When an athlete begins perfecting their craft, it is typical for them to have role models they aspire to be like.
Whether a professional athlete or just a neighborhood coach at the local rink, having somebody to guide them through the ins and outs of the sport and model their game after can be crucial to their longterm success. Dax Deadrick, starting goaltender for the Colorado State Division I club hockey team, has lived both of these roles.
After picking up the game at the age of eight, Deadrick fell in love with hockey and has had a stick in his hands ever since.
Deadrick has played on CSU’s club team for the past two seasons and will be playing his final season with the Rams this year. The senior goaltender has been a steady force in net since his sophomore year, bailing out the Rams’ defense on numerous occasions with his swift play.
During his tenure, Deadrick has earned all-conference honors and has been recognized nationally for his ability. A technically talented goalkeeper, who has advanced through the ranks of the youth hockey system in the United States; After working his way up through the system and playing at the collegiate level, Deadrick knew it was time to give back and work with young players.
This past summer, Deadrick teamed up with a company called Planet Hockey to help guide young hockey players in the art of goaltending. Planet Hockey is a company that works in both the United States and Europe to provide training and coaching for youth hockey players. Working as a goalkeeping instructor, Deadrick was originally recommended to the company by former teammate and CSU graduate, Justin Schneeberger.
“Planet Hockey is a great company and they do a lot of great work when it comes to developing the skills and play of young athletes,” Schneeberger said.
The work that Deadrick did with planet hockey was no easy task. It required a lot of time, effort and patience. Despite the difficult time commitment, Deadrick understands the importance of growing the game and embraces the day to day grind.
“One day you’d be in Nashville working with the young athletes for a week, and next thing you know you’re on a bus to Chicago for the next week to work with a completely different group of kids,” Deadrick said. “We’ve all been there, we’ve all been that kid who looks up to the older guys in many different ways. I was that kid when I was younger and that feeling never really left me, so I decided to give back.”
After graduating Deadrick plans to play hockey at the professional level, but when his playing time is over, he hopes to continue his passion of coaching. His head coach at CSU, Jeff Degree praised Deadrick for his work on the ice, as well as in the community.
“Dax is incredibly focused on what he wants to do as a goalie,” Degree said. “He is very hard working, whether it be improving his own game or the game of others.”
Deadrick’s parents, Tiffinie Greenrock and Lance Deadrick, have also supported their son throughout the process. Through years of youth hockey, high school days and ultimately a collegiate career, they have been able to watch their son grow into the person he is today.
“Dax has a true love of the game of hockey and wants the younger generation to love and enjoy the game as much as he does,” Tiffinie said. “He shows that by coaching the youth every summer on his breaks and when he is not playing himself. He remembers what it is like to look up to and learn from other players, and he wants to give back to the younger generation.”
Fortunate to be able to play the game he has loved since grade school, Dax Deadrick is living his childhood dream. Now his focus turns to to the future of the sport and helping children.
Collegian sports reporter Evan Grant can be reached by email at email@example.com or on Twitter @EvanNGrant.