cottage and a 150-year old farmhouse, home to Dale and his family, coinciding with all the activities and workouts that take place throughout the year.

Players and teams from all over the globe, including Spain, England, France and Canada have frequented the one-of-a-kind facility.

One of the key training tools is the us of roller blades, used to simulate the action of a player when he or she is on regular hockey skates.

The Farm, or Farm Tough Hockey was created in 2007, and has been going strong ever since.

Dale says his facility is open to anyone regardless of the players' ability or experience. "Loft Barn" highlights includes slide boards to work on a players stride, form extension and technique. Russian Boxes to build more power, spin bikes that help build cardio endurance through interval training with Heart Rate Monitors and three shooting lanes to help players improve their scoring accuracy.

"We work with beginners all the way up to those with very high skill levels," Dale, who has taught kids and adults positive long-term habits in sports and life through hockey for the past 20 years said. "I invest great effort on the players, empowering them through positive reinforcement."

Dale's recipe for success has touched over 20,000 skaters and athletes worldwide, and that number just keeps growing.

He played professional roller hockey for Roller Hockey International and ESPN's Pro Beach Hockey. He's got plenty of hardware to prove it to, competing on six Roller Hockey World Championship teams for Team USA.

During his college days at St. Mary's of Minnesota Dale played ice hockey for the Cardinals.

Some of the teams at the 8U, 10U and 12-U levels recently achieved plenty. The 8U team was second at the State Wars Midwest Wars in Detroit. The 10 U team was second and the 12U team earned fourth place honors at the TORSH2Hot2Ice National Games, also held in Detroit.

Upcoming tournaments for seven local teams from 6-U to 12-U will be in action July 31 through August 11 at various events representing Farm Tough Hockey.

Again, adults aren't forgotten with Farm Tough either, as an Elite Pro AAA team, a Masters team and an Over 35 team will be in Darien, IL in the coming weeks, an event that features nearly 300 teams from all over North America.

Hard work always pays off.

"We have a cool thing going with Farm Tough," Dale said. "We've had great success with kids and their families, and hope to keep it going."

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