COVID-19 Closeup: Margot Page
Subject: Margot Page, women’s hockey coach, Brock University.
What would you be doing at work now if the pandemic hadn’t hit? I try to connect with a lot of community groups during this time as I do not get as much down time in the season. I was planning on working the Burkholder Hockey Clinics and helping out our Junior Badgers Association. Unfortunately, all that’s on hold right now. This is also a big program evaluation and planning time for me so I am usually in the office doing that and connecting with other coaches and staff.
What are you doing now? Working remotely from home but that has a huge upside as I live on a farm. I am able to create a really good work/life balance that I usually do not really get. I get a bunch of Brock work and professional development done then spend time with my animals, in the veggie garden and try to get some rides and walks in.
What is the biggest obstacle to doing your job during the pandemic? I function best face to face doing my job. I have been trying to utilize social media and other resources to get things done but it is definitely not my strength nor what I like.
What do you miss the most about the pre-pandemic world of OUA hockey? I just love the daily routine of going to the rink and interacting with so many great people. Our men’s and women’s hockey players and staff are fantastic. The staff at Seymour Hannah are super to be around as well. The hockey world is a pretty amazing place.
What do you miss the least about the pre-pandemic world of OUA hockey? A lot of people think coaching is just practices and games but there is soooooo much paperwork and behind the scenes things that need to get done. I miss that the least but big picture, it is really not that bad. I am so fortunate to have the job I have.
What is the biggest thing wrong with OUA Hockey that you can reveal without getting fired or demoted for your honesty? Truly, I believe the officiating needs to continue to develop to keep up with the growth of our game. Through the season and post season, it is in the conversation with most coaches.
What would be one suggestion to make OUA hockey better? It would be nice to see the OUA create their own officials’ group. If we want to see our game improve, we need to make a commitment to help get them the training and resources to get better. Every ref I talk with loves the game as much as we do and wants to be better to help our game grow. The passion is there. Let’s help everyone get better so our game continues to evolve in a positive way.
Has the pandemic changed how you will approach your work? It has a bit but hopefully just adding what I have learned from a tech/virtual standpoint to what we do already. A lot of our student-athletes live far away and doing video calls, online workouts and online skill sessions have the ability to enhance their off-season training and keep everyone connected as a team better. You don’t feel all alone. You can see someone’s face any time you need to.
What is the first thing you are going to do when life returns to normal? Probably go have a coffee or beer with the other Brock coaches and Brock Sport staff. I miss them. I would also like to get back on the ice to help at the clinics that are back up and running as well so I can get back connected to the local community.
What daily activity do you miss the most? Have to say I am still able to do pretty much everything…I’m very fortunate.
What guilty pleasure do you miss the most? Ooooh…lunch dates to vegan restaurants with friends!!!
What is your favourite outfit to wear around the house if you are working from home? Definitely barn clothes! No real reason to change into something else right now except when I go workout.
What do you do to replace the time spent working with the kids? I’ve been texting, calling and having video check-ins with my players. We have 27 players this upcoming season so that fills a good void. I’m trying to learn to use social media and text apps more… I still am not that great at it. I have also started to learn to play acoustic guitar. One of my bucket-list items. It is challenging as I do not have a musical bone in my body. I am progressing quite slowly and look forward to some one-on-one guitar lessons once we are able to do that.
Are you mostly likely to be a hunk, chunk, drunk or Sasquatch when the pandemic ends? Geez…wow…I guess I have to say sasquatch if I am to be honest…yikes.
What is the worst habit you have picked up during the pandemic? Checking my phone all the time to see if anyone is messaging me and what is happening in the social media world. Terrible. I get why our players do it now, though.
What is the best habit you have picked up during the pandemic? Taking the time to look after myself. Whether it is working out, campfire, reading, hockey/coaching webinars, etc…I am making sure I have some “me” time. Usually I make myself too busy doing too many things but this has allowed me these pleasures. I hope it will help me be a better coach, friend, person. Definitely not a habit I want to break any time soon.
What is something good about yourself you have discovered during the pandemic? I enjoy being a lifelong learner. I love to learn and try new things. I need to keep making the time to do this as it makes me happy.
What is something bad about yourself you have discovered during the pandemic? I need to be doing something “busy” all the time. I am a very high energy, intense person. I still have a tough time shutting myself down to just relax and do nothing. I will keep working on that.
BPSN and the COVID-19 pandemic
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