OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - Roman Marcotte is a hockey player. His attention to fundamentals is refreshing and his puck control is superb. On the ice he's tremendously skilled and his balance is significant. And he’s just 8 years old.
The youngster from Alaska is this week’s talent on That Kid’s Got Game.
At 2 years old, Roman was already skating. And since September 2012, his father has been renting ice to get in extra training. Roman's a forward, plays in an under-10 league and practices four to eight times each week at either the University of Alaska Anchorage training facility or the O’Malley Ice Center.
Less than two years ago Roman and his dad Owen Marcotte created an Instagram account that displays snippets of Roman’s training regimen. “The intent was not to create viral videos. The intention was to have a video log of Roman’s progression,” Marcotte said.
You could call it a "If you build it, they will come" type of deal. Consistent quality content elevates your reach in the digital world and Roman’s Instagram profile is a portfolio hockey players at all levels, as well as parents and coaches, can learn from.
The account now has over 44,000 followers, a feat throttled by Roman’s work ethic, according to Marcotte. He believes Roman’s unshakeable dedication comes through in the videos, and that’s why people continue to support.
“They see his love for hockey,” Marcotte said. “It’s contagious.”
And that work ethic Marcotte speaks of, the one which could later prove to be the difference between a hobby and a career, is “hardwired” into him, he said. Both Roman’s parents were Division 1 athletes. Marcotte ran track and cross country at Dartmouth and his wife was a gymnast at the University of Alaska.
“[Roman] likes to push himself and enjoys the challenge,” Marcotte said. “He occasionally needs a fire lit under him, but it’s few and far between.”
Well, he’s eight. Sometimes Xbox takes precedence. But if Roman hopes to follow Syndey Crosby’s path – who is his favorite player -- he’ll need a pack-separating type of approach. All indications suggest he's nurturing a special brand of athletic hunger.
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