Back in the 2006 – 2007 season I had the opportunity to sign in the Italian league and play for a team in Merano. This was a step up for me in my hockey career and one that I was super excited about. But as the hockey gods would have it, things didn’t seem to workout. I was released after 3 games (I had 3 goals and 1 assist for the record) but returned to Holland to lick my wounds and try to figure out what was next. Luckily for me what was next was a phone call from the man I share with you on the podcast today. Ron Berteling, who at the time was the coach of the Amsterdam Tigers. I can tell you one thing, never in my life did I imagine that I would get the opportunity to play hockey in Amsterdam, but man am I sure happy that I did. Amsterdam is one of my all time favourite cities and I got to play for one of the most passionate hockey guys I have ever met.
Ron Berteling wasn’t just my coach that year, he was my friend, my teacher and someone that I knew I could turn to when times got tough. Back home in Canada my father was fighting for his life and battling brain cancer, it was something I had a hard time with and a harder time opening up to my teammates about. In a lot of cases it would be hard to open up to your coach and tell him how much you were struggling, but not with Ron, he always knew what to say and put things into perspective hockey wise. He always knew what actually mattered. I’ll be forever grateful to him for being there for me that season.
On top of being a ‘salt of the earth guy’, he is also an amazing hockey coach and people person who knows what buttons to push to get the most out of his players and his team. Ron is a very inspiring guy who has accomplished a lot in his career as a player and a coach. I hope you guys enjoy listening to this episode of the podcast as much as I did recording it.
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