Born To Skate
Growing up in Alaska, Jeremy “Sway” Swayman’s outlook on life has been strongly influenced by nature. He took to the natural ice of the landscape on skates as soon as he could walk. He distinctly remembers falling in love with hockey when he was only four years old. His dad had season tickets to the local college team with seats directly behind the goalie. Sway was always behind the crease and he fell in love with seeing the game unfold from that perspective.
At 16, Sway was tendered to a North American Hockey League, where they had exclusive rights to him as a player. He made it all the way to the all-star game and thought he was slated to make the team. When he got to the exit interview though, everything changed when they told him they thought he needed another year of development. In the moment of being cut, Sway felt the world fall out from under his feet, but he didn’t let it break him. “I truly believe that it helped me get to where I am now,” he thought, “I’m gonna take this and run with it so it doesn’t defeat me.”
Sway committed to putting in the work because he loved the game and wanted to get better. There would be different groups of guys working on skills at the rink and he would regularly be goalie for three or more sessions in a row - sleeping at the rink in between sessions in his gear. He knew that the development he was getting there with the playing time and the quality of the shots was all he needed to get to that next level.
It was there that Sway really embraced teamwork, comradely, leadership, selflessness. He knew that it's a team game. You can't win a game with one goal scorer, with one goalie, with one defender. It's the cumulative effort that counts.
Sway knows that when his teammates know he is at his best and can make the save, they can play with more confidence. They can make cleaner passes and get on a rush. That’s when he really sees the chemistry form from his position in net.
Unique Perspective & Training
Goalies are on the ice the whole time, so they get to see the flow of the game – both the ups and downs. They also have a unique viewpoint and pattern of play. It's not only a physical game but the movements that a goalie specifically has to go through aren’t like those of his teammate. It's not exactly what the body's made to do. Their hips get pretty abused.
Core, hip and glute work are pillars in Sway’s preparation. Stretching and mobility are crucial to what he does. In the gym, it’s a little heavier weights, a little less reps. This enables him to get a base of muscle and strength before he transitions to cardio through circuit training.
“I believe if you train the way you play, that's gonna directly translate on the ice.” Sway approaches every day as if it’s game-day. As soon as he gets on the ice, to him, it’s game-time! So after, he also adopted a recovery routine to take care of his body. Hydration, a protein shake, stretching and rolling all put him in the best position to start recovering so he can perform the next day.
As a goalie, Sway is always in a squat, so his glutes don't activate as much as his quads, which causes his hip flexors to tighten up. That’s where OOFOS active recovery comes in. They help him in his daily recovery routine to not only leave the ice feeling his best, but stay mobile and return ready to perform.
To Sway, Active Recovery means getting better both physically and mentally. Off the ice, Sway likes to hike, bike and fish to take his mind off Hockey and work different muscle groups. It provides a mental release where he can focus on breathing and have no other thoughts. He calls it the flow state and feels it’s imperative to keeping a competitive edge across a long, grueling season.
The Ultimate Teammate
As a native to the Alaskan frontier, it’s no surprise that the outdoors is where Sway finds his release. It’s also another place where he loves to celebrate teamwork. Sway enjoys being the hype man on the river - or ocean - and celebrating when people catch fish around him. Bringing this mindset onto the ice is what earned he and fellow goalie, Linus Ullmark, the bromance of the year award, and Sway the 7th man award in 2022.
He may be young, but his impact has already been profound, both on and off the ice. In his first full season as a pro hockey player, Sway learned that there are a lot of ups and downs, but that the guys that can forget about the past and just focus on the moment are the guys who tend to be successful in the league. Sway does that through Active Recovery and the “flow state”, which he feels puts him in the best position to perform night in and night out.
That’s where Active Recovery comes in …