Encourage, help and inspire athletes to perform their best while bringing joy back into the game!
To understand how TFH was born you have to understand Braedan (left) & Spencer's (right) stories
“I grew up in a small Canadian town, nestled among snow-covered peaks and the Pacific Ocean, most would say a great place to grow up for hockey.
From the moment I first laced up my skates and gripped a hockey stick, my heart was set on one dream; making the NHL. Instantly falling in love with the game, my eyes lit up with pure joy every time I stepped onto the ice, chasing after the puck and scoring goals. Though I was just a child, my dreams were as grand as the arenas where I spent most of my days.
During my early years in hockey, each new step or accomplishment seemed to come easy, and I thrived, receiving positive attention from my peers and mentors. I blazed through minor leagues, with my talent shining brightly and my enthusiasm infectious.
My parents watched from the stands, always spotting that unmistakable grin on their son's face as I played with reckless abandon. In those days, there were no worries about outcomes or what others thought; it was all about the sheer thrill of the game.
As I climbed the ranks, reaching elite levels within my province and eventually across the entire country, my hunger for success grew insatiable. I began to measure my worth by the trophies and accolades that I accumulated. Each setback, no matter how minor, felt like a dagger to my heart. The more I achieved, the more I yearned for, and with each new level, the pressure and expectations mounted, until I no longer had fun playing the game I loved.
The pure childhood joy that I once found in the game slowly gave way to an unquenchable thirst for victories. The game that had once been an art form for me, now became a laborious chore. The artistry and creativity that had made me a remarkable player began to wane, replaced by tension in my body and mind.
After experiencing a final defeat in my playing career, I rediscovered my love for hockey and embarked on a coaching journey. My goal is to teach young players to find joy in the game and balance excellence with the simple pleasure of playing. This shift in perspective improved my performance and reminded me of what made me great in the first place. Now, it's not just about me or my athletes reaching the pinnacle of the sport but embracing the pure joy of hockey.
My love for the game is my guiding light, and my childlike passion is my secret weapon on the ice. That’s the message I wish to pass down...That is what I call TENSION FREE HOCKEY”
What's more fun than being good and accomplishing your goals? NOT MUCH!
“My story is a little different than Braedan’s, although it starts almost identically on the other side of the country…
As a kid growing up in Montreal, Quebec, I started skating before I can even remember. At the age of 3 years my dad took me to the outdoor rink behind my house and my passion for the game was born.
Although, that is where the similarities end. Unlike Braedan, I never played the highest levels growing up, I was a mid tier hockey player in an unknown town enjoying the game I loved with my friends. For context, I played “CC” every single year from Atom when they introduced double letters till Midget when they got rid of CC… (Level break down: B, A, CC, BB, AA).
Being a “slightly” above average player, I never really dreamed of making the NHL. To be honest, I knew I never was. What I did dream of, was making BB and become a “Pirate”. But I was forever stuck a “Buccaneer” (CC). Every single year, I would show up to tryouts thinking this was the year I would finally make it… And every single year without fail I would be one of the last cuts… But why was that?
Was it because I was one of the smaller players on the team, probably. But mostly, because I lacked the skills and confidence to make plays. Whenever I got the puck (which wasn’t often), it was off my stick immediately. I rarely skated with it, especially in big moments and I played with so much tension in my body.
It wasn’t until my second year Junior that I decided to make a change. Initially, I followed the tried and true power skating guidance of PUSHING hard, holding your ankles stiff, stable, and bracing! Although I got a little better, it wasn’t translating to the results I wanted in game, there was something missing.
That was until I found Train 2.0 and the Downhill Skating System in April 2020, where I was introduced to the mechanics of the best NHLers and the concept of playing Tension Free Hockey. Since then, my skating ability has skyrocketed and I have learned to let go of unnecessary tension in my body and my in-game performance has reflected it! I now make plays, rush the puck, score goals and have way way more fun playing hockey!
As someone who was an average hockey player to now a pretty “good” hockey player… Hockey is MUCH more fun when you’re good and when you’re performing! Although I am no professional being able to make plays, skate with ease and relaxation not only leads to better results and more points, but makes the game much more enjoyable.
I am now a certified Downhill Skating System coach and continue to learn and develop my game as well as share the knowledge I’ve gained with the world through Youtube and Instagram. (@theDowhillSkater) ”
PS: I finally made BB in my second year Midget!
The Birth of Tension Free Hockey
Braedan and I met through our mutual understanding of the importance of Tension Free Hockey and through our combined experience we set out Tension Free Hockey's mission to help athletes perform their best by being while bringing joy back into the game!
To do this we envision building a community of athletes that understands the importance of relaxation, creativity, practice and confidence (or as we like to say “calm confidence”) towards performance and fun!
Our goal will always be two fold... Play better & Have fun!
Tell us your story!
That’s our story, now let’s hear yours! Message us on instagram with how Tension Free Hockey has affected your game for a chance to be featured on our page.
To encourage, help and inspire athletes to perform their best while bringing joy back into the game!
To create a community of athletes that understand the importance of relaxation, creativity, practice and “calm confidence” towards performance.