Yep… special

You hear it all the time, it is totally cliché… when an athlete is referred to as a ‘special athlete’ or a ‘special human being’ (say this with your best Pierre McGuire voice – – then find a way to work Mario and the Pittsburgh Penguins into the conversation 😉

Well – – he’s special.

In my 23+ years in this business I have been blessed to meet and even work with many athletes performing at the highest level in their sport – World, Olympic and Stanley Cup Champions.

Some are more ‘special’ than others, but I find that the ones who are the same person no matter whom they are dealing with tend to rise a little higher and last a little longer.

I don’t want to give you the impression that Carey and I were hanging out telling jokes, slapping each other on the back like old homies. 

It’s the first time I ever met him and it was great to be a part of Eli Wilson’s Day with Carey Price where I got to run the off-ice training.

So I am just sharing observations, but here’s what I saw and here is why I love that he is the best because I want kids to look up to him and I want them to emulate the way he is not only as a hockey goalie, but as a person.

Naturally, I asked him about his pelvis – – told him that I spend a lot of time thinking about his pelvis – – which made us both blush a little… but I do.

Talked to him about neutral pelvis – riding horseback, being smooth on the ice, etc.  And he sort of shrugged, said “Maybe” and then said that he tries to keep things pretty simple.  His Dad always taught him to stay pretty tall in his hips, so that’s what he does. 

 > He’s not micromanaging or over thinking

It makes sense – it takes months or even years to fine tune a new movement skill, so if you are always messing about with what you do, you won’t know what is working and you will be missing out on opportunities to perfect what might be just the right thing for you.

He did a great demo about how he tapes his stick – – again he tapes it to feel good to him.  He isn’t chasing the next best way, he things about what he wants, what feels right in his hand and then fine tunes that.

 > He goes with what feels right to him

On the ice, he was butter – so smooth, it was fun to watch.  It was even better watching him skate over and give the young goalies tips – I’m pretty sure he told one kid to just smile and have fun (although I don’t know for sure).

It was great to see one of the older kids, do an amazing sprawling, windmill glove save and come up with the puck and then get a glove bump from Carey – -they both had a big smile on their face.

He’s part of the goaltending tribe, you can see he loves the position, he knows better than most the ups and the downs and that is maybe where his level demeanor has worked in his favour.

After he had signed every thing in sight for kids in the dressing room (yes, he shared the same dressing room with the kids, he wasn’t off in private), including a certain strength coaches’ snapback – he went upstairs to the lunch room where he signed everything in sight and took ever picture possible with the families of the goalies.

I am sure there are ones out there – but I have never met a high level goalie who was an ass.  Again, I am sure there are some out there, but I haven’t come across them.

So here’s your formula for success based on these observations…

 > Don’t over think it

 > Take advice from someone you trust and then find what feels right to you (don’t blow with the breeze and chase the quick fix)

 > Be a good person – polite, level-headed, kind