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Life of A Professional Athlete - My Journey to The NHLPosted:

Axe
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Introduction

Hey, my name is Connor, and I thought I would make a post unlike any other posts I have ever seen on this site before. I am going to give you guys a behind the scenes look at what it is really like to be a professional athlete, and it's not all glamorous. In this post I will talk about what I myself have experienced becoming a professional athlete and what I have had to deal with over my years of battling for opportunities. If this post sounds interesting to you, continue reading and I will tell you my entire story from start to finish, and I will provide you lots of insight as to what it takes to make it as an athlete.


Chapter 1 - About Me

My name is Connor Hicks and I am currently playing in the OHL/CHL (Canadian Hockey League) as a goalie for the former Belleville Bulls. I got drafted in 2013 and am going into my second season with the team. My main goal as an athlete is to make it to the National Hockey League as a goalie and have a career as a hockey player. I have played for many teams throughout my life and it hasn't always been an easy road. Growing up I played competitive hockey throughout all minor hockey going from A to AA to AAA, to getting drafted to Junior, then getting drafted to the OHL which was a big accomplishment of mine. My next goal is to get drafted to the NHL and it didn't happen this year but I have been working extremely hard over the summer and will continue to work hard over the next season and hopefully will have a chance at getting drafted this coming year.

Being a professional athlete isn't as easy as you would think. A lot of people think "They are so lucky because they get to play hockey for a job" but it is a lot more than just playing hockey for a job. It's really hockey as a life. If you choose to be a professional athlete, you have to really want it. You can't just kind of want it, you need to live sleep and breathe it. There are tons of other people just like you who are willing to take your spot if you stop believing you can do it and they will without a second thought. Being a professional athlete, what you want doesn't really matter anymore if you know what I mean because you can't do whatever you want. You can't go out once a week to get lets say Mcdonalds. Well I mean I guess you can, but this brings me back to my point that you have to really want it. I sometimes instruct summer hockey camps for local kids and I use this analogy with them. Being a professional athlete is like being a high performance car. If you want your car to perform its best, you need to fill it with performance fuel. My team has diet coaches that set up meal plans for us to stick to. I can't tell you the last time that I drank anything other than water. Being an athlete isn't just eating and drinking well, but it also consists of hours and hours every single day in the gym improving your physical performance. It's summer time right now so we are in the off season for hockey, but that doesn't mean we just sit at home and do nothing all summer. Most of us are in the gym or on the ice at least once if not twice every single day. For me personally, I am at the gym with my personal trainer working on a bunch of different types of workouts for about 3 hours daily, then I have 2 hours of goalie specific training with my goalie coach on the ice every second day. Being good takes time and a lot of effort and its definitely not an easy path if you choose to take it. There are certain levels of physical strength and ability that you must meet in order to even participate at training camps. Training camps are a whole other story of fitness. They will push you to your limits like you have never been pushed before. At training camp they have you go through a variety of different workout tests and the hardest one by far is the bike test to see how much stamina you have. It is so hard that I have seen a few guys pass out after doing the test because of the physical exertion. This is where they give you mask that provides you with oxygen so that you can perform the test at your highest ability. Long story short, being an athlete isn't just a matter of hopping on the ice at game time and playing a game and just going back to a normal routine. It involves hours and hours of training yourself and your mind to be better. Putting the right food in your body is really important, and the amount of work that goes unseen by the daily eye off the ice and at practice is incredible. As an athlete, you always know that there can and will be someone who wants you to fall so they can take your spot, so you have to keep pushing and to never stop no matter how bad it hurts or how much you want to just sleep and have a normal life for a day.


I will add to this post tomorrow so keep your eyes opened.

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Last edited by Axe ; edited 1 time in total

The Following 18 Users Say Thank You to Axe For This Useful Post:

Dinkleberg (09-01-2015), Zesri (08-31-2015), Bio (08-31-2015), Scott (08-30-2015), Adolfin (08-30-2015), 8hg43rw0vbui (08-30-2015), Hurleh (08-30-2015), Mickers (08-30-2015), Owen (08-30-2015), Seinfeld (08-30-2015), OG (08-27-2015), Gersch (08-23-2015), Hova (08-23-2015), Jxsse (08-23-2015), Nkz (08-23-2015), RepBandit (08-22-2015), Brigand (08-22-2015), Devil (08-22-2015)
#2. Posted:
Seinfeld
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I used to be pretty good at hockey myself, kind of lost interest in it but I still play with a local team.
Just wanted to say good luck with your journey and I will remember your name! ;)
I believe this is you? ;)
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#3. Posted:
Hurleh
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Thats pretty awesome man Hope everything goes well for you in the future good luck
#4. Posted:
Jaxx
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That's actually pretty impressive. I used to play for a semi-pro fourth tier MLS club in my hometown when I was 17. I know that is no where near what you are doing, but I was loving the experience! I hope you are as well! Congrats man
#5. Posted:
Adolfin
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Dayummmmm, congrats.

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Top 20 isn't too bad. ;)
#6. Posted:
Bio
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Loved the in depth viewpoint you presented in this post. It's nice to see the ins and outs that all goes into being a professional athlete. It's not all rainbows and butterflies like many think. I think many people get the wrong opinion, because of the genetic freaks of natures we see everyday on television. Keep working hard man I hope to see someday you achieving all the aspirations you have. My sports days are behind me as I didn't make the cut to be the greatest, but I have faith in you.

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Goalie is a Badass position.
#7. Posted:
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I got a preferred walk-on scholarship to play baseball at the University of Arizona last year. When I got out there in the fall I was ready to roll and make the team. I loved it at first 5:45 workouts every morning, class from 8:00 to 12:30, early "optional" BP on the field from 1:00 to 2:00 (it wasn't optional they just wanted to see who would choose time off over getting better), practice from 2:45 to around 5-6:00, then it was time for mandatory study hall from 8:00 to 10:00. Then guess what? You did the exact same thing the next day.. and the next.. and the next. It was literally every single second of the day from the moment I woke up until the time I went to sleep. It was too much for me, it wasn't fun anymore like it was in high school. I made the decision that this wasn't for me and eventually got cut at the end of the fall. It was an overall great experience but it just wasn't for me. I didn't love the game as much as I thought I did.
#8. Posted:
Axe
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Seinfeld wroteI used to be pretty good at hockey myself, kind of lost interest in it but I still play with a local team.
Just wanted to say good luck with your journey and I will remember your name! ;)
I believe this is you? ;)
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Yeah thats me.


Kax wrote
Dayummmmm, congrats.

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Top 20 isn't too bad. ;)


Yeah it's not bad but I dropped 10 spots from my midterm ranking. Just means I have a lot of work to do this year. And thanks.

-Ford wrote
I got a preferred walk-on scholarship to play baseball at the University of Arizona last year. When I got out there in the fall I was ready to roll and make the team. I loved it at first 5:45 workouts every morning, class from 8:00 to 12:30, early "optional" BP on the field from 1:00 to 2:00 (it wasn't optional they just wanted to see who would choose time off over getting better), practice from 2:45 to around 5-6:00, then it was time for mandatory study hall from 8:00 to 10:00. Then guess what? You did the exact same thing the next day.. and the next.. and the next. It was literally every single second of the day from the moment I woke up until the time I went to sleep. It was too much for me, it wasn't fun anymore like it was in high school. I made the decision that this wasn't for me and eventually got cut at the end of the fall. It was an overall great experience but it just wasn't for me. I didn't love the game as much as I thought I did.


I can definitely understand where you are coming from. It is a lot of work going pro and it really pushes you to your limit and makes you decide whether you love the sport as much as you think you do. It's a ton of hard work that a lot of people usually never see that goes into professional sports. Most people just see the games and think thats all we have to do but it couldn't be further from the truth.


Bio wroteLoved the in depth viewpoint you presented in this post. It's nice to see the ins and outs that all goes into being a professional athlete. It's not all rainbows and butterflies like many think. I think many people get the wrong opinion, because of the genetic freaks of natures we see everyday on television. Keep working hard man I hope to see someday you achieving all the aspirations you have. My sports days are behind me as I didn't make the cut to be the greatest, but I have faith in you.

-

Goalie is a Badass position.


Thanks man, I appreciate it
#9. Posted:
Dinkleberg
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Very cool and very lucky! Someday I hope Ill see you in the NHL.
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