Post Game with John Craighead

Professional ice hockey player turned Coach, Trainer, and now the Owner and Manager of his own hockey team; we catch up with Craighead five years after our first interview.

Q: Tell us, what new things have you been up to? How has life changed from being a professional hockey player to an active Coach/Trainer?

Although I've been retired from playing professional hockey for a few years now, I am still very active in the hockey world. Hockey has always been my passion and my life—it's in my blood. I have recently bought and relocated a Junior B hockey team, "The Langley Knights". As a full time owner, general manager, coach and trainer, my goal is to develop local hockey players and be a bridge between minor hockey and Junior A. It's my way of not only giving back to the game, but more importantly, the kids. During my career as a professional hockey player, it demanded a lot of my time, and I found it very difficult to find a balance between family and work. Since my retirement, even with my busy work schedule, I have been able to spend more time with my two boys, who, just like their father, have developed a love and passion for the game; I am very proud of them and their accomplishments. Just as playing professional hockey was a dream of mine, so was being an owner of a team and helping kids. Who said dreams couldn't come true. I am proof they can, as long as you believe in yourself.


Q: Training is always an important factor in professional sports. How do you find yourself coping with training and recoveries as you age compared to when you were younger?

Training has always been an important factor in my life, not only during my professional hockey career, but even more so after my retirement from the game. As in any sport, keeping healthy and fit is a necessity for any athlete if they want to play at the top of their game at a professional level. Even when an athlete is at their peak physical condition, they are still prone to injuries. When you are young your recovery time is quicker. As a professional athlete, my dedication and devotion to playing at the highest level came at a cost. During my career, one of my roles was as an enforcer. This was a very physical role that required me to respond to dirty or violent plays by the opposing team. The role of an enforcer can take a physical and emotional toll on your body. As a result, my body over the years has experienced some extreme physical hardships. As I am aging I am experiencing some of the long term effects of my prior injuries suffered during my hockey career. If I am not disciplined in my training, I am more prone to injury and my recovery time is longer. Being in tune with my body and being healthy and fit has become even more critical as I age.  

Q: You've played at all levels in hockey including overseas in England. How was it playing for the Nottingham Panthers?

Playing for the Nottingham Panthers was one of the greatest experiences of my hockey career. Like all players, there comes a time when you know you're going to make the decision to hang up your skates. I knew I was going to be retiring soon so I put everything I had into my last couple of years as a professional hockey player with the Panthers. The Nottingham Panthers would be my last stop along my journey as a professional hockey player, and my efforts would prove to be very rewarding; from leading the league in scoring and winning a cup, to being named the first team all-star as the best right winger in the league. Receiving these awards was one of the many highlights of my career and it was even made more special by having my mother in attendance for the ceremonies to mark this memorable event.

As a professional athlete, it requires a great deal of commitment to ensure you maintain a healthy life style. Being healthy and fit both physically and mentally is not an option, but a requirement if you want to play at a professional level.

Q: What is your secret to staying healthy and fit? Are there any advices you can give?

I have embraced healthy eating as part of my lifestyle. I don't believe in fad diets. That doesn't mean I don't indulge from time to time and give in to my sweet tooth. Treating myself once in a while helps me from feeling like I'm missing out on all the things I like to eat and prevents me from binging. Moderation is the key. Just as healthy eating is a part of my lifestyle, so is exercising. I have found over the years that it is important to find an exercise program that you enjoy doing. Exercising should not be a chore. If you find that you are dreading your workout, it may be time to find an alternative form of exercise. You have to ask yourself, how hard are you willing to work, how dedicated are you to your mind and body, and how much are you willing to sacrifice to achieve your goal. Believe in yourself and make your health a priority.  

Q: Are you still taking Mikei® Red Reishi as a part of your daily health regime? How has it helped you and has it benefited you in different ways from when you first started taking it versus now?

Taking Mikei Red Reishi has been a part of my daily morning health regime for almost 5 years now. Running my business and being an owner and coach of a Hockey team can be extremely demanding both physically and mentally. Mikei® Red Reishi continues to provide me with the energy levels I need to be on top of my game. Since taking Mikei, I have noticed over the years that it has also helped me in maintaining my focus and has been instrumental in increasing my immune system and reducing my stress levels. I will continue to recommend Mikei Red Reishi as a product that everyone can benefit from.  

For more information about John Craighead and his hockey conditioning camp, visit www.jcextremehockey.com.

Posted on November 3rd, 2014

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