Game Ready is excited to announce the addition of Coach Dan! He brings a passion for Youth Hockey to the table and College playing experience that is invaluable to growing the athletic prowess, on and off the ice, of the Youth of today. As a father, an athlete and a friend, we are excited for what Dan can offer future Hockey players and what he adds as a Coach from us Profession as a Nurse. Dan is an energetic and passionate guy and the sky is the limit for athletes under his tutelage. Get to know him for yourself though!
Give us a little background about yourself…
I grew up in Boulder, CO as a pretty active kid. I latched on to hockey at a pretty young age (8), and was lucky enough to play club travel for most of my youth days, including a trip to Switzerland on a U.S. Select U-18 team, as well as the Czech Republic with my club team. Following high school, I needed a change- so I moved to Missoula, Montana and attended the University of Montana. Here, I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, while minoring in fly fishing, camping and anything outdoors. During that time, I also played for our Division III club men’s ice hockey club, competing against teams nationally. I met my wonderful wife in Montana and following our wedding in 2011, we moved to Colorado where I attended nursing school. Following my graduation, I was hired at The University of Colorado Hospital into the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. I LOVED THIS WORK! Working with patients during the most difficult time of need, and practicing critical care medicine provided me with a lot of pride! My most rewarding patient experiences were watching individuals move along the healthcare spectrum from a state of sickness, back to a state of wellness. My wife (Tamara) gave birth to our beautiful child, Gr
ady, in July of 2014. He is the light of our lives (though he has a little brother on the way currently….), so that light will soon be shared.
What is your profession?
Balancing night shifts, weekends and odd hours in the ICU became too demanding and stressful, and because of that, I transitioned to become a Lung Transplant Coordinator. I follow patients from the time of transplant, throughout the rest of their lives. This is rewarding work that allows me to work with patients who bring multiple comorbidities to their healthcare needs, and require extremely close care whether they are in the hospital or at home living their lives!
What do you do to stay fit?
Unfortunately, my hockey days have come to a screeching halt since the birth of our son, Grady. Late night men’s league games do not appeal to me anymore! These days, I much prefer to be in bed by 8 or 9 PM. I have been an active Crossfit athlete for 7 or so years. During that time, I have been able to learn from amazing coaches, while also better understanding what true fitness and health really mean! I try to be at our crossfit “box” 5 days per week, and when not there, or at work, I get outside for hikes with the family as much as I can.
What does fitness mean in your profession?
Remaining fit in my profession means everything! It is hard to tell patients about nutrition and exercise if they do not see their provider as an example. I am also up on my feet for hours at a time, which transitions to the need for a strong back.
Do you eat a certain way or follow a particular nutrition plan?
I would say that I eat more of a certain way, versus a strict nutrition plan. When I attended my Crossfit Level One Trainer’s course, I learned more about counting macros- proteins, fats and carbs. Since then, I have remained much stricter in macro proportions. I also DO MY BEST (though not perfect), to not eat additional means of sugar (candy, chocolate, soda, etc.) I also allow myself one to two cheat meals on the weekends to ensure a solid balance!
What are your hobbies?
As noted above, I love fishing, camping, working out (of course), and most important- spending time with my family! In the past few years, however, I have also built a strong liking for wake boarding. During the summer, I try to get to the lake two to three times per month in my pursuit of becoming better at this sport.
Any advice you want to share with others?
I manage stress by working out. I know that this sounds cliché and many of you have heard it before. Yet, during my work week, this is my personal time to push myself and ultimately improve myself as well physically. One thing I have found with difficult training sessions is the mental capacity that is built- and this absolutely assists in daily life routines! Aside from exercise, fishing for me is a great de-stressor!!
Did you play sports as a kid and did you have an influential coach or mentor that has stayed with you?
I mentioned earlier about my hockey background. It was such a focus in my life for so long, and I look forward to being able to getting back on the ice once I have more time to spare. Aside from playing however, I also coached for youth teams in Montana, while also working for Rocky Mountain Hockey Schools (based out of Colorado). During the summers, I would be on the road for weeks at a time, coaching youth hockey camps, including both on and off ice training. These were very rewarding experiences, and I loved working with all skill levels and ages as they navigated their improvement in a truly difficult sport. No one mentor stands out to me during my playing years, but as a coach- my coaching colleagues at Rocky Mountain Hockey Schools were monumental in my growth as an instructor. From them, I learned the piece by piece items necessary to teach basic skating skills, to the development of players who reached the college and professional ranks (I still follow a few that I once coached!!!) I also learned the unique ability and skill set necessary to adapt areas of training for youth athletes.
Thanks, Coach Dan! We are excited to have you as a part of the team and look forward to what you bring to the table for our Hockey programs!!