This Young Hockey Player is Making Strides On and Off The Ice
Connor, 10-years-old, Math Level I
“You don’t win by being good. You win with hard work and sacrifice. Without that, skill is just potential.” – Bobby Orr, Hockey Hall of Famer
On May 10, 1970, time stood still as game four of the Stanley Cup Finals went into overtime. The Boston Bruins already had a three-game lead over the St. Louis Blues, but that didn’t stop the Bruins from giving it their all – especially for defenseman, Bobby Orr. With forty seconds of overtime on the clock, Orr scored the Cup-winning goal on Glenn Hall with an assist from his teammate Derek Sanderson. After scoring the goal, Orr soared above the ice with his arms raised in victory. That moment of Orr scoring the goal is one of the most iconic images in the history of professional hockey. The image not only signified the Bruins’ victory that year, but it truly captured Orr’s perseverance to not give up on his team even in the most challenging moments.
10-year-old Connor has already taken a page out of Bobby Orr’s playbook early in his hockey career—truly understanding the value of hard work and dedication. At a young age, Connor is playing on an elite hockey team, competing against top teams across New England, the Mid-Atlantic states, and Canada. In order to maintain his strength and competitive edge, Connor pours a lot of dedication into daily training and conditioning on the ice.
Connor credits his discipline and perseverance to his five-year journey in Kumon.
“One of the most beneficial things I’ve learned in Kumon is perseverance. It helps me to stick with things, even when they become challenging,” said Connor. “I believe if I didn’t enroll in the Kumon Math Program and work at it consistently for the past five years, I would not have that academic edge that I do now. Since hockey requires a lot of time for training, I wouldn’t be able to have the same level of dedication as I do now if I was struggling in school.”
Before entering middle school, Connor has gained an academic edge over his peers. He is already studying high school level math concepts like quadratic equations and the Pythagorean theorem in the Kumon Math Program.
Off the ice, Connor takes his athletic ability to different levels participating in other sports, including golf, lacrosse, and baseball. In his free time, he participates in various philanthropic opportunities throughout the year, like Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation’s Frozen Lemonade Cup. This annual charity hockey tournament recruits young hockey players of all levels to play to raise awareness and fund research for childhood cancer.
Connor’s career on the ice is only just getting started, as he has his sights set on the NHL.
“When I grow up, I would like to be a doctor, or perhaps an engineer,” said Connor. “My real dream in life is to play professional hockey, but it is always good to have a back-up plan.”
Connor’s achievements and perseverance were recognized, as he was one of 56 students selected to attend the 2019 Kumon Student Conference in Chicago, Illinois. We had the opportunity to speak to Connor about his Kumon journey.
What do you enjoy most about Kumon?
The thing I enjoy most about Kumon is that it has given me the ability to learn and work independently. At Kumon, I work through math problems without having to rely on a teacher to always help me. Once I understand the material, it boosts my knowledge, confidence, and independence.
How has Kumon helped you academically?
My schoolwork and homework come easily for me now. In math, I already know the material when the teacher introduces us new concepts. This allows me to help my classmates with their work.
If you could sum up your Kumon experience in one word, what would it be?
What advice would you give to kids just starting Kumon?
My advice to new Kumon Students can be summed up into once sentence, “Never, no matter how hard it is, give up!”
How did you feel when you found out you were selected to attend the Student Conference?
When I received my acceptance letter for the Student Conference, I had many different emotions. I was mostly very proud and happy.
What was your experience like at the Student Conference, and what was your favorite part?
My experience at the Student Conference was really inspiring. My favorite part was playing the “Escape the Room” game. We were challenged to solve problems and worked together in teams. I really enjoyed working with the other students.
Who is your biggest inspiration and why?
My biggest inspiration is my mother. Although she often pushes and challenges me, I know that it’s because she wants me to have many opportunities and have a great life.