episode #09

Connor Carrick – On Life in the NHL, Mindset Mastery & Coffee



NHL defenseman and mental health advocate, Connor Carrick joins the podcast to share his experiences balancing training, nutrition, and the grind of being a professional athlete. In this episode, Dr. Stephanie and Connor talk all about how mindset affects performance on and off the ice. They discuss failure, adapting to change, and the importance and necessity of self-sacrifice. Finally, Connor shares his long-terms goals and speaks to how he plans to approach life after the NHL.


  • 01:05 – Introducing today’s guest, Connor Carrick
  • 04:11 – Connor’s NHL origin story
  • 08:56 – Connor recaps his time with the Washington Capitals
  • 10:04 – What it was like to be traded to Toronto
  • 13:26 – The mental toll of being traded multiple times
  • 18:11 – Joining the New Jersey Devils
  • 20:10 – Connor touches on his struggles with mental health
  • 26:21 – Short-term vs. long-term mindsets
  • 32:45 – Techniques and strategies Connor implements for longevity in the NHL
  • 34:36 – The importance of diet and nutrition
  • 39:12 – Connor’s performance and training regiment
  • 43:28 – The specific skills necessary to be a professional hockey player
  • 45:36 – Connor speaks to the sacrifices he, his wife Lexi, and their family have made for his career
  • 50:33 – Making effort cool again
  • 53:24 – Life post-NHL
  • 56:46 – Connor answers some rapid-fire questions about one of his passions: coffee
  • 59:57 – Where listeners can follow Dr. Stephanie and subscribe to her newsletter


“There’s something to be said about being a Toronto Maple Leaf. It means something in Toronto. It means something to people. It’s an Original Six franchise. There’s so much history and expectation there.” (11:31)

“The NHL game, every ten games let’s say, is played at a different pace. So, every team at ten games is a different team at twenty. Every team at twenty is a way better team at forty.” (19:06)

“I play a sport that, if you ask any GM, any coach, any player for that matter, what percentage of the game is mental, you’re not gonna get a percentage lower than eighty.” (23:57)

“I think athletics puts you uniquely in touch with that because you know you can go sprint and run as fast as you can or jump as high as you want. You can’t just go faster because you want to. It’s hard. It takes a lot of work.” (30:24)

“If you don’t have a skill and you can’t skate, this game is not going to be friendly to you.” (33:49)

“The concept of making effort cool again, I relate to that greatly.” (51:40)


Better! Website

Dr. Stephanie’s Website

Dr. Stephanie’s Twitter – @dr_stephanie

Dr. Stephanie’s Instagram – @dr.stephanie.estima

Dr. Stephanie on LinkedIn

Connor’s Instagram – @connorcarrick

Connor’s Twitter – @connorcarrick

Connor’s Facebook


Please Subscribe to Better! With Dr. Stephanie

Join our Private Facebook Community for Better!

Rate and Review: Show your support and help spread the word by writing a review, along with a 5-star rating on Apple Podcasts: https://bettershow.co/apple


Podcast production and marketing provided by FullCast


  • Dr. Stephanie Estima
  • Connor Carrick

I’m Dr. Stephanie

Part geek, part magic, and all the way passionate about being a well-lived woman.

I want to throw my grandkids in the air in my 70’s. I want to be squatting even more weight than I am now, and putting my OWN luggage in the overhead bin. Sound like weird goals? For me these are just some of the little things that represent a life well-lived.

My health is MY job – I’ll be damned if I rely on luck, ‘good genes’ or a cocktail of drugs that over promise and under deliver.

The Betty Body is my first book-baby, and a collection of what I’ve learned after thousands of clinical hours, hundreds of conversations with the world’s top experts, and most importantly…

This book is an outline of what took ME from “rock-bottom health” at 38, to being my own version of a Betty in my perimenopausal mid 40’s. A woman who is physically strong, full of energy, enjoys mental clarity, great sex and a joyful family life. Is it all roses? Of course not. But I have the stamina and tools to deal with the push and pull of life so that it doesn’t turn into chronic stress.

I want this for you too. Let’s go Bettys!