Brent Sopel helps kids play defense, lets guard down about dyslexia battle


VERNON HILLS, Unwell. – Hockey is getting quicker and extra expert with a rising emphasis on scoring.

Anyone has to play protection, although.

Brent Sopel anchored the blue line within the NHL for greater than a decade, most notably for the Blackhawks throughout their first Stanley Cup run.

Now he’s serving to the subsequent era of defenseman hone their craft at his Academy of Protection hockey camp at The Glacier Ice Area in Vernon Hills.

“I do know what forwards try to do, however that is not my specialty,” famous Sopel. “I needed to convey one thing I did my entire life and convey it to the youngsters. It is a defensive camp that you do not discover in a number of locations.”

Sopel’s teaching fashion is a bit unconventional. As an alternative of making an attempt to construct off what campers already know, he breaks down their fundamentals to the naked bones.

“I all the time say you possibly can’t get to 2 till you get to at least one. I am engaged on one proper now with these youngsters. We’re taking it actually sluggish. Over these 5 days, they in all probability will not break a sweat. Why? As a result of it is simply sluggish. It is the constructing blocks. It is the inspiration to get to that time. To construct a home, you must have a basis. That is the place we’re proper now, constructing that basis.”

It took hitting all-time low to rebuild Sopel’s basis.

In March, he opened up about his struggles with alcoholism, which he believes was a direct results of his studying disabilities.

Sopel did not know he suffered from dyslexia and dysgraphia till listening to the signs associated to his daughter’s analysis.

Thankfully, she acquired the assistance she wanted.

Sopel’s solely saving grace was hockey, offering an outlet for his frustration whereas falling behind in class.

“If I did not have hockey, I assure I would not be right here right now. You’ve zero vanity whenever you sit there and also you attempt to get by means of it and you may’t, you possibly can’t, you’ll be able to’t. Then your instructor’s like, ‘You are behind, you are behind’ they usually slam you with extra books. That does not do something. It makes you are feeling worse.”

Sopel is doing his greatest to finish the vicious cycle for teenagers in an identical state of affairs, advocating for teams like The Dyslexia Buddy Community and Understood.org.

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“Everyone thinks dyslexia is simply flipping numbers and letters. There’s much more to it than that. You all the time speak about autism consciousness – that is 1 in sixty five youngsters. Dyslexia is 1 in 5. I wrestle…



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