Inside the Rink: A Chat with Team Alberta’s New Para Hockey Coach

In honor of National Coaches Week, we’d like you to meet the new face behind Team Alberta’s Para Hockey, Shawn Lucas. Here, he opens up on his journey, his approach to coaching, future goals, and much more.

A former high-level football player, Lucas found his calling in the intensity and physicality of Para Hockey after his injury. But it wasn’t just the sport that hooked him, it was the people: “The contact side of Para Hockey drew me into the sport, and the people kept me there.” He says that coaching was a way to continue to give back to a sport that he owes so much to.

In terms of advice for athletes considering coaching, Lucas says, “Get involved. Coaching has so many rewards, it’s something that I’d love to see more former athletes do.” He emphasizes learning, keeping an open mind, and building athletes not only in sport but as people in their wider community; “If you do, the winning will take care of itself.”

For our new Para Hockey coach, success isn’t measured by the number of games won, but by the growth and development of the athletes who have placed their trust in him. His role as a coach is not just about drawing up plays and crafting winning strategies; his real objective is to enrich the sport and leave a lasting positive impact. His aim is clear – to add more “tools” to each of his player’s toolboxes. This means honing their skills, boosting their confidence, and strengthening them as athletes.

Creating camaraderie among Lucas’s athletes isn’t just part of the job; it’s the essence of sport, “Teammates become family… When you have a Team that recognizes the common goal, that bond becomes a lifelong one.”

For Lucas, sport mirrors life in so many ways and resonates with the challenges of our everyday lives. His philosophy: adapt to adversity and recognize privilege. Sport is a privilege, and he reminds his athletes to cherish the invaluable experiences it offers, knowing how many can’t participate due to uncontrollable circumstances.

Finally, discussing the future, Lucas’s goal aligns with his coaching philosophy, “My goal is to continue to grow our athletes and strengthen our sport.”

This is just the beginning of a fascinating journey, and we’re excited to see where our new coach’s leadership will take Team Alberta. #thankscoach

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