“HOW CAN I USE THIS DAY TO BE BET­TER FOR TO­MOR­ROW?”

P.K. SUB­BAN DE­FENSE­MAN, NASHVILLE PREDA­TORS, NA­TIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

Fast Company - - Secrets Of The Most Productive People - —As told to Amy Far­ley

The [82-game NHL] sea­son can be tir­ing, with the travel and the phys­i­cal­ity of the sport. But I’m not com­plain­ing. I wake up ev­ery morn­ing [think­ing], “I don’t want to waste this day. How can I use this day to be bet­ter for to­mor­row?”

The night be­fore a big game, I start to vi­su­al­ize the next day. I go through my check­list of things I need to do—not so much on the ice, but I’ll think: “I gotta wake up at 8. I gotta have my break­fast at 8:30. I need to make sure that I get my 6 liters of wa­ter.” You don’t want to for­get those things or it’ll mess you up—men­tally more than phys­i­cally. At one point, when I was about 20, I used to drink nine espresso shots be­fore a game. Now I have less than a quar­ter cup of cof­fee.

I usu­ally get to the game three hours be­fore, and I’ll go through my struc­tural warm-up, get my equip­ment set up, and start my bal­ance and [mus­cle] ac­ti­va­tion ex­er­cises. Then we have our meet­ings. I’ll do a lit­tle bit of foam rolling. Then it’s more of an ac­tive warm-up, and then I go out and do my sprints and stuff to get ready.

On the ice, my warm-up rou­tine can be tweaked based on how I feel. Some­times you get out there and your body is feel­ing great, and you don’t have to push it. Some­times you get out there and your legs feel like they’re 80 pounds apiece, and you gotta do a lit­tle ex­tra.

Every­one needs a break once in a while. Some­times I just want to be in a room by my­self, not even have the TV on. I just want to re­lax, lie down, and not hear any­thing. When I moved to Nashville, I sur­prised a lot of peo­ple. I was sin­gle at the time, and most of the sin­gle guys lived down­town. I went and got a house in a sub­urb, in a gated com­mu­nity on a golf course.

But that’s what I love. When I go home, it’s quiet, and no one bothers me. As I’ve got­ten older, I re­al­ize how im­por­tant that is.

[Last year] I pledged $10 mil­lion to the Mon­treal Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal. Peo­ple knew that I loved to give back, and they were al­ways ask­ing me to go to this or that event. I learned that you can’t just give your­self all the time. I thought, “If I want to ex­tend my­self beyond my pro­fes­sion, I want to be or­ga­nized.” That’s when I de­cided to make the pledge. To­day, I barely have bad days. No mat­ter how bad it gets, I know I helped a lot of peo­ple.

Time he gets up

“Be­tween 7:45 and 8:30 when we’re in sea­son. Dur­ing the off­sea­son, I get up a lot ear­lier: 5 or 5:30 a.m. to start work­ing out.”

First thing he does in the morn­ing

“Check my phone to see if my girl­friend [pro skier Lind­sey Vonn] has mes­saged me, and to make sure every­one in my life is okay.”

Mantra

“It’s not my dad’s quote, but he would al­ways say this to me: ‘The rent we pay on earth is our ser­vice to oth­ers.’ If you live your life putting peo­ple first, you get a lot more out of it.”

Last thing he does at night

“Call my girl­friend.”

Time he goes to bed

“When I’m with [Vonn], I’m in bed by 8:30 or 9. When I’m not, it’s more like 10:30 or 11.”

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