On the first Saturday of each month I pay homage to one of my old coaches or mentors… #thankacoach

Paul Mason is a lot of positive things to a lot of people and I’ve gotten to know more great things about him in the past few years. I first got to know him as a player for his Pee Wee A Cole Harbour Red Wings.

We had a lot of on ice success no doubt, and I was happy to be a part of it. On top of numerous tournament titles we picked up a bronze medal in Atlantics my first season, and then captured gold in my second and final year under Paul and his staff.

You could get a certain energy from him that I definitely noticed at the time but didn’t fully understand. All I knew is he was fun to be around. I don’t remember the specific X’s and O’s of practice, but I do remember seeing him and the other coaches doing a rendition of something that I believe started with the phrase “quarter, quarter, quarter, dollar” at centre ice for the fans after a tournament win (which I also thankfully didn’t fully understand at the time). If you don’t know what that is consider yourself lucky, but the point is they provided us the opportunity to be part of a team but with definite encouragement to be yourself and own it.

As the events and competitions I attended got more professional and serious, my second year under Paul as a 13 year old was the year I really started to figure out the mental strain you could put yourself through if you weren’t able to laugh at yourself once in a while.

Sports are vital to my life and even by the time I was in my teens they supplied me with some pretty special life experiences. Through Paul it somehow became clear sports shouldn’t be the whole picture, but were more something that had the potential to make the bigger picture a whole lot better if you did it right.

Even up to today, Paul’s done it right.

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