Meet Coach Andrew
University of Waterloo, Biomedical Science; Smith School of Business at Queen’s University, Masters of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
2014 & 2018 Winter Olympian, 3X World Medalist, Former World #1
Meet Coach Andrew
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
– Theodore Roosevelt
What is your greatest achievement?
After years of training in figure skating, I competed and failed to make it to the Olympics in 2010. The response was not giving up but dedicating and innovating to deliberately getting better every day. Four years later, I was on that Olympic team and was ranked #1 in the world in figure skating a year later. My proudest achievement was not letting failure be my story but learning from it and being brave enough to keep trying.
“The response was not giving up but dedicating to deliberately get better every day. Four years later, I was on that Olympic team and was ranked #1 in the world in figure skating a year later.”
From an early day, the sport of figure skating required grit and commitment. Practices throughout my career started at 6:00 am, and while most would show up just in time for training, I made it a habit to be there 30-45 mins earlier to warm up, prepare my body and my brain. This was a small habit, but one that I carried with me throughout my entire career. This intentionality throughout my journey allowed me to be more deliberate with my practices and life goals and help grow the skills needed to be successful.
What is a challenge that you have overcome?
Going to the Olympic Games was always a childhood dream. In 2010 I was able to compete for the last spot. It was the home games in Canada. I missed by a very narrow margin, 0.2 of a point, a nose-hair. People thought I would give up when I failed to make it, but the spark was still burning inside of me. Instead of giving up, I asked why? Why was this the outcome, and what can I learn from this? I had to be honest and address my mindset and how I trained. Just four short years after that failure I realized my dream and competed at the Sochi games in 2014! I continued my success winning a podium position at the world championships that year, and proceeded to become the first to achieve a top 5 finish in the world for 9 straight seasons. Along that journey, I had the privilege to compete again in the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic Games and became world-ranked #1.
“Instead of giving up, I asked why? I had to be honest and address my mindset and how I trained. Just four short years after that failure I realized my dream and competed at the Sochi games in 2014!”
What do you love about coaching students?
There is a limitless potential that lives in us all, and I want to help be the coach I wish I had growing up. I love mentoring kids – seeing those ideas connect for the first time. The invigoration they get when they solve their barriers. Because I believe that we’re all here to figure out our own little path, I love to celebrate that and be alongside to support that journey wherever I can.
What were you like as a teen?
I was a curious kid, and I still loved learning, diving into atypical avenues. I went to basketball camp in the morning and computer camp in the afternoon, building my computers while researching ancient history. A pure athlete while still wanting to dive into the curiosities of the world.
What do you do when not coaching at gt.school?
When I am not coaching, I work with executives and Olympic athletes on their mindset and processes. In addition, I take pride in supporting mental health projects and have been a life-long ambassador for Right to Play, a global non-profit supporting the under privilege through the act of play. I also am on the advisory board for a few innovation startups where my curiosity can run wild.
What is the most important lesson you’ve learned from a coach?
Your ultimate performance is equal to your potential minus the interference of your thoughts.