Keith Tkachuk was an NHL superstar who captained the Winnipeg Jets. During an 18-season career he played over 1,200 games with the Jets, Phoenix Coyotes. St. Louis Blues and Atlanta Thrashers, twice topping the magical 50-goal plateau. He was inducted in the US Hockey Hall of Fame.
As a hockey parent, Tkachuk sees his sons Matthew (Calgary Flames) and Brady (Ottawa Senators) both playing today in the NHL.
His advice to young hockey players hoping to follow the same path as he and his sons isn't what you might expect to hear. Tkachuk believes the key to developing as a hockey star is to get off the ice.
Appearing on Greg Olsen's Youth Inc. podcast, Tkachuk encouraged all young athletes to try a multitude of sports. He also emphasized as the parent of elite athletes that this multi-sport approach will make the youth sports experience more positive for everyone.
"We never forced anything on our kids," Tkachuk explained. "My advice is to sit down and watch a game or a sport with (your) son or daughter. Go see the local professional women's soccer team if they have one. Just go out and spend time with them, take them to games and see if the kids are interested.
"If they are, let them play different things. I know it's tough now with one sport. Usually hockey's like a 9-10 months a year kind of thing but I think it's important for all these kids if they want to play sports to try different things. Go out and play golf, or play tennis. Do whatever you want. But don't force it on a child. Be active with them and introduce them to different things."