He is 28 years old and the youngest coach in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.
He was also just recently named the league’s top coach – Mark Readman, bench boss of the Princeton Posse.
Readman started his coaching career in Grade 8, helping out in learn-to-skate programs in his home town of Dawson Creek and eventually coaching novice and atom players.
A talented skater in his own right – playing at both the Junior B and Junior A level – he benched himself due to health problems, but never lost his love for the game.
Readman’s coaching resume includes quickly climbing the ranks of Dawson Creek Minor Hockey, North East B.C. and the Yukon Trackers.
Readman has been head coach of the Posse for one-and-a-half seasons.
He has an impressive resume when it comes to selling cars, and was several times told he would never be a successful hockey coach because he has too much empathy, that he takes tough decisions too much to heart.
His most painful moments are hard conversations with players, and sometimes their parents.
“It’s easy to be a good coach when you have an excellent team and everybody buys in,” he said.
Readman hand-picked every player on this year’s banner team, winners of the KIJHL President’s Cup and contenders for the Teck Cup.
He insists each player spends five minutes each day, with five different people, talking about something other than hockey.
“Everyone has something else that makes them tick.”
And while the horizon is bright for Readman, he always considers gratitude.
“For me, at the end of the day, we are playing a game for a living right now. I consider myself extremely fortunate to be being paid for what I do. In reality, it’s a game. Who you are as a person, that’s just a different kind of approach.”
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