How much pressure do you feel in this job? How did your experience as a national-team player prepare you to handle it?
It’s a very similar feeling as a player. You have less control in this position, but it’s the same feeling. It’s the same type of desire to win I had as an athlete. As soon as you’ve worn the jersey once in your life, you always have that pride, that chip on your shoulder, that competitiveness that ‘OK, we’ve got to win this.’ That never dies. The fact I get to be a small part of it is something I find great pleasure and honour in for sure.
What is the number one lesson Melody Davidson taught you, both as your coach in the 2006 and 2010 Olympics and as the person who groomed you for this position?
I would say two things. At the 2010 Olympics, the last year I played for Mel, she talked about the process a lot. That gold-medal game, her pre-game speech had nothing to do with the results. It was about having gold-medal performances. I know I talk about winning a lot, but there is a huge process in place and that’s where the focus needs to be. What you do today impacts tomorrow. I’ve applied that in various areas of my life, but now it’s certainly in the back of my mind. The second one working alongside of Mel is details. She always had this great vision for what it may look like eight years down the road and a great understanding of the details that go into it. I don’t think I’m as detailed as she is. I’m trying to catch up to her in that aspect.
I actually stopped cold turkey when I retired. I got into coaching with the Okanagan Academy and I got my hockey fix when I coached. I always put shin pads on so I could jump in on drills. I used to teach skills for Calgary-based athletes twice a week which got me out of the office and on the ice. It’s this year that I won’t be going on the ice. I think I will miss that aspect. There’s no doubt about it.