Andy Healey on the Best for Business Podcast

On this episode of the Best for Business Podcast, the guys chat with Andy Healey about the SuperDeker Hockey Training System! Listen in on the conversation to hear about the history of SuperDeker and how it was developed, along with a little-known story about how the fun hockey training device was ideated! While there are no Stanley Cup victories guaranteed, the SuperDeker is a great hockey training tool for players of all ages and skill levels who want to maximize their stickhandling potential!  

Ready to join the conversation

Follow us on Instagram @SuperDeker or go like our page on Facebook! 

 

Transcript

Host:

We have a very special guest here. Again, we get some criticism that we don’t talk hockey enough. Well, I decided to go down deep, and I got you somebody. I wanna say owner of SuperDeker? 

 Andy:

No. I am just one of the cogs in the wheel.  

 Host 2:

He’s a member of the team.  

 Andy:

Our ownership group bought the company. 

 Host:

Okay. And you guys- it’s SuperDeker, right? I wanna make sure I get that right. 

 Andy:

Yep, you got that right.  

 Host:

Okay. So, tell us a little bit more about that. I understand that the stars have some of it over there, over at the AAC. You know, I know this, but I kinda run the AAC on certain nights over here. We'll let to that later. Tell us about the… because I told somebody about this, and they said: “That’s big time that you got him coming on.” Because SuperDeker’s really big in the hockey community.  

 Andy:

Yeah, I’s a cool product. A lot of what’s gone on- kids are all taught to play hockey in the basement, in the backyard. We were all growing up playing basketball, football. You’ve got all these things that are just kinda manual. You gotta create the enemy, you gotta create the opponent, you gotta create the obstacles and all that. So, the founders of the company, the people that we bought it from, one of the guys was from Toronto, a kid playing hockey growing up, and his dad just tried to make it more engaging.  

So, instead of his kid sitting downstairs with just a plastic puck or ball in the basement, what he would do is turn off the lights, get a flashlight, turn the flashlight on, shine it down on the floor, and the kid would stick handle over the dot. Dad would turn off the light, move the dot. So now the kid’s gotta react to it. So, he’s kinda chasing the puck around the floor, chasing the light. Right? Whether it’s a cat with a laser, or whatever. So, it’s just set up that it makes you react to it, and it gamifies the training and the hockey.  

So, these guys just sat around, and what was really funny is, he’s had this idea since he was a kid. He was in the restaurant business, and one of the buddies that he worked with, they’d be on road trips, they’d be in the bar shooting the breeze, and he would start talking about this great idea that he has. And after about 3 or 4 years, Mark looked at him and just said: “I’m kinda tired of this. You gotta stop talking about it, and we’ve gotta invent it.” So, those guys spent about three years just kicking around in the garage, the classic- you know, getting electronics, getting plastic and trying to build this thing.  

They brought it to market, got a really big following from just word of mouth. They were selling it out of their garage. And then they ended up getting seem engineers and designed it, and mass-produced it in China. So, it really took off. And then we stepped in about a year and a half ago, because they were at the crossroads of just trying to figure out: “Are we gonna really invest our time? Are we gonna set up distributions? Are we gonna do that stuff, or are we gonna get out of the way?” 

And they ended up doing a little bit of both. They sold the majority of the entire company. So, they’re still part-owners, hey still get to enjoy the upside and the ride that we’re taking, but they got to get out of the way and let us take over.  

 Host:

Is this product gonna help us win the Stanley Cup? Because, if so, we need more of them over at the AAC. That’s what we’re worried about. 

 Guest: 

You know, as the dad coach and all that other stuff, we try and tell all the parents when they walk in the door, there’s big signs that say: “We’re not handing out any scholarships today, no one’s winning the Stanley Cup, everybody just sit back and relax.” 

 Host 2:

But I think it’s kind of cool that they invented something that helps hockey. I’m gonna tell you right now – hockey is one of the sports that, growing up, you’ve gotta have some kind of money to get into it. It’s expensive. You know how much money all that equipment- and then on top of that, you’ve gotta find time-  

 Guest:

Ice. Ice is expensive, man.  

 Host 2:

You’ve gotta learn how to skate first, which is on top of that. That’s what disqualified me immediately, because I don’t know how to skate. But, you have to go through all that. And that’s a lot of money. So, on top of that- if you wanna train basketball, what do you have to do? Go find a hoop. Football? Go throw the football around. You can go work on your skills. Baseball? Same story. Hockey is just a little more. But this helps kids get better at their craft.  

 Guest:

It’s funny you said- You’re a great straight man. What we try and say is, as coaches, when you’re out on a baseball diamond, you can warm up while the other team is out there. You can throw, you can hit, you can do all that stuff. In hockey, kids are staying outside the locker room waiting for the Zamboni to get off. There’s not anything that you can do. So, ice time is really precious, it’s expensive. When you get out there, you wanna make the most of it. 

And so, when you’re out there, you don’t wanna be teaching kids how to just stick handle and how to get used to it. If you’ve got basketball, it’s like: “Take a basketball home, dribble it out on the driveway.” Being able to do that at home, some kids are: “I wanna be the next Wayne Gretzky, I wanna be the next Connor McDavid.” They’ll go home and they’ll be freaks about getting green biscuits and other products.   

 Host:

I wanna be the next Mike Modano.  

 Guest:

Mike Modano is the man. Funny small story. My buddy that I grew up with, his dad played at RPI in college. He was one of the top scorers. Got drafted, but back in the 60’s, you can’t make any money. So, went into sales in Detroit. But he was coaching, and he coached Mike Modano through 8-9 years old. That’s how Mike got to be really good, and he went on… but a buddy of mine, he was just always: “Yeah, I played with Mike Modano growing up.”  

 Host 2: 

I would… 

 Guest:

You’re not Mike Modano.  

 Host 2:

So, exactly how does this help somebody get better at hockey? Explain what the product does. 

 Guest: 

One of the good things about it is, normally, if kids are stick handling, if you’re just at home practicing, you’re moving the puck where you want it to go. When you get out on the ice, that’s not gonna happen. You’ve got defenders out there, the game is moving at high speed. You’re on skates, going faster than anybody running. There’s a lot of movement going on. So, what the SuperDeker does is, it forces you to react to something. So, instead of being able to stick handle around cones and know where you’re going, the light’s change. It’s not a programmed routine. It’s random. So, each time you’re stick handling, you’ve gotta decide where you’re gonna go, and you’ve gotta keep your head up and see where it’s gonna happen.  

 Host 2:

Does it cost- can you put it anywhere in your house? Is it accessible? 

 Guest:

Anywhere that you can plug it in. As long as you plug it in, you can put it in… 

 Host:

We should have had you bring one in. We could have got one here in the studio.  

 Guest:

Maybe when I come back down again. Actually, what we’ll do is, we’ll send Jensen down with it. You guys can practice before we come back down here.  

 Host 2:

We don’t wanna go on air without some practice, because I think we’ll all look like idiots.  

 Guest:

Do you know what one of the awesome things is? When these guys designed it, and they were starting to play with it, they just put two digits for the score. And so, 45 seconds is linked to the game, they’re getting 40, 50 points. 60 – awesome, great. Never thought about three digits. There’s little kids out there that are racking up 99. So, we have hundreds of high scores because they all tap out at 99. You get some of the pros out there that do it, some of the guys that are in Stars, some of the guys that are working in the camps, and won Stanley Cups. You get on it for the first time and it takes a bit of getting used to.  

And we’re all adults. We’re 6-foot tall, we’ve got long sticks. You’ve got these kids that tare 8 years old and close to the board – man, they’re moving fast. So, you’ve got NHL players that are getting 65-70, and they’ll look at the videos of these kids get 99 and just be blown away.  

 Host 2:

So, are you guys gonna start marketing soon to college and NHL teams? Because, I’m pretty sure if I'm running a team I would want this in my facility to help train my guys continuously.  

 Guest:

So, what it’s great for, it’s faking more kids into practicing more. It’s gamified. It’s fun. It’s a competition. We all love competition.  You’ve got a 55? I’m gonna get a 56. And so, it really helps. What’s funny is, you think people are gonna age out of it. After a while, you kinda get past it. We’re all old men and still living in our… 

 Host 2:

Speak for yourself.  

 Guest:

Living in our youth and kind going back to [inaudible], you still wanna compete. We’ve actually had- I won’t name names… 

 Host:

He’s still a strapping lad at this point.  

 Guest:

I won’t name names, but there was a mom who’s got a kind in the NHL, and he was out for COVID protocols with part of the team last year. She ended up calling us and asking if we can get a SuperDeker out for her kid. And she said it was funny, he’s wanted one for years, and for Christmas they never got him one, they didn’t do this stuff. So now he’s in the NHL and he’s stuck in the COVID protocols, and she’s finally saying: “Hey, can you get…” I was like, heck yeah, we’ll get him one, we’ll send one out to him.  

So it’s really cool that guys at that age, at that skill level, still just wanna have fun. It’s a great, fun tool, and it can help you get better. If you can stick handle, if it can force you to play more, instead of just being told by your dad to go downstairs and practice for 20 minutes, kids go down there with their buddies and play for a half hour, yelling, screaming – it’s a lot of fun.  

 Host:

Dallas Stars are coming off a season where… But, out in the pandemic, we went to the Stanley Cup, but we didn’t – Tampa Bay gave it to us. They gave it to us. There was a point where we thought we had it, but Tampa Bay just pulled it away from us.  

 Host 2:

And then last season was just- injuries everywhere. And this season we already started off with some injuries. So, as an outsider looking in, what can the Dallas Stars- is there any hope for us this year? 

 Guest:

At this point, we all look at it like- Hockey, unlike basketball, one person, two people can carry a team. A goalie can carry a hockey team, but other than that, usually the best team ends up winning. And so, you get deep [inaudible], you get stuff. Man, injuries- it’s a long season. It’s tough to say who’s gonna end up there. But Tampa Bay? I just saw them, they played Detroit on the first night. They look like they’re ready for bear again. 

 Host 2:

See, that’s not fair. Tampa needs to stop with this winning. They go far in baseball, they go far in football. 

 Host:

Tampa Bay comes in there, and the state of Florida just goes to all the championships that year. Tampa Bay wins the Super Bowl, the Miami Heat go to NBA finals, and then Tampa Bay wins the Stanley Cup. 

 Host 2:

Twice. Back-to-back. 

 Host:

And because Tom Brady has come there, he’s elevated the play. I don’t understand what you don’t understand about that.  

 Host 2:

I’m sorry, I didn’t know he had mystical powers.  

 Host:

It’s just like when LeBron came to LA, they stated going and doing stuff. It just happens like that.  

 Guest:

In certain sports a single guy can do stuff. In hockey, if you got one stud, you can shut him down. You gotta have people pass to, you gotta be able to open up the ice. And that’s the thing. That’s why Vegas did so well in their first year. Their top line may not match up with the top line of everybody else, but basically the way those expansion drafts go, they ended up with four quality second lines all the way across the board. And so, their second lines are gonna match up well, their third line, their fourth line are probably gonna roll over the other guys.  

 Host:

That’s the added benefit, you think? The Seattle [inaudible]? 

 Guest:

it could. But Vegas got Marc-Ander Fleury, and he had a resurgence. So, you’ve got a stud goalie, and you’ve got some good line and some good coaching. Seattle could come out and play well.  

 Host 2:

Again, what’s the name of the product, and how can people get it? I want people to understand – this product will get your kid better at hockey. I’m telling you right now. The way you just explained, this is gonna get people better. And if you already guys like an NHL player’s mom trying to request that for him during COVID, this is the perfect…   

Host:

Brian [inaudible] has joined the segment right now on Facebook. Shout out to Brian.  

 Guest: 

So, where they can get it, they can just google “SuperDeker”. It’s take you to superdeker.com. You can get it from our website, we can ship it right out to you. Like I said, what it does, more than anything, is it gives kids something fun to do. So, when you wanna practice, you wanna do that stuff, it fakes them into spending a heck of a lot more time stick handling. Any touches with the puck are good. It’s gonna help you with the game, it’s gonna help you plan. We all know it – if you can play with a puck, you’re gonna have more fun. If you have the puck, you’re gonna be around the play, you're gonna be more engaged, you’ve got a better chance to score, and just be part of the action.  

 Host 2:

Would this be the perfect Christmas gift? 

 Guest: 

This would absolutely be the perfect Christmas gift for the young hockey player.   

                              Click here to buy your SuperDeker