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September 25, 2015

Heal 3x Faster – What No One is Telling You About Injury Recovery

One game, I tried to catch a slapshot with my finger. I felt a splintering pain. But as any good Canadian hockey player would do, I finished the shift. I got to the bench, and asked my trainer “how do you know if your finger is broken?” My coach overheard and asked “can you move it?” I moved it a bit while wincing in pain, so he said “well then it’s not broken!” (I played the rest of the game with some tape around my finger.)

Fast forward to the x-rays and swelling the next day, and sure as shit, it was broken.

Why am I telling this story? Just to tell you how tough I am? Maybe. But really, I want you to know, I’ve experienced a lot of injuries. I’ve had 3 broken wrists. One of which I played with for 8 months. I’ve had concussions. I’ve had strange chest pains. I’ve had sprained MCL’s, separated and dislocated shoulders, whiplash, hematomas….you name it.

I’ve also done a lot of things that would fly in the face of guidelines handed down by most clinicians or therapists.

One time, I had a definite concussion. Like there was no question here. My head went foggy, I had blurred vision, I felt weird. But I somehow fooled the SCAT 2 concussion screen that a doctor put me through. And I told myself that I’d go to bed early, and if I didn’t feel anything in the morning I’d be fine and play the next day. Well, I made myself go to bed extra early that night, slept for 12 hours, woke up, felt fine, played and scored the next game. I was symptom free for the rest of the season with nary a headache. Was this a stupid thing to do? Yes. Do I recommend it? I’d never recommend this. But it happened. The question I want to ask is: what can be learned from my stupidity? Guidelines are never perfect, and they’re continually being refined. What can be learned from an athlete who is always trying to push back?

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September 14, 2015

“Mom, dad, I didn’t make it…” – How Invisible Scripts Could Determine How You Respond

You’re probably tempted to fire up your laptop RIGHT NOW and get busy writing that scathing email to the coach, manager, trainer….anyone who will listen. Even if you aren’t, I know you really want to. Hell, I’ve been there. I’ve wanted to throw rocks at the coach’s house who cut me from Junior A the first time. Although, I was too well trained as a half-asian boy to do that, and likely went to go study my SATs to prove them wrong or something equally passive aggressive.
Anyway, when tryout time hits, I feel like there are a lot of parents who are ready to blow a gasket at any moment. You’ve probably seen them pacing around the arena, checking their smartphones to see if TSN’s app is going to update them on if their kid is making the team or not. Even if you don’t want to admit it to anyone else, be honest, that might even be you on the inside. Of course, you’re better at hiding it than everyone else…
Now, if I were about to give you some typical “Surviving Tryouts for Parents” checklist, it would (and should) probably look like this:
  • Chill Out
  • Chill Out
  • Chill Out
Ok, now you’re mad at ME too! Why? Because that’s stupid advice to parents who are hanging on by a thread.
Instead, let me tell you exactly how the most effective and relaxed parents approach these situations. This has nothing to do with special tactics like, “What flavour of chicken wings should I buy the coaches so they pick my kid”, or “Should I send the coach a video of my kid working on his snapshot in the basement?”. These are dumb ideas and useless tactics.

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