The Welsh professional ice hockey goaltender talks about the value of teamwork and why it's important to evaluate performance.
Raise Your Game: How did you first get involved in ice hockey?
Stevie Lyle: I always played football when I was younger and my father worked in a newsagents near the old Cardiff ice rink. I'd go in with him throughout the weekends and then I'd go skating and I started to come through the junior ranks.
4 December 1979
- Cardiff Devils (1994 - 2001, 2002 - 2003, 2009 - 2010)
- Belfast Giants (2007 - 2009)
- Basingstoke Bison (2007 - 2008)
- Morzine-Avoriaz France (2006 - 2007)
- Appiano Italy (2005 - 2006)
- Bracknell Bees (2004 - 2005)
- Sheffield Steelers (2004 - 2005)
- Guildford Flames (2003 - 2004)
- Manchester Storm (2001 - 2003)
- Winner of the ISL All Star Player of the Year award (1996 - 1997)
RYG: What skills can you transfer from the ice rink to other areas of your life?
SL: You've got to be a professional as a sportsman. That means looking after yourself and making sure that you're turning up on time.
Through sport you get to meet lots of people and that's always opened doors to future contacts for me with hockey. It's a fun sport and that's why we enjoy doing it.
RYG: How important is that camaraderie within the team?
SL: Ice hockey is a team sport and if you have everyone pushing the right way, you've got a good chance of winning throughout the season.
Our coach really focuses on building a good solid team, but also a team that will gel well together. So if we're down a goal in the last couple of minutes of a game, we'll come together and pull through.
RYG: Is it important to evaluate your performance?
SL: Everyone, even the best players, in every sport makes mistakes. It's how you adapt to not making that mistake again. Every game is videoed so we can see where we've gone wrong and hopefully the following weekend we can put it right.
RYG: For young people who might see hockey as a difficult and violent sport, what would you say to get them involved?
SL: I'm sure you could say the same thing about rugby and football. Just come down to your local ice rink and do a learn to skate session. You can see how it feels. To be honest a lot of people who try it do come back, and before you know it they're in a team and enjoying the sport.
RYG: Do you have any pre-match rituals or superstitions?
SL: Yes, a lot of hockey players do. They usually put the left side of the gear on first, whether it's the skate or the glove, everyone is different. I always eat the same food before a game. I tend to do stretches and then stick my gear on, but I try not to get focused on it because you want your head to be clear when you're playing the game.
RYG: And finally, what are your goals for the future?
SL: My goals are to stay healthy and to just try and keep winning championships. I've just come back to Cardiff Devils for the 2009 - 2010 season after a seven year break and I just want to bring winning ways back to the Cardiff Devils.
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