Episode 10 Youth Sport Podcast: Paul Ranger Part 1

img_4774Youth Sport Podcast

Episode 10: Part 1

Paul Ranger

Paul Ranger is not only an amazing athlete, he’s an amazing person. Paul played hockey in the NHL while battling a “mystery” illness. In this episode of The Youth Sport Podcast Paul talks about how he’s doing now after suffering from severe depression. This episode was recorded with kids in mind. Paul shares his story, he talks about how he’s doing, and he offers his advice for young people so that they can get help if they are struggling.

I reference Paul’s TSN Original segment “The Mystery Of Paul Ranger” in this episode and have included it for you to watch below.

We unpack a lot in this episode: mental health, hazing, happiness, coaching young kids, recognizing signs of struggle, knowing when a kid is doing too much and on the verge of burning out and more.

Paul now runs his own business, making his impact on the next generation working with elite hockey athletes: Ranger Defensemen

Here are some resources for anyone that is struggling from The Canadian Centre for Mental Health and Sport:


Kids Help Phone

Text Services: Text “CONNECT” to 686868 (also serving adults)

Chat Services: https://kidshelpphone.ca/live-chat/

Youthspace.ca (NEED2 Suicide Prevention, Education and Support)

Youth Text (6pm-12am PT): (778) 783-0177

Youth Chat (6pm-12am PT): www.youthspace.ca

Crisis Services Canada

Toll Free (24/7): 1 (833) 456-4566

Text support (4pm-12am ET daily): 45645

Canadian Crisis Hotline

1 (888) 353-2273

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Here’s what we talked about:

  • How Paul and I met… I had no idea he was struggling.
  • How Paul is doing now.
  • “If you’re going through depression, know there is light at the end of the tunnel.”
  • Vulnerability and shame…in order to show strength.
  • Suicidal thoughts at a young age.
  • Advice for those struggling.
  • How important it is to have the right attitude.
  • There needs to be room for men to feel all human traits- referencing “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle
  • Compassion, Empathy, Gentleness, Caring, Soft and Silly
  • Acceptance and embracing mental health over shame.
  • Reaching a tipping point and how kids can manage issues before having to leave sport or even life, altogether.
  • “You have to be proactive”.
  • How a lot of people’s struggle is invisible yet Paul can pick up on it.
  • When to ask if someone is ok.
  • Never be embarrassed to be open to a trusted person.
  • Paul talks about hazing and admits that he was hazed.
  • Paul gives advice to help kids in uncomfortable situations.
  • “Look I want to be part of this team, I love being part of this team and I’m all for it, but I am not doing something that might hurt me.”
  • “Welcome to the team, we’ve got your back”
  • Tools to help kids.
  • Advice to parents.
  • The only way things get better is to rock the boat a little when necessary.
  • When Paul “Rocked the boat” in order to make things right.
  • Anti-racism
  • You never know when you’re going to make a positive impact on someone.
  • “Money can’t buy you happiness”
  • Attitude and perspective is your path to happiness.
  • Distractions avoid doing the work to deal with mental health issues.
  • “These material things are not the source of your happiness”.
  • Luxury vs Simplicity, what do you value?
  • What never devalues in Paul’s life
  • End of Part 1

And now the full conversation…

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