Following his final major junior season, Isaac Ratcliffe talked about the 2018-19 OHL Championship season that was, looking ahead to a professional career, and what the mental side of hockey means to him on the Behind the Gear podcast.
The MM27 Ambassador started by discussing the leaders that paved the way for him: “I’ve worked with so many great leaders over the years too, guys like Garrett McFadden — he was my past captain — and guys who you can go to with anything off the ice as well…”
From there, the Philadelphia Flyers prospect highlighted the importance of having the right support.
“To have people that can help guide you through some of the things that you go through, that’s the biggest part,” Ratcliffe said. “I mean, what you’re going through at some points – on or off the ice – someone else has gone through it…when there’s always people to talk to, that’s the best part about it. They can help guide you on the right path to getting you back to yourself.”
Ratcliffe also touched on the struggles that most don’t see.
“When you move away from home as a 16 year old kid, it’s not easy. I mean, it’s broadcasted across the world – you see all these high-end athletes who move away at a young age to go play their sport somewhere and it’s all happy, go-lucky when you’re watching on TV but, you don’t really see a lot of the struggles that are going on off the camera as well,” he explained. “If you can step up and talk to someone about it, that’s all you really need to do… to have someone guide you on the right path, to get you back to really who you are is the first step of getting back.”
“To have people to talk to, to have someone to lean on, I’ve been so lucky to have so many different people to lean on, and guys who’ve gone through the same process as me,” Ratcliffe continued. “It’s really that first step, is stepping up and not being afraid to speak up.”
Go to 45:25 to hear Ratcliffe discuss the mental side of the game.