Pro Hockey Player – Joe Loprieno

Joe Loprieno’s Road to the Pros

First off we’d like to thank Joe for taking the time to answer the many questions we had for him in this interview. Joe  has played in the USHL, Division 1 NCAA, ECHL and AHL levels. He exemplifies how hard work, determination and mental toughness play a huge role in making it to the Pro Level.

1.) Explain the amount of dedication that you have for the game of Hockey and the importance of practice. – I truly believe that what you put into your workouts and preparation will determine how far you take your career. Hockey is unlike most sports because you are working to get better everyday. Not only in practice and training, but also through your diet and how you take care of your body.

2.) What allows you to be confident while under pressure? – Knowing that you have put the time to train and prepare should make anyone confident. Not only in hockey, but all pressure filled moments in life.

3.) What professional hockey player did you look up to when you were growing up and why? –  Like most defenseman that I know, I idolized Bobby Orr and how easy he made the game look. It was always my dream to play like Bobby Orr, but I eventually came to a realization that I played a different style of game. I tried to play like Scott Stevens. He was the ultimate teammate and was one of the most difficult players to play against. Never took it easy and was always giving 100%. He was a true leader on the ice.

4.) Have you always felt that you would make it to the Professional level? –  My entire life people have told me it would be impossible to play professional hockey. I truly never listened and always believed in my abilities and work ethic.

5.) What is the most important lesson you have learned while playing Hockey? –  The most important lesson I learned from hockey is to truly appreciate every moment spent on the ice. Even when you are being skated so hard your lungs feel frozen, enjoy every second because we can’t all play forever.

6.) What influence have your parents had on you while playing hockey? – I am very thankful to have great parents who have supported me from day one of playing this great sport. They believed in me and always helped me throughout my career, even to this day.

7.) What Coach had the biggest impact on your career and why? –  I have had many great coaches in my life that I am very appreciative of, but my coach at Merrimack College, Mark Dennehy, really allowed me to better my game. He was an honest coach who always rewarded hard work. Not only did he help my career, but also helped me become a better person.

8.) Was there ever a time in your career where you weren’t playing a lot or having success on the ice? – How did you handle this and get back to playing at a high level? One of the most difficult things in sports to do is to find confidence when you are going through a slump. The only solution is to work out of it. While this sounds simple, it is very easy to pout or give up when you can’t seem to do anything right. Those types of moments are what define players and really challenge a player’s will and love for the game.

9.) What do you think is the most important factor that allowed you to be successful in the game of Hockey? – For me hard work and determination was my best attribute. I found a sense of pride in out working harder then everyone else. I can skate and developed a solid skill set, but hard work is really what will take you to where you want to go in this game.

10. What is the most important part of your in season off ice work outs? – I think it is very important to find time to continue to get in the weight room during the season to keep up your weights and all that you train for in the off season. That is how you grow as a player and get stronger and faster each season. If you only train hard in the off season you will end up losing strength and setting yourself back. Also, being aware of the foods you eat and how much sleep is so crucial to all athletes.

Thanks again Joe and good luck next season!

If you have any questions for Joe please comment below.