When Did It All Start?

Finding My Voice

It’s hard to believe that it’s been six years since my first blog.  I never imagined that my journey in writing would have led me in so many different directions.

Why am I writing this? 

You see people always ask, how long I have been writing and how did you get started? Well it’s a long story. 

Of course everyone by now knows that I’m very passionate about the game of hockey and thoroughly enjoy writing about my experiences in the game while showcasing others and their unique path in the game.  

Nevertheless, my passion for writing really started in personal turmoil.  

Twelve years ago writing became very therapeutic for me and helped me through a very difficult time in my life.  

At that time, I could write what I felt.

I could write what I didn’t want to share or discuss to anyone else. 

It was my way of dealing with and overcoming a very challenging time in my life.  

It was the turning point, the pivot point in my writing and my life. 

We have to go way back, I was never a great reader, and the thought of sharing ideas and expressing myself on paper during my school days was unimaginable.  I really didn’t like to read because my earliest recollection of reading was being put on the spot in class and having my classmates laugh out loud when the nervous shy kid mispronounced words. 

It might be hard to believe, but I was very shy as a kid. 

I was the quiet kid that loved playing sports, but felt so uncomfortable being singled out in class.  The insecurities I had with my reading and writing skills at a young age was purely based on my social insecurities and fear of being put on the spot everyday in class.

My reading comprehension was off the charts it just took me a little longer to get through a passage because I wanted to get it perfect.  

From a writing perspective, I knew exactly what I wanted to say, but I remember getting so upset trying to write essays during those years because I wanted to make it perfect as well. 

It was only in university that I really found a quiet passion for writing due in large part to the subject area and interest level.

It’s incredible to think that the shy, nervous kid that hated to read and write would have find a new passion to write and tell unique stories. But it all goes back to sitting in front of my computer in tears writing about every emotion that I was experiencing after being blindsided by having a five year relationship end. 

That’s when my journey in writing really started. 

However, after writing thousands and thousands of words about how I felt I had finally came to grips with all my emotions I really thought my journey in writing had ended. 

That all changed in 2012-2013. 

As I reflect on my journey in writing, it’s hard for me to fully grasp the sheer volume of stories and people I’ve met.  

Writing has given me a voice. 

Writing has given me confidence to share. 

Over the years sharing my ideas, opinions, feelings and experiences has been extremely rewarding.  

From the Co Coaches Corner to writing for the QMJHL, Hockey Canada and some freelance assignments to now the First Down Sports Podcast platform, the journey continues. 

I’m incredibly grateful for all the people that influenced my career in coaching, teaching broadcasting and writing.  

My journey in writing quickly became an avenue to highlight the ups and downs of my childhood playing days, coaching endeavours and how the game taught me so many valuable lessons.  

Sharing other people’s journeys in the game is extremely rewarding . 

I would like to thank all of those people that have taken the time to share their stories with me and all the people that took the time to read, follow and comment on my articles over the years and past few months on the First Down Sports Podcasts Platform. Your feedback continues to fuel my passion to continue writing, to continue to tell stories.

I thought it would be fitting to share my first blog, which ironically was an email that I wrote to parents the day after Kelly McNeil and I took over the Bantam AAA Stars after the Head Coach stepped down.  

(From 12/13/2012)

Good Afternoon Parents,

Fore check…To Chase With a Purpose

Yesterday’s practise was a good indication of what to expect moving forward, we have to continue to get better in all 3 zones on the ice.  Yesterdays focus was on creating better fore check habits and puck pursuit.  All our players have the ability to “puck pursuit” we have to generate turnovers through our fore check to increase our offensive zonetime.

Breakouts and Zone Entries…A How to Guide to Generate More Offense

Yesterday, we also worked on entering the zone with speed and puck possession, with the focus on hitting the open player in the high slot.  We have been turning pucks over a little too often and not generating scoring chances on odd man rushes, this will be something that will be drilled into the players moving forward.

Breakouts have been our “Achilles heel” with far too many turnovers from all 5 positional players on the ice, we will continue to on Defensive Zone Coverage aspect as well.  We have to limit our opposition’s chances by getting into shooting lanes and passing lanes.   Breakouts will be covered every practise in order to execute while under pressure in games   We need to breakout as a Unit of 5 and not relay on one player to lug the puck always out of the  zone.

Coaching Philosophy

We will be a team that will be “tough” to play against, that is our goal moving forward.  We will challenge your child to become better, we will also motivate and encourage.  Speaking for myself, I will not be afraid to stop a drill for a “teachable moment” or to reinforce our team systems.   We have to re-establish team systems, and make sure that every player is successful within that system.  Players will be given every opportunity to prove themselves in every game situation moving forward.

Yours in practise,

It’s hard to believe that it’s been six years since my first blog.  

I never imagined that my journey in writing, broadcasting, scouting and coaching would have led me in so many different directions. 

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