Apr 042024

Subban is a popular name these days, even if you don’t watch hockey. P.K. Subban is arguably the most popular, but his brothers, Malcolm and Jordan are right there with him in their skills, talent and drive. A love of hockey is not necessary to love the Subban family and their talents, on and off the ice. Their heart surpasses a love for sports and their father, Karl, lovingly shares why in his book, co-authored by Scott Colby, How We Did It: The Subban Plan for Success in Hockey, School and Life.

Some of you know my families love/hate relationship with the sport of hockey, some of you don’t. I won’t go into those details, but will say my son played hockey for many years as a minor and was good. What was even better about it all was he loved it. We still say he smiled the biggest when he was on the ice. Now, he has that experience which helped him grow into an all around athlete with a drive and determination to succeed in whatever he does. For that reason, I am thankful, though I certainly didn’t feel the gratitude in the moment.

Back to the book… The road to success isn’t smooth, despite the concept of many achieving overnight success. Karl know this and teaches his readers, and listeners, the value and importance of persistence, acceptance and growth – of paving your own way even if the fork in the road has you considering something different. And to always have other plans.

How We Did It answers more than the question most commonly asked to the Subban family. The style of writing and glimpses through time invite the reader to be part of the Subban family and honours the journey many can learn from.

Basketball was also an important piece to the Subban success stories, with the two eldest daughters and Karl himself. Moving from Jamaica at a young age, Karl embraced Canadian winters and the national sport of the same season, despite him not having experienced snow in the Caribbean climate. I absolutely love the story of his move to Ontario and carving his own success story, not despairing at the idea of what he couldn’t do but finding a way to embrace what he could!

This is a story for hockey fans, obviously, but it’s for teachers, parents and athletes of all abilities. It is motivational and written so beautifully that I found I was in the crowds of hockey fans, in the cars that broke down on the side of the road and flinching at the injuries and upsets, just as much as I was smiling and the moments of joy and simple togetherness of families that so many miss out on. Not only was this a love story to his children, it embraced all children, GIFTED and otherwise, giving them hope for a future of gold medals and understanding.

Yes, Karl Subban and his wife, Maria, are known for raising three very talented NHL stars, but they are much more than that. They are the parents of five wonderful Canadians with huge hearts, strong desires and the drive and focus to achieve their dreams so they can help others do the same.

Watching the interview Karl had with my son, Wild Willie, on his book review channel – Wild Willie’s Book Reviews – made me so appreciative of how humble great people can truly be. I am very much looking forward to meeting this man in person at our local Read by the Sea Literary Festival which celebrates Canada’s Literary Finest July 2024.

Thanks for reading,

Sarah Butland

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