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Former NWHL Pro and Womens Hockey Mentor Jaclyn Hawkins


Julian: Alright, hello everyone thanks for joining me today on another one of my lives which I really enjoy doing. Today I’m joined by Jaclyn Hawkins from Canada. Now Jaclyn is the most famous guests that I’ve ever had really well somebody that’s got a Wikipedia page which I just discovered. Jaclyn played a lot of ice hockey up in Canada and played a very high level as well so played in the NCAA. For those of you in Australia watching you might not know what the NCAA is it’s basically the college system isn’t it in the US. Alot of the NCAA people go on and do other things and Jaclyn did a lot with her hockey as well. We’ll talk about some of the other sort of mindset things that Jaclyn talks about as well. So welcome Jaclyn thanks for joining me.

Jaclyn: Thanks for having me. So I grew up in Ottawa Ontario Canada. I ended up going to a prep school in Connecticut in the US when I was 15 years old so I gave 10 11 and 12 down in the States and then ended up getting a full athleticscholarship to attend the University of Connecticut.. So I spent my four years of University there. I did end up staying on a year after to be anassistant coach for that same team. I kind of figured after that year I wasn’t ready to hang up the feet yet so I end up going to play in Switzerland with the ZSC Lions for a season.

I had a great time there got the travel through all of Europe which was which is amazing in itself. I came back ended up coming back to Ottawa here about a year started my business the grass roots of the business back in 2010 and then took a job in Connecticut so I went back to Connecticut where I went to high school and University and was a director of player and  did organization development with a youth hockey organization there. So Ispent two and a half years doing that and then ended up getting back into NCAA coaching at UCONN again, the University of Connecticut my alma materfor about four or five years and yeah and for the two years at the beginning.

I should know when was that I can’t even keep track of my own timeline when I was the director of player and organization development that youth organization I was also playing in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League which is a pro league up in Canada but they had a team in Boston in the US so I was playing on that team as well for a couple years and then had twins in 2016 and kind of took that role of a stay-at-home mom and really dug into my business at that point and got out of the coaching world.

Julian: Wow that’s awesome and I was just going to ask you that while you were playing hockey did you suffer many injuries because it looks like a game where you get a lot of cruciate ligament knee injuries and things like that. Did you have anything like that happen to you?

Jaclyn: I had a high ankle sprain sure there’s a couple of operations on my wrist but pretty good for the most part compared to some of my other teammates or friends. I suppose as long as you’re standing up you’re good to go.

Julian: Now you’ve formed an organisation called women’s hockey life and that’s quite interesting because you do a lotof stuff in there for the athletes. Do you want to tell us a bit about that?

Jaclyn: Absolutely so that’s that’s what I started when I came back from Switzerland was looking back in Ottawa for the year and it’s women’s hockey life, more or less a media site website for when we fought you long as I talking specifically so it’s you know current and former players from the youth level to college university playing professionally playing overseas just writing about their experiences and it’s gotten to the point now we’ve gotten some other writers who will actually do interviews and read some pretty cool stories and articles. It’s just highlighting supporting and promoting a game so from there we’vekind of branched out and created those branches of women’s hockey life with we have something called  so that’s where players and coaches can create their online profile it’s kind of like a Facebook to meets LinkedIn oh yeah well connects players with ground teams and businesses all over the world again just another way to kind of build that community and then we’ve got the WHL Academy which is an eight-week online course that helps players and families navigate the university recruiting process so it’s a big business in the US and Canada a lot of having been a player and then also a coach at kind of seen both sides of how it plays out so my team and I use the course to really hold the player and families hands to walk you through the entire process, work on the mindset how about themselves communicate with coaches find themselves a scholarship.

Julian : That’s such a great idea because I could imagine there’s so much interest in you know there’s so many people wanting to both play sport at that college level and also you know attempting to negotiate their way to the scholarships and all that sort of thing. Is it a hockey focus that course?

Jaclyn: Yeah it’s 100% our focus, so that’s our niche.

Julian:  Awesome and so, you started all of that and did that sort of how did you how did you do it? Did it start as a blog?

Jaclyn: I started women’s hockey life so just like a blog pretty much.

Julian: Yeah and you just just created a ton of content and then you started getting traction with it and then how did you monetize it?

Jaclyn: So we just started monetizing basically in the last year. The Academy and some of the other there’s a couple other branches too that we’re working on right now but it’s been a lot of me investing like my own money into the company to get it started and get it growing it’s so basically one like when I had my twins and I was staying home with them it was one of those is is this what I’m gonna be for the rest of my life my life a stay-at-home mom and that’s what I thought I was going to be I wanted to do it and then I got into the grind of it I’m like this is really hard oh man and I knew getting back into the coaching world would it wasn’t the lifestyle that I wanted because it’s at that level at the NCAA in your coaching at that level it’s it’s seven days a week it just wasn’t the right fit for the lifestyle that I wanted to have being a mom to my kids mom so I it was one of those okay then go find a nine-to-five job if you want or create something so I was like alright let’s take this into my own hands I want to be able to be there for my kids and create my own schedule so that’s when I really started looking at what we had within is populate with the blog and that you know content driven website and having had the experiences that I had as a player and then as a coach I knew there was a lot of areas of the game that needed help but there was a problem when we could fix it so I just started gathering some you know for my friends teammates that that all had their own experiences and we came up with a bunch of these ideas and ways to help families and players in the coaches so it’s kind of starting to snowball.

Too many ideas all these branches that we have right now that are either live there in beta test and kind of come in the last 12 to 18 months so I I bit off a lot but it’s just all in yeah the Commission.

Julian: Can you remember what the tipping point was for it when you you you know you go from, god this is so much work and it doesn’t seem to be getting anywhere to all of a sudden something happens and you start to think oh this is working!

Jaclyn: So me that that tipping point I literally almost tried to like sell women’s hockey like to anybody that would want it and I probably would have gotten a hundred bucks but I was just I was so tired of going through the grind had been I guess it was a 2010 the idea came to me and and it was literally a year ago so I’ll call it 7 years in and I’m like I had nothing to show for it from a monetary standpoint so I was like what am i doing I believed in what I had what I could create I just I kept looking to someone else to help me like oh my god I’m a hockey coach I’m a hockey player but I’m not a businesswoman I didn’t do business I didn’t know how to run it so I kept trying to be like who can I partner with and eventually it was it was one of those things that it was being a mom that was really the tipping point of I had no idea how to raise kids I had nieces and nephews yes but like to be thrown into hey you just have a child not only one but there’s two of them how do you I literally my goal every day was to keep them alive yes I did it again I’ve got this that’s good it’s day time you just build confidence because you’re done it and they’re they’re thriving they’re happy they’re healthy and through that process like 11 months into their life I was like I finally got out of that fog and the front though this isn’t only who you are and I realize that I could if I can keep these two alive this long I can literally you know anything so I started I mean like okay you don’t have a business degree you’ve never taken business courses so go out and take them don’t take an online course where we learn as much as you can and I just I do then I put the kid down a bed at six seven o’clock at night and and work till 1:00 in the morning just trying to teach myself everything about business that I don’t know.

Julian: I really like that I really identified with that searching for I mean who do I who’s going to show me you know who do I go to and then you you realize that you can do what you need to do and really that’s the only only way it’s going to work as if you do it and learn it.

Jaclyn: Yes one hundred percent and that’s you know it’s a so part of the mindset piece even with like the players that we help it’s you know I can teach you everything you need to know about the the NCAA recruiting process but until we build you that bulletproof mindset and you believe in yourself and you’re you’re going to do the work to get you to that next level there’s no point of even teaching everything else because you have to believe internally first ya have the idea that you just you gonna not quit and make it work and it’s a ton of work it’s not it’s building that mindset so that when you come across those those fears and obstacles that are gonna try and knock you down it’s like okay I got adversity is an opportunity like I’m gonna get through this as opposed to just throwing your hands up and saying I quit you then yeah well it’s it’s so it’s been a  mindset shift for me even in the last year and obviously I hid a little bit of it just being an elite athlete but it’s it’s kind of taken it to a whole new level and thank you children let’s look for we’re coming into my life to to push me beyond what I even thought was possible.

Julian:  I’m interested in your course quite a bit and and so how how do you deliver the content do you do webinars and all that sort of stuff?

Jaclyn: It’s an eight-week course everything is already pre-recorded but the way we add that with whom in the element touches as soon as someone registers myself or one of my coaches will do a welcome call so we’re gonna call you and see how you’re doing you welcome you to the course to give any questions we’ll address them and every week we do – live Q&A calls so right now Mondays and Wednesdays with your Q&A, so anyone can call in and talk to myself. So anyone with questions about the process where they’re at whatever it may be and we actually also have a mindset coach starting end of August early September so she’s just addressing everything relating to mindset she’s not touching the recruiting rules or anything like that, it’s specifically about the mindset. She’s a current US National Olympian so she knows her stuff. I think I’m pretty decent at all this but I mean I got to put my ego aside here and let let someone who’s even better than me take over and does the mindset piece and I’m so excited to get her started.

Julian: Yeah that’s great that you’ve got her in that specialist role that’s really gonna take it to the next level.

Jaclyn:  It really is. We have you know email support and then we’ve got Facebook groups that current players and their parents are in and stuff so there’s a lot of ways to get ahold of us knowing that the content ain’t pre-recorded and let me update it all the time but you’d like to add the human touch as well to to be available to these players and parents basically whenever.

Julian: Your primary market is it is it Canadian or US?

Jaclyn: Honestly it’s anyone who has the the dream of playing in the US or Canada at the university level you’ve got one player in the course right now he’s from Scotland a lot of Americans and Canadians are in it right now it’s again you have all the support you need to help guide you. Just got to be able to show up ready for work.

Julian: Thats great Jaclyn. Once again thanks for your time

Jaclyn: Thank you Julian


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