A Day in the Life

Sean Duddy
Sean Duddy is a captain of the Ohio State Buckeyes

In an effort to chart the typical day for a Division I men’s hockey player, we talked to five seniors from across the country – each of them the captain of their team and a candidate for the 2012 Lowe’s Senior Class Award. They shared pieces of their typical days with us to put together this “day in the life” of a college hockey player.

An abridged version of this story originally appeared in the college hockey supplement in the Dec. 5, 2011, issue of The Hockey News.

On Gameday

Games, typically on Friday and Saturday, offer a break from the weekday routine. Here’s a bit about how things change:

Ross (pictured above)
I love gameday routine. You look forward to that all week. I will get up, get some breakfast and go to my 10:10 a.m. class before gameday skate.

We usually have our pregame skate around noon for 30-60 minutes. About half the team will have class Friday mornings, so not everyone will be there. After that we go to Blackwoods for our pregame meal around 1 or 1:30 p.m. Then it’s back home for a pregame nap and I’ll try to leave for the rink between 4:30 and 4:45 p.m. for a 7 p.m. game.

On the road you watch movies, watch TV, hang out with your teammates. It’s also a chance to do as much homework as you can. A lot of our work gets submitted online, and our video coach sets up wifi on the bus so guys can work, but if you get too many people on there it gets pretty slow.

A lot of our trips are short bus rides. On those the bus is pretty quiet and focused, guys keep to themselves and prepare for the game.

Days Off

With most games on Fridays and Saturdays, Sunday becomes a day off.

I love to sleep in, but it's important to eat to help your body recover. So I make sure to get up and get three meals in. Sunday is a chance to relax, maybe watch the Patriots.

We have the day off from the rink but the trainers will be there for guys who need treatment. So there tends to be a few guys getting iced or stretching.

Once the season starts I'll try to plan ahead and get some work done on Sunday, especially if you have a week ahead with a couple of tests.

See for Yourself

RIT posted a YouTube video of Haltigan's typical day.

Jack Connolly, Minnesota Duluth
It’s pretty jam-packed. I’ll get up and get some breakfast at home. We try to schedule classes in the morning since we have practice in the afternoon. You carry four or five classes, between 12 and 15 credits, and they’ll meet either two or three times a week.

Tommy Cross, Boston College
We have walk-in lifts in the morning, where you can go in and do a workout before or between classes. Two walk-in lifts each week are mandatory and a third is optional. We also have ice available in the morning, so on Mondays and Wednesdays, when I have a class at 9 and another at 11 a.m., I may get on the ice for a half hour in between to work on skills or skating.

Chris Haltigin, RIT
I finished class around noon, so I went home and did some homework. I have an exam in my class tonight so I needed to do some studying. Then I got a nap in from about 2-3 p.m. before I came to the rink.

Keir Ross, Cornell
If I have time between classes or before practice I’ll go to the library and get some work done before practice comes around. I don’t really have any downtime, so I have to take advantage of those times when I can.

Sean Duddy, Ohio State
We’re doing it a little differently this year – we have practice in the morning. So you get up and get to the rink to stretch by 7:30 a.m. and you schedule your classes for the afternoon. It’s worked out great. You have to learn to go to bed a little earlier at night but I feel fresher during the day.

Today we spent an hour at a local high school spending time with some special-needs kids, just interacting with them and hopefully brightening their day. Yesterday a bunch of us went to an elementary school nearby to play floor hockey. We try to do stuff like that as much as we can.

I try to get to the rink by 1:30 or 2 p.m. We won’t practice until 3 p.m., but during the season we lift or work out beforehand on either Mondays and Tuesdays or Mondays and Wednesdays. By Thursday it’s more of a chance to get on the ice and get ready for the weekend.

On Mondays and Wednesdays we practice at 5 p.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays we are on at 3:15. Practices are usually an hour and a half at the most. We'll usually get a little individual skill work in beforehand.

Early in the week are busier days. The theme both at the rink and academically is to get your schoolwork and off-ice work done early in the week so you can focus on playing Fridays and Saturdays. Freshmen have mandatory study hall for three hours each week, and we always tell them to get those out of the way early.

A number of guys will have night class after practice, so they’ll go from the rink back to campus. Guys who don’t have night class will go home and grab dinner, watch some TV and do their homework.

I live in a house with six other guys from the team. On a night that I need to bear down and work I’ll eat at the dining hall and go to the library. Other nights I’ll head home for dinner and hang out with the guys.

We live on campus all four years. I live with five other seniors; our eight juniors live together and four sophomores live together. We eat most of our meals in the dining hall, or we go to the training table.

I’ve always been good about going grocery shopping and not ordering out for meals. At first what I’d cook wasn’t anything special – lots of plain chicken and mac and cheese. But I’ve branched out and started trying some different things. [Living on your own] hasn't been a bad transition. You learn that you've got to get your work done instead of watching TV, and you've got to pay your bills. They're not going to go away if you don't pay them.

I do most of my homework at night. After dinner I’ll do homework, or study, and have a little time to relax. I usually get to bed around midnight or 1 a.m. – then it’s back at it the next day.

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