Most of you are probably unfamiliar with the name “Antoine Roussel.”
He’s not a traditional educator – or an educator at all. He’s a professional hockey player. A personal favorite of mine, actually.
And I have the t-shirts to prove it.
Pro hockey, like any other high-end form of athletic entertainment, is home to the elite. That’s why we pay big money to watch them – because they’re better than everyone else at what they do. Lots better.
Nevertheless, there is much to learn from Roussel for those of us in a very different world. A world in which many people do what we do, for not very much money. A world in which it’s eternally debatable whether we’re winning or losing, and no one can seem to agree about exactly what our job is, let alone whether or not we’re doing it well.
I’d like to introduce you to the man fans call the Feisty Frenchman, the Rousster, or DangeRouss – all names I’m pretty sure he hates. In fact, if it comes up, don’t tell him I shared those, covenu?
I’d like to tell you why he’s one of my edu-heroes. And yes, it’s a list. Like cargo pants or cover bands, contrived blog-lists never quite go out of style.
1. Have a plan, but be ready to follow unexpected paths.
Roussel was born in Roubaix, France. For those of you who don’t follow God’s Favorite Game, professional hockey players don’t generally come from France. Rouss is one of only three currently playing in the NHL.
He played rugby as a youngster. It was hot out there on the field, so he kept going to the sidelines to get water. Once Antoine went, teammates followed.
We all have that kid in class – not necessarily intentionally disruptive, but a natural leader who often chooses directions we wish they wouldn’t. And they never go alone.
It made his coach crazy, and eventually it was clear rugby wasn’t going to work. His mother figured hockey would be cooler – like, literally.