Today is the third part in my series of interviews with Steph St. Laurent. We’re talking about the Peak Performance program, a lifestyle that’s quite near and dear to my heart.
Let’s keep going!
Kelvin: Next year is Peak Performance’s fifth season, correct? What sort of changes has the program experienced over the years?
Steph: Right, it’s in its fourth season now, and the key has always been that if you’re not actively trying to improve and get better then you’re losing sight of what Peak is supposed to be. It’s like the Top Gun Academy, you can’t be a so-so fighter pilot and make it to Miramar, California.
Man if there’s a bad Top Gun analogy I haven’t heard it.
That’s right, I went there. Anyways, it’s true of athletes and instructors, it’s about constantly striving for small improvements every day. You’re always trying to learn and find new ways to make the program better. You’re always trying to stay on top of your product. You have your highs and your lows like any business does. A lot of it is finding the best possible coaches on the ice and in the gym, that’s obviously a huge part of your success. Year to year we’re constantly evaluating everything, from the testing we do and how that affects the experience to the curriculum being taught on the ice. For instance, we have peewee Peak now, and their development is vastly different from bantam and midget players. In the gym they learn basic movement skills from planks to squats so we can ensure they have a rock solid foundation for future years.
It’s a program we take immense pride in. Every year we’re honing and sharpening that blade so we can keep offering a valuable and effective experience. Four years in and we’ve made a lot of headway into understanding more and more how to keep the lifestyle as enriched as possible.
I work with CIS University athletes every day, they’re in the gym for an hour and then we practice for an hour and a half and then they all go to class or they had class in the morning. It’s the same exact lifestyle.
Peak Performance is a pretty great place to learn how to deal with that lifestyle, you’re right. That’s where it starts. These young men and women also learn a lot about themselves in the process. They’re committed to a program full time and balancing that with their hockey and their school. They’re discovering more and more about their potential. There’s personalities to consider here, you have to draw the best out of everyone, and they ultimately become better people first and then better athletes. We ask for character first. We ask for respect. Commitment. And we ask for a class act attitude.
Really, without those things you won’t get much out of it anyways. The great thing here is we’ve had athletes who, like all teenagers do, have gone through strong days and not-so-strong days, but for the most part everyone is excited to rebound from those obstacles and come back ready to work and compete.
What are the three main things people need to know before enrolling in the Peak Performance program?
First, you should educate yourself on the program, and really I’d suggest that to anyone joining something new. You can do that by having a very clear conversation between parents, students, and instructors. What’s the commitment level? What is the program looking for? That’s how parents will discover whether or not this is a program that’s suitable for everyone involved.
Number two, we expect 100% commitment. If you say yes, you’re becoming a citizen of the North Shore Winter Club culture. You will adhere every single day to those expectations because that’s how you’re going to get the most out of your time. We talked about obstacles - young people have a tough time focusing sometimes, so it’s out job to put them back on the right path. Sometimes they don’t want to hear it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not necessary.
Number three, you need to bring a winning attitude every time you’re on the ice and in the gym. That will vary every day but bring your personal %100 every day and you’re going to get out of it what you put in.
That’s fantastic, thanks Steph!
You’re welcome, let’s chat agin soon!