Len Almeida - Guest Blogger - Coaching minor sports and what it's taught me!


It is with great pleasure that I am introducing you to my good friend Len Almeida!  Len is an entrepreneur and owner of Vikings Landing which is set to open in spring 2019 in Burlington, Ontario!  I was blessed to meet him as a client and over the years we have grown to be good friends. I have enjoyed watching him grow personally and career wise.  There is never a day that goes by that I’m not impressed and inspired by Len’s drive, ambition and kindness!  Thank you Len for contributing to my blog!  You’re the best!!!!


Coaching minor sports and what it’s taught me!


When Lisa asked me if I could write a blog for her website, I automatically became excited at all the possibilities of what I could write about.  I first thought I could write about how Lisa, as my life coach, has been an incredible person in helping me down my journey.  Then I thought about writing of events in my professional life that has guided me to where I am today.  Then that led to thinking about writing of mindsets, confidence and staying true to who I am, regardless of perceptions or pre-conceived notions. All of that would have been a great experience but I wanted to focus on what I am doing today, with Lisa’s help, to stay balanced.

I first met Lisa about 6 years ago.  At that time, I was looking for help with something just wasn’t sure what it was. I was in a strange place in my life like many of you I would guess.  As time passed, the one constant still stayed the same……balance.  Balance is and will always be a life lesson for me.  I’ve always felt that if I am not putting all my energy into something, then I wouldn’t feel like I’ve met my expectation. Work hard, play hard as they say.

In February of 2018 something amazing happened to me.  I had just moved into my new place and on a Sunday night, I was watching Home Town Hockey. The show was broadcasted from Brampton, Ontario.  The city in which I was born and raised and where I coached hockey for many years until I moved to a new city in my mid thirties.  As I was sitting on my chesterfield, I was filled with a tremendous amount of nostalgia.  Such great memories of my time as a hockey coach.  I don’t think I spent more than 2 minutes thinking about it when I emailed Glenn at the hockey office asking if they were still looking for coaches.  The rest they say is history, I’m back doing something that I loved to do.

Our hockey season began in March with tryouts.  We had a quick parent meeting in the summer and then didn’t get back together again until September.  Our season can be summed up in one word really, inconsistent but this blog isn’t about that.  This blog is about balance and how a 12-year-old taught me that crucial lesson.

It’s one of those moments that will forever be ingrained in my memory.  Late November and light flurries falling.  A little chilly but nothing to complain about to be honest. We were playing a team that we had already played numerous times throughout the season.  The game wasn’t a “barn burner” by any means but it was exciting.

Inside the rink, it felt colder than outside and the flurries outside were finding their way inside through the vent in the ceiling.  The players on our team were fully engaged in the game.  Focused, committed and confident in what needed to be done.  If you have ever been in an arena, you know that there is a lot of noise throughout the entire building.  It’s interesting because to me, it’s just white noise.  I don’t really focus on what the noise was specifically, just that it was background noise.  Similar to playing music while doing household choirs.  As the game was being played, I happened to look down at a player on the bench.  We’ll call him Timmy.  Timmy was next up, meaning he was next on the bench to go on the ice.  The other players around Timmy were standing between the bench and the boards to get a better view of what was occurring on the ice but not Timmy.  Timmy was sitting on the bench, completely focused on one thing…….snow flakes!!! Yes, snow flakes.  As the game is being played and the families are cheering, Timmy was sitting on the bench catching snow flakes that were coming in through the ceiling vent on his sleeve and watching them melt.  Picture that for a moment.  A 12-year-old, with all this excitement, passion and competitiveness all around him, sitting on the bench completely mesmerized by miniscule snow flakes.

At that moment, the game was just a game for Timmy.  He was in complete balance because to him, catching and watching a snow flake melt on his sleeve was just as important as what was happening on the ice.  How amazing is that?  Timmy taught me a very important lesson on that Saturday morning. No matter how chaotic life gets or how important I think something is, without keeping it in perspective and without fully understanding that balance in life is key, it will always be a work in progress.

I am not 100% balanced but thanks to Timmy and Lisa, I am much better at it today then I was a couple of months ago.