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Find Your Summit | Peak Performance with Steph St. Laurent

02/22/2017, 5:00am PST
By Kelvin


Hopefully you were with me last week when I complained about how gruelling my college days were. Well, for this week I got on the horn with Steph St. Laurent (in the spirit of the topic, naturally this interview was conducted (handsfree) over the phone while I was driving to an arena) so he could teach me how to manage my time better. 

But this ain’t about me. How good are your kids at managing their time? The Peak Performance Program at the NSWC focuses on various important areas during the course of the year, and being smart with time, energy, and effort are just a brief glimpse into the life of a student athlete. 


Kelvin: Well Steph, I’m driving to UBC in my truck and I’m excited, haven’t talked to you in a bit. 

Steph: Me too man, great to hear from you!

I want to talk about the kids, the athletes, the adults you work with, and how a program such as Peak Performance can help people balance all the different things they do in their lives. 

Alright let’s dive right in. When it comes to Peak, a large portion of its success is simply based on logistics, specifically the schedule. The afternoon hockey model lets hockey players focus on school, it lets them get their games and practices in during the evening, and it gives them the opportunity to develop their… their, um… (long pause)

Dude you there?

Kelvin, sorry, someone is calling me on the other line.

Oh do you have to get that?

Oh no, not at all, it’s just distracting.

Well that’s perfect, there’s distractions in life right? All the time something is beeping at us. Kids have distractions too. 

(Laughs) Yeah that's right, it’s unreal sometimes. It’s hard to keep yourself dialled in and that’s what this program is designed for, to take away some of that stress and while you still want to feel that pressure to succeed on and off the ice, this is a way to help you balance it with a helping hand every step of the way. 

You want to perform academically and perform on the ice as well. We want to entice individuals who want to take their sport to the next level. It’s not for everyone. You’re trying to reach the peak of the mountain, halfway isn’t good enough. It’s about summiting. We want people who are genuinely interested in doing the work and in committing to a demanding schedule. 

They get out of school around lunch time, so they’re able to have the physical and mental wherewithal early in the day to get on the ice or in the gym and work for that session. They have time to eat, fuel up, there’s time to do a little homework and get into an athletic mindset. It’s tough to find that energy at night. We typically do two on-ice and two off-ice sessions each week.

You talked about getting out of school at noon. When you’re in math or english class there are expectations and you have to get the work done. When kids are in the fitness centre or on the ice, those sessions still come with their own set of expectations, correct?

Oh 100%. We’re trying to drive this home non-stop - it’s not a hall pass. It’s not for kids who just want to get out of school in the afternoon and lower their level of accountability. It’s a rearranging of a traditional student’s schedule, but it doesn’t come with an easier workload. A balanced workload, a workload one can be passionate about, yes. If you commit to this program then we expect complete commitment to athletics as well as academics. The expectations are very high of them to fulfill all of their responsibilities. 

Next week in part 3 Steph and I dig deeper into the early days of the program and why it’s ok to make mistakes. And yes, we do talk about Top Gun as well.


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