skip navigation

A Stanley Cup Champ’s Advice for Minor Hockey Players

By Aaron Wilbur, The Coaches Site, 07/08/21, 9:30AM EDT


Goodrow reflects on time playing in the OMHA

Note: Originally published October 2020

It’s the dream of any hockey player around the world: to win the Stanley Cup. Few are lucky enough to call themselves champions and it’s always a special moment when someone from your own backyard gets the honour of raising the trophy above their heads.

That’s the case for Aurora native and OMHA grad Barclay Goodrow, capturing Lord Stanley’s mug with the Tampa Bay Lightning a few short weeks ago. Still on the high of winning the Cup, the forward took some time to be a guest on Breakaway, The Minor Hockey Podcast presented by CoachThem to reflect on his years playing in the OMHA.

“I had a great minor hockey experience. My two best friends are the same ones I played York-Simcoe with for five years,” said Goodrow. “I think when it comes to minor hockey, it’s all just about enjoying it. Enjoying hockey, growing up with your buddies and playing the game you love. Looking back, it goes a lot quicker than you may realize.”

As our children grow older we can sometimes get caught in a rush worrying about what the future holds or what team they will play on next season. Even as a Stanley Cup Champion, it’s the times away from the ice that Goodrow recalls most fondly from his days with the Express.

“You spend so much time with your teammates. Especially tournaments on the road, you’re playing mini sticks, those are the funnest times. You don’t have a care in the world. You’re playing three games a day somehow, putting on wet equipment. Just having fun. It’s fun to look back on those times because you won’t ever forget them. I bet you anyone who’s won would say the same thing.”

Getting caught up in an all-hockey, all-the-time mindset can be consuming especially when we’ve been away from the rink for so long. Like his teammate and fellow OMHA grad Steven Stamkos, Goodrow put his skates away once the season was over and focused on other fun activities during the summer months.

“I never played summer hockey. I always played soccer in the summers growing up until 14, 15 years old. To be able to take time away, I don’t think its necessary to, especially at that age, play a sport 12 months of the year. It’s good to give your body, your mind a break. To become an athlete of a different sport is great for your overall training to go towards your other sports.”

Being a multi-sport athlete allowed Goodrow to expand his horizons on different training techniques, some of which he still uses to this day.

“I think the training and fitness aspects of my summers has grown a lot. Trying to incorporate different ways to keep your body guessing. I introduced boxing four or five years ago, I think that’s helped a lot. Try to not stick to the same script, keep adding and tweaking things along the way.”

Like this article?

Share with your friends on Facebook and join the largest network of hockey parents.


Aaron is the Founder and CEO of The Coaches Site, the #1 online resource for hockey coaches, and also the host of the Glass & Out podcast. He is married with two boys, believes Major League is the best sports movie of all-time, is scared of heights and is mildly obsessed with the Alabama Crimson Tide football program.

you may also like