We sat down with Dan Ruddach, player for the Niagara War Pigs, and Assistant Captain of BHi’s Great Britain Heritage Team to talk about what he’s been up to since the championship in the Czech Republic in June, and the upcoming events in ball hockey he’s most excited for.
Stick Skillz: What have you been up to since the WBHF?
Dan Ruddach: Since coming back from the WBHF, I’ve been working a lot and spending time with my son. The summer is always busy with ball hockey, so any down time that I can get, I spend with him.
SS: Do you have any accomplishments you can speak on since finishing the WBHF this year?
DR: I did play Ontario Ball Hockey Association (OBHA) and Ontario Ball Hockey Federation (OBHF) Tier 2 Provincials. We made it to the semis of both, but unfortunately didn’t make it any further. Other than that, I’ve mainly been gearing up for the Worlds in Barrie at the end of September, and Clash of the Titans in October.
In the ball hockey world, I have won a few major tournaments, the North Americans twice, Barrie worlds twice in the B and once in the A. I have also completed at 2 National Championships. Outside of ball hockey I was an all Ontario tennis and badminton player.
SS: How do you set your goals?
DR: Every year there are three or four different tournaments that a ball hockey player looks forward to. There’s: the Barrie Worlds, Clash of the Titans, the North Americans in Philadelphia, PA., and of course, the Canadian Nationals. My goals and expectations are high. I expect to win and take the tournaments very seriously. When I’m at a tournament, it’s pretty simple – stay hydrated, and get a lot of rest when you can, which is necessary to go deep in any tournament. I take them one at a time and prepare for them as best I can by playing consistently and always trying to stay sharp. Physically, I should do more for myself than I do, but I believe that mentally, I am very strong and that shows on the floor.
SS: What is the next ball hockey event that you are looking forward to?
DR: The next big event is the Barrie Worlds which is at the end of September. The War Pigs are the defending champs, so you can assume that everyone will be looking to dethrone us.
SS: How have you been keeping your skills sharp in the month since the WBHF?
DR: Honestly, I have been trying to take it easy. Sometimes the best thing you can do is just take some ‘me time’ away from the sport so that your body can heal. I do still play on some recreational teams…I think handling the ball is the most important thing you can do.
SS: What would you say is the biggest thing that differentiates you from the competition?
DR: I would have to say it’s my ability to control the play, slowing it down and forcing the other team to play a style they might not be comfortable with. I think that with the experience I have doing this als makes my teammates better and more confident.
SS: What is the best advice you were ever given?
DR: See your goal
Understand the obstacles
Create a positive mental picture
Clear your mind of self-doubt
Embrace the opportunity
Stay on track
Show the world you can do it
My parents bought this abbreviation for me in a frame, and before every game I used to read it. It was more motivation than I ever needed.
We’d like to thank Dan for taking the time to answer our questions, and wish him the best of luck at this years Worlds in Barrie.