At first glance, sophomore forward Carolyne Prevost of the women’s hockey team does not seem very intimidating. Do not be fooled.
Prevost knows her way around a roundhouse kick, and hockey is not the only sport where she has competed at a major championship and walked away with proof of her talent and hard work.
Decked in hockey gear, it’s difficult to guess the 5-foot-4 forward has a fourth-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and won a silver medal at the 2005 Junior Pan-American Tae Kwon Do Championship.
While hockey may be her main focus at the present, Tae Kwon Do has been a part of Prevost’s life since she was a kid.
“I started when I was nine years old,” Prevost said. “I always wanted to do some kind of fighting sport… I really like the competitiveness of Tae Kwon Do and the mental aspect of it. I’ve stuck with it ever since then.”
After about six years of training, Prevost was invited to compete in the 2005 Junior Pan-American Tae Kwon Do Championship. Out of the 42 nations in the Pan-American Tae Kwon Do Union, Prevost was invited to represent Canada in her weight class.
Despite the intensity of the Championship, Prevost went home with a silver medal and an experience no other sport could provide.
“It was really exciting. I had never been to the Pan-Am’s before,” Prevost said. “There was one person per country per weight division and it was such a neat experience because I had never even traveled outside Canada. It gave me a lot of confidence and an experience that I wouldn’t have in any other sport.”
While Tae Kwon Do allows her to be more confrontational than hockey, they are not very similar in execution. However, Prevost brings her experiences from fighting and training to the ice.
“It’s a lot of agility and I think that kind of goes with how I play on the ice,” Prevost said. “Also it has a lot of cardio aspects — we do a lot of cardio training — I guess my wind is really good on the ice.”
Even her teammates have noticed how her training with Tae Kwon Do has contributed to her hockey.
Junior forward Mallory Deluce noted how Prevost surpasses her teammates athletically in certain areas and how strong she is.
“She’s an all-around great athlete,” Deluce said. “She can probably do the most chin-ups on our team, she can do the splits — it just makes her very athletic on the ice and quick. She’s one of our fastest players. I think [Tae Kwon Do] helped a lot.”
Interim head coach Tracey DeKeyser also commented on the similarities she sees in the sports and how Tae Kwon Do has helped Prevost’s athleticism and how it helps her contribute to the team.
“I think both sports are similar in that they are both explosive power sports,” DeKeyser said. “If you’ve ever seen Prevost get the puck on a one-on-one race, she usually wins that foot race. She’s a very fast, straight-ahead speed kind of player — she’s great on the penalty kill for that reason and she’s been a part of some chances of some short handed goals this year because of that.”
Although years of Tae Kwon Do have helped Prevost with her athleticism and agility as a hockey player, it has also allowed her to deal more easily with the mental side of hockey.
Having a lot of confidence is important — which Prevost has gained from Tae Kwon Do — but in her opinion, the ability to focus strongly is the most notable thing that has overlapped into Prevost’s hockey game
“I think the biggest thing I take from it is probably the mental aspect of it — just how focused you are before a competition,” Prevost said. “I think that carries over to hockey games, when I’m mentally preparing for [them]. I think that’s where I see the biggest overlap between the sports.”
Although she does not have the option to throw some axe kicks or knock out her opponent in hockey, Prevost has found other ways to integrate what she’s learned in Tae Kwon Do into her ice time.
DeKeyser also noted Prevost’s signature move — the splits — which only her career in Tae Kwon Do could have given her and how she can still get the crowd into her sport.
“Prevost’s other signature move is probably the splits across the blue line entering the offensive zone where she tries to avoid an offside and really just gets the whole audience involved because it’s really scary,” DeKeyser said. “Most people would split in half, but not Prevost.”