My Career Change: Dave Scatchard’s Story of Perseverance
When a professional athlete’s playing days are over, many do not realize that said athlete’s career in another field is often just beginning. As part of VIKTRE’s dedication to not only drive interaction between athletes and their fans, but also provide other athletes with inspiration on their own career transition, our Career team made it a priority to show how successful many athletes have been since their playing days ended in a feature called “My Career Change.”
In this installment of “My Career Change,” we interviewed former NHL player Dave Scatchard.
After a 14-year professional playing career, Scatchard experienced post-concussion symptoms that threatened to derail his life off the ice so he hired his first life coach. His fascination with human psychology and the power of the mind led to his passion to help people. Now a life and business coach himself, Scatchard has applied his past experiences to his lessons given to his clients to help them through whatever struggles they encounter. As you will read in the interview, Scatchard’s story is one of perseverance and raises awareness of concussion issues in sports other than just football.
What sport did you play?
What teams did you play for (Collegiate, Professional, Olympic, etc.)?
Junior: Kimberly Dynamiters, Portland Winterhawks
AHL: Syracuse Crunch, Hartford Wolf Pack, Milwaukee Admirals, Peoria Riverman
NHL: Vancouver Canucks, NY Islanders, Boston Bruins, Phoenix Coyotes, Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues
What industry did you change careers to?
Life & Business Coaching
How did you get into your new career?
I was struggling to survive with my post-concussion symptoms and after they [medical staff] had done all they could for me at the Mayo Clinic and I still wasn’t functioning at a very high level, I knew that I had to try and find answers.
I had four luxury properties in three countries that I was managing and renting out, but after my last concussion, I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to handle all of the paperwork and rental agreements, contracts, etc. I needed to simplify and lower my exposure in case something happened.
The problem was, my brain was not functioning very well and I was having difficulty with my memory. I was taking Alzheimer’s meds, pain meds, Adderall, etc., to try to be able to hold my focus and help my memory and it was not doing the job. I knew I needed someone to watch my back and help me, while I consolidated all my assets.
So, I hired my first life coach who happened to be affiliated with the Tony Robbins Coaching Program. He knew I was looking to build a plan for making sure I was in good shape heading into retirement, as well as I needed to find answers to heal and get back on track and be able to function again in society.
When he asked me what I really wanted out of the second half of my life, I told him that I really wanted to help people so they didn’t have to suffer like I did. He suggested that I do some leadership training and then when I felt up to it, go and get certified in Strategic Intervention with Tony Robbins coaching group RMT.
I have always been fascinated with human psychology and the power of the mind, and when I got in that Tony Robbins world, I couldn’t learn fast enough. As I began learning and helping other people, my symptoms slowly started to clear up. I changed everything about my diet, my focus, my habits and became a sponge for all the information I could get my hands on.
I ended up joining Tony’s Platinum Partnership group which was an elite group of people that pay a small fortune to get closer access to Tony as well as be able to attend every seminar he does around the world.
For two years I traveled for at least one week a month, flying around the world doing different business seminars, health and wellness seminars, leadership, relationship and spiritual training. As my brain opened up and relaxed, it began healing more quickly and I knew that I was going to get back to normal again, maybe even move to a higher level. During my training and all of my learning and growth, I began developing a program to help people. I developed The Big Life program to help people take their games and lives to the next level and get them back on track living that Big Life they all deserve.
What was the biggest challenge you faced making your transition?
For me, the number one thing was getting healthy. I was coming off my fifth concussion and I was in big trouble. Nothing was working properly in my body or my brain. I had to take speech pathology because I was slurring my words, I was in vestibular rehab because I felt off balance the entire time, I was doing cognitive therapy trying to re-activate my brain and its neural pathways and I was dealing with debilitating migraines every single day. So, I really felt stuck because the doctors worked on me for over two years with only minimal improvement and almost no relief from the headaches. When they told me I was probably going to be like that the rest of my life I was terrified. I knew I would have to find the answers on my own…
I think the second most difficult thing was the loss of identity which everyone feels when the are unable to do the thing they love most in the world. The question became “If I’m not a hockey player anymore, who am I?” A lot of my one on one coaching clients are going through a transition when they come to me. This is a difficult process for everyone, regardless of your business. Transition is one of the most difficult things anyone goes through because it takes a while for this NEW identity to be accepted by our brains and belief systems and it takes a while for this new programming to be integrated. I do some processes with my clients that hardwire that new identity and allow my clients to own that new identity more quickly and take the best parts from the old identity and merge it with the new one.
I think the third most difficult thing about transition is picking what’s next. Most people feel like they need to make the perfect decision, almost like they are committing to that for life. When we all know that there is a process of understanding what feels right in your heart. Most people focus on the money and it is hard to go from making millions to less than that, but the key for me was finding out what fulfilled me. What lights me up?
The feeling that I get when I help my clients reach goals that they didn’t even know would be possible, and to see the relief, job, excitement and happiness when I get them results is the closest thing I have ever felt to the feeling I had when 18,000 people would stand up and cheer for me.
What has been your biggest accomplishment so far in your new career?
One of the things I am most proud of is my online coaching program that I created – The Big Life Program. I created the program as a way to be able to scale my business and help more people. I based it off the principles that I teach with my one on one coaching program. The online program took almost a year to build out and I am proud to say it is now available to everyone and it is excellent. I share the biggest lessons, tools and philosophies that I learned during my playing career and my journey to the NHL plus the biggest nuggets, life hacks and secrets that I learned from training with the best trainers, healers and coaches from around the world in every category of life. Check out thebiglifequiz.com for more info and to get some free training.
Obviously, the incredible results I have been having with my one on one coaching clients are my biggest accomplishments so far, but I don’t share that information with the public out of respect for my clients’ privacy.
I will say that I have helped people save their businesses and marriages, have helped them through transition, get healthy and lose weight, and pick up the pieces after divorce. I have also helped them find their dream jobs, reconnect with their kids who they haven’t spoken to in years, design their lives and find purpose in their lives which allows them the ability to be happy and fulfilled in a way that they always knew was possible but couldn’t figure out on their own.
What advice do you have for athletes making the transition?
For anyone in the transition phase of life, job, career, relationship, business, spirituality, etc., I would say don’t rush the process, know that there is going to be an adjustment period. You can ask yourself a few questions: “How do I want things to look like in each category of my life?” “What matters most to me?” “What will bring me happiness moving forward in the next phase of my life?” Look at transition like a do-over that you get to design. Then ask yourself, “What lights me up?” “What makes me truly fulfilled in my heart, because when you get that answer you will be given some guidance into where you will be exploring next.
Know that at the beginning you may try a couple of paths before finding the correct one, the key is to trust that sometimes finding out what doesn’t work for you, is actually guiding you towards what will work for you. So, use that initial phase as a barometer and measure and adjust until you feel in alignment with your goal of where you want to end up and what you want your life to like.
Often times, as athletes, we focused a lot on ourselves and continuing to get better, faster, quicker, and stronger. We were really focused on ourselves becoming the best. From personal experience now, I can honestly say that when I share that fire, and passion that still burns inside of me with others and see them reach their goals and dreams, when I see them get lit up, it makes me feel incredible and alive. I would say that when I contribute to someone else’s life and help them improve the quality of their life, their business, their relationship, or their performance, it is the first thing I’ve found since leaving the NHL that lights me up like having 18,000 people cheering for me.
How can other athletes learn more about your business or career change?
For email inquiries, speaking requests or any other info: firstname.lastname@example.org
For 1×1 life and business coaching, please fill out application form here: https://hockeystarsecrets.wufoo.com/forms/s1h8coo909c22ck/
My 3 biggest life hacks, free training and The Big Life Quiz: https://www.davescatchardprograms.com/p/take-the-big-life-quiz