Interview with Jamie McKinven
Video interview brought to you by Mental Toughness Training.
Jamie McKinven is a former NCAA and pro hockey player who currently coaches junior hockey in Ontario. He recently published So You Want Your Kid to Play Pro Hockey
Enter Jamie McKinven…
Throughout my childhood, all I could think about was playing hockey. I would spend hours and hours in the backyard on a 10 x 20 foot concrete slab shooting puck after puck into a net. Hockey really took over my life as I progressed through university and then eventually playing some pro.
Growing up I was never really a star on my team per se. I was always actually about a year behind everybody, because I was born in December.
Some studies show that a lot of athletes that progress are born in the first quarter of the year, so it kind of put me at a disadvantage. I was always the smallest kid.
My confidence was always down. That was something that was tough for me growing up.
As I progressed along, I always had a dream of playing NHL like everybody always does when they start. I was always taught at every level that I had to scratch and claw and work hard for everything I got.
As I got older and as I started to understand things better,
I understood how my work ethic carried me a lot further than maybe should have been required. I would say it was very tough.
That is why I wrote this book, I really wanted to show people that you don’t always have to be your best, there are other ways to reach your goals.
When I was a kid I read autobiographies on Wayne Gretzky and Eric Lindros. These are players that you read these autobiographies and it’s like a fantasy. They were always a star and everything came easily to them.
I think people get delusional if they think that is how life is supposed to be. But as you go through the trials and tribulations and things are difficult, I always believe that saying that, “Whatever doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger,” in the sense that you kind of learn from these situations.
You are always pushing yourself and every time you come out of a situation and come out of some adversity, it builds your character. You always hear everyone talking about character in hockey.
They talk about it at every level of hockey, especially at the higher levels. “This kid has character. This player has character. These are all things that helped build his character.”
“So You Want Your Kid to Play Pro Hockey” guides parents along the often rocky minor and junior hockey path to a strangely fulfilling pro-hockey career. Along the way you will gasp with disbelief and laugh hysterically at Jamie’s stories. This book is awesome for parents who want to better understand the life of a junior, NCAA and pro-hockey player.
Jamie McKinven played Junior, NCAA and Minor Pro hockey all around the world. Jamie recently returned to Kingston, Ontario to coach his Jr. “A” team, the Kingston Voyageurs of the OJHL. He is the author of So You Want Your Kid to Play Pro Hockey? A must read resource for any parent or player wanting to play junior, college and pro hockey.