Former professional hockey player Steve Alley came to speak with the Foresters this evening. A member of the 1976 U.S. Olympic Hockey team, and a two-time national champion at the University of Wisconsin, Mr. Alley has also served as a very successful businessman and was a key player in the 2016 bid campaign for the Olympics in Chicago. During his wide ranging talk, Mr. Alley offered numerous pieces of sound advice to our players.
After receiving a degree from the University of Wisconsin—Madison, Mr. Alley entered the world of professional hockey. At the age of twenty-seven, he decided to retire and enter a completely different world—the world of business. Mr. Alley took the time during his talk to address each class of players. While his advice varied by year, his most significant piece of advice was directed at all years: “Set goals for yourself. Even if you don’t reach the goal that you set, set them high. If you set your goals high, you might reach them.”
Several players were interested in topics other than Mr. Alley’s hockey career. When Team Captain Steve Yena ‘11 asked for advice about battling the current job market, Mr. Alley responded, “You have to really have a good resume—one that speaks to who you are as a student athlete. Refine your pitch. Talk about who you are and what you bring to the party.”
Mr. Alley emphasized the importance of setting and working towards individual and team goals. He noted, “Team chemistry means everything. In order to be good as an individual, you have to have some individual pride. But, it truly has to be secondary to what the team is doing.”
I had a chance to sit down with Mr. Alley following his talk. When I asked him why he thought it was important to talk to college-aged student-athletes, he said, “I think it’s important to pass on any experiences that I think will help them make the most of their opportunity.” If Mr. Alley could give one piece of advice to collegiate athletes, it is this: “Meld the two experiences [being a student and being an athlete] into one great experience…those who do will be a cut above the rest.”
The Winner’s Manual program will continue throughout the rest of the season. Tomorrow, the Foresters will have the opportunity to lend a hand (or 166 hands) as they head to several surrounding communities for their annual camp service day!
-Elise Beckman, contributing author