I look at hockey development as a professional hockey player, father, coach, and mentor. I always ask myself: What would I have wanted to learn when I was younger? Is this a hockey school I would send my boys to? I am a professional athlete who genuinely cares about the lives of the players who come to the Academy. I also believe that competitive sports like hockey are phenomenal for teaching kids about dealing with adversity, courage, and hard-work. Thus, when making on-ice and off-ice programs, seminars for parents, and mentorship programs for players, I combine my knowledge of the game with a values-based approach to developing the ‘whole-athlete’.
The Popovic Hockey Academy Story
Growing up in Canada as a young hockey player, my dream was to make the NHL. My childhood was spent in arenas, from old barns in small towns to large auditoriums in major cities, as my career evolved into higher and higher levels of excellence. Memories of thousands of hockey games are threaded with laughter from dressing room banter and shades of Team Canada’s red and white.
In 2007, my childhood dream came true. I became a defenseman for the Atlanta Thrashers in the National Hockey League. And yet, once I arrived at this pinnacle of success, I felt a yearning for something more. I realized that it is through the game of hockey I learned about life, family, and myself. Furthermore, I learned that hockey is the conduit where I know I can make a difference in the world.
During the 2008 off-season, we created the first Popovic Hockey Camp in Midland, Ontario. Our camps sold-out continuously as both the players and parents realized there was something special about these sessions. The boys and girls who attended camp left the week with sharpened skills to improve their games, nutrition and training knowledge, and a heightened understanding of how to be purpose-driven athletes.
The Popovic Hockey Academy provides world-class hockey education to all players willing to learn. I look forward to seeing you at the rink.