COVENTRY Blaze skipper Jordan Pietrus has teamed up with The Observer to deliver an exclusive insight into the Blaze locker room by writing a fortnightly column.
In his latest piece for The Observer, Jordan talks about his life off the ice, including his upcoming graduation at Coventry University, settling into UK life and life on the road at the weekends.
The last two weeks have been fantastic for myself on a personal level as I received the news I will graduate from Coventry University with an MBA in International Business with distinction.
Studying at Coventry University wasn’t something I was expecting when I first arrived in the UK – however the opportunity to enroll was presented to me and I jumped at it.
The biggest challenge was managing my time – I’d attend classes before and after practice, in addition to assignments, group projects and of course games made my schedule very busy.
I’m very fortunate to have a very supportive wife who encouraged me every step of the way, now I’ve finished the course it’s nice to have more time to spend with her exploring Coventry and the English countryside during our free time.
However, as much as it was a challenge balancing my schedule it was nice to take my mind off hockey at times.
Sometimes as hockey players we can obsess about the game, our team, what we can do better and the recent results of the weekend.
Things like driving on the left side of the road and entering the right side of the door when driving, there’s been a quite a few times where I’ve opened the car door only to realise that it’s the passenger side.
Joking aside though my wife and I have settled in nicely now that we are in our second year in Coventry.
We’ve become familiar with small things like the local supermarket, libraries and the city center which has made everything much easier this season.
Cardiff was a great win for us, the guys battled hard all game blocking shots and doing whatever the team needed to get the win.
In overtime our preparation paid off as we practiced the three on three overtime format during the week, which I believe really helped us play confident and ultimately win the game in overtime.
When you play a game like that in front a sold out crowd it can be hard to get sleep on the journey home.
The excitement and adrenaline after a big win is still rushing through your body.
Depending on the trip guys will try to get as much sleep as possible, but it can be tough on the short trips as by the time you’ve relaxed enough to fall asleep we’ve made it back to Coventry and it’s time to unpack our equipment and head home. We spend a lot of time on the bus so we do our best to make the best of it and share some laughs with each other.