“Give more. Be more.” This isn’t just the advice Jeff LoVecchio gives, it is his mantra and his way of life. “Anything in life, if you want to be successful, the more of yourself that you give to it the better you will be. If you want to be better at hockey, give more to others too. Become a coach and give your time, knowledge, and passion to the next generation and then tell me that your game doesn’t improve as a result of you seeing it from different angles.”
Jeff LoVecchio was born in Chicago, but moved to St. Louis at the age of four and spent the majority of his life there, where he now calls home. Jeff began skating when he was around two and has been in love with it ever since. Growing up he was a multi-sport athlete, but hockey was always his main focus, but he attributes a lot of his success to playing other sports and using the skills learned there into hockey.
While he was growing up in St. Louis, hockey wasn’t near as popular there as it is now and few players from the area had made it to the top levels of competition. Jeff was determined to be one of them and inspire the future generations of hockey players in St. Louis by proving that it could be done. As he progressed in his career, he always found the time to come home during summers and breaks and work with the younger kids and players to teach them what he was learning. This filled him with a sense of pride knowing that he was able to help those who would follow in his footsteps.
This pride and passion for helping future generations progress and sharing his knowledge have continued and deepened ever since. After his second major concussion during his third year as a professional, Jeff started teaching an off-ice training program as he was recovering. In his first year, he only had two kids in his program, but that didn’t stop him from giving it everything he had and it showed. The next year the program grew even more, then continued to grow through word of mouth. Jeff retired in his tenth year as a professional hockey player with the focus on his training program and building up and giving back to the St. Louis community in any way that he could.
While playing, Jeff started a small consulting project through his Instagram account where players, coaches, and parents could set up a call with him and he would share his knowledge and experiences. But, Jeff admits that he could have taken much more advantage of social media while he was still playing. “Many players, myself included, don’t want the distraction of social media or to be thought of as an ‘influencer’,” says LoVecchio, “but it doesn’t have to be that way. As a pro athlete, we’re already famous in our rights and you have a following because of that. This following can grow alongside you because of who you are and the more you share about yourself, your life, and your interests, that will continue to grow because people will feel more connected and others will be into the same things you are. Brad Marchand is an excellent example of this, he authentically shared his interest and love of hunting and turned it into an opportunity.”
Check out the full interview with Jeff Lovecchio to hear more about the power a personal brand can have for an athlete.