Karl Subban — father of NHL players P.K., Malcolm and Jordan Subban, author and former teacher — was in Red Deer to speak at the Red Deer College Athletics Banquet.
Subban’s presentation focused on unlocking people’s potential by using the metaphor of a three-legged stool. On top of the stool sits potential, with one of the legs representing a dream, another belief and another action.
In the metaphor, all three legs need to be strong so that the chair can hold up someone’s potential.
Subban said that sport was the primary catalyst for his sons reaching and fulfilling some of their dreams, and said that same dream exists among RDC athletes.
“Sport gives them something to do and it gives them something to love. It gives them, and so many of us, something to dream,” Subban said. “That is how it starts in terms of unlocking potential — it starts with a dream. For P.K., he had a dream to play hockey in the NHL.”
P.K., according to his father, was able to chase his dream because he believed in his dream and was able to drown out the doubts and doubters that everyone faces.
“I always say to young people, and everyone, ‘Believe in your potential’, before I say, ‘Believe in yourself’. It will never let you down,” he said.
The third component of unlocking potential, according to Subban, is taking action using the Four Ts of time, task, training and team.
“That will get you on the road to fulfilling your potential,” he said.
Dreams will change over time, which is an important thing to teach young people, according to Subban.
“In my lifetime, I have had many dreams and I have not fulfilled them all, but the one guarantee is that I have learned a lot about myself. I learned about what I am capable of and that I can do more. Potential gives us the capability to do more. What a wonderful lesson for young people,” he said.
He added facing adversity is key to young people chasing their dreams.
“The world will not always treat and speak to them the way we want them to. We don’t want them to stop and we don’t want them to give up,” he said.
Subban said sport acted as an extra parent that helped teach his children about things he wouldn’t have the resources for.
“Sport brings so many realities to the present, which they have to learn to deal with,” he said. “They have to deal with winning, they have to deal with losing, they have to deal with sitting on the bench and they have to deal with waiting their turn.
“Maybe they don’t get what they think they should get but they have to learn all of those things. Those are important life skills.”
Subban also took the time to recognize Scott Builders Student-Athlete Leadership Scholarships recipients: Volleyball player Megan Schmidt and Kings Curler Andrew Jones, who were the recipients of the $1,500 scholarship.
Schmidt is finishing her last year in a Bachelor of Business Administration and has spent time coaching at Notre Dame High School and the Queens Volleyball Program. She is also a co-chair of the RDC Student-Athlete Advisory Council.
She also helped implement the Raise-a-Reader program, which encourages literacy in young people.
“Megan is a dedicated student-athlete who is always giving back to her community,” said Chris Wandler, RDC Queens Volleyball head coach. “She shows appreciation for all people and life experiences, and is most deserving of this recognition.”
Jones, in his second year of Business Administration at RDC, is considered a leader on the RDC Curling team and has volunteered for Special Olympics Curling, as well as working as an instructor for the Adult Learn to Curl program in Red Deer.
“While Andrew is an important member of RDC Curling, he is also a critical member of the community with his contributions,” said Brad Hamilton, head coach of RDC Curling. “He is one of our representatives on the College’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council and also gives back by helping with junior and high school curling in his hometown.”
More information about RDC Athletics can be found at rdcathletics.ca.