Stand on the shoulder of giants… like Carey Price

“If I have seen farther it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants” – – Sir Isaac Newton

It was the quote I selected for the title page of my Master’s thesis (yeah, a little dramatic, but at the time it seemed like a huge deal and I was fortunate to work with some giants from the world of Kinesiology and Sport Medicine) and it is something I have strived to do ever since.

Surround myself with excellence, be the dumbest person in the room (sometimes easier than others) and never stop learning from and listening too those who excel.

That is how I feel when I am in the presence of Carey Price and Jerry Price, his Dad.

I want to be very clear here, because you will make assumptions.  I am NOT Carey’s personal strength coach.  I don’t know who is or if he even has one.  I would LOVE to be, because I do think I can help him be even better, more consistent and more durable as he ages.  Time will tell if that happens.

I have met Carey twice now as part of Eli Wilson’s  (another giant in my life) Day With Carey Price that raises money for charity.  I am out there to run the off-ice sessions and to be a part of this wonderful day.

Do I have a crush on Carey? … nope.

His Dad? … maybe a little  🙂 

So here are the top 3 (okay, I put down 5 things) things I have learned from my long-standing friendship (that’s sarcasm) with Carey over these many years:

#1 – Excellence is who you are as a person, not how you do one thing

The day is a LOOOONG day.  I had to leave after my session this year to catch a flight back down here for the last week of the Hockey Summit Camp, but last year I was there to the very end and I felt like crying I was so tired… and I didn’t have people staring at me all day long.  I could walk through the lobby to go use the bathroom and would have a chat with some of the parents, etc., but I could go about my business – – a little different for Carey.

I am sure he was exhausted too, but you would never know it, he was the same guy.

When he laid out his gear or took it off between ice sessions, it was laid out in a neat orderly fashion.

No matter who was talking with him, he was attentive and polite.

When he was on the ice demonstrating, his form was out of a textbook  and when he was coaching a station, he coached it, he watched the kids, gave them feedback, put them at ease, but also challenged them in a good way sniping rebounds at the net.

When it was time to answer questions, he gave thoughtful answers to all the questions asked, he didn’t make a joke of any questions nor give the standard “I like all my teammates” when asked who his favourite teammates were.

And guess what… his Dad is the same way.  A guy who thinks before he speaks and genuinely wants to help if the way that is best for THIS athlete, which leads me to my next point.

#2 – His way isn’t the RIGHT way

I heard him say it at least three times… “It is really personal preference”. 

Talking about equipment or even save selection “see what works for you”.

#3 – Keep it simple

I was talking with him about his neutral pelvis and how I wondered if that was influenced by his rodeo/horseback riding background and he said he wasn’t sure – – – maybe, but what he did say was, “My Dad always taught me to keep things pretty simple”.

A great strategy when things are going well and when things are going not so well, you can’t go wrong going back to the basics.

#4 – It’s important to give back

And sometimes the best way to give back is to give your time.  To invest in the next generation of goalies.

#5 – If you like it keep it; if you don’t change it; you can always change back

There was a lot of talk about equipment and why he has a Graf cowling on a True skate for example.  He used to skate on Grafs back and the day and always liked them, so there you go, end of story. Or his switch back to a slightly softer pad this year.  He had a slightly stiffer pad the last few years and thinks he likes the softer ones a bit better.

And if it turns out he doesn’t… then my guess is that he will change back or try something different.

So there you go – take it for what it’s worth.