My name is Jordan McTaggart. I was born and raised in Grande Prairie and am 24 years old. Currently I am entering my final year of university at the U of A Augustana where I am studying Science, with a major in Kinesiology, as well as play for the Vikings. (Men’s Hockey). The last few summers I have been fortunate enough to use my schooling and passion as a full time job training athletes. I am extremely excited to get back to GP full time and get more involved in the development of athletes!
1. It’s Sunday morning, what are you having for breakfast?
Pancakes, eggs, and sausages! Big bowl of me Lucky Charms for dessert!
2. If you didn’t do what you do for a living, what would you be?
I pursued firefighting a little bit a few years back and really enjoyed it. So will have to go with that!
3. Why did you decide to open Tags Athletic Gym?
I have always had a passion for sports and training. Strength and conditioning is what allowed me to go from being a below average hockey player, to making it to the next levels. I just wanted to share my passion and get athletes to see and experience the reward from dedicating yourself for an off-season. To think I was training about 10 guys in my garage two summers ago to where it is now is pretty crazy. Can’t thank all the athletes and parents enough for supporting me and putting their trust in me.
4. What are some of the things you offer?
Our main offering right now is strength and conditioning for athletes. In the near future we will be offering services to not only athletes but everyone! Be on the lookout!
5. What are the benefits to off-season training for local hockey players?
There are numerous benefits from off-season training. Ultimately we want to increase their performance in their specific sport. But I think equally as important it gets them to understand that it takes work and dedication to get to the next level. That has been one of my favourite things about doing this is seeing an athletes confidence at the end of the summer when they see how far they have come.
6. You’ve been able to get Tanner Fritz helping out at the gym. How beneficial is it to have someone with NHL experience helping out?
It has been incredible for Tanner to come back to GP and dedicate his time to helping young players get to the next level. Firstly, for kids to see how much time he puts into the gym, and how focused he is when he is there. He is a true testament of what it takes to get to the next level. He stuck with it, kept working, and now playing on the biggest stage. Secondly, it makes kids see that the possibility is there. Playing in the NHL shouldn’t be some far-fetched dream. I was just talking with him the other day actually about how he got cut from Bantam AAA as a first year and how disappointed he was. It’s not about where you play, or what team you make. Its about how hard you work and how much time you are willing to put in.
7. You grew up playing hockey here in Grande Prairie, including some time with the Grande Prairie Junior A Storm. What’s your favourite Grande Prairie hockey memory?
Well my whole time playing for the Storm was pretty special. Although we didn’t win any championships it was still a childhood dream come true. I’ll never forget playing the home opener as a rookie wearing “Chiefs” jerseys and having the Hanson Brothers at the game. Also scoring my first goal at home is up there.
8. You also went on to play at the University of Alberta-Augustana and Red Deer College. What has been your favourite hockey memory from playing in the CCAA?
I think just all the people I met and the friendships I made. I have one more year at Augustana so hopefully we can cap it off with a championship.
9. Who was the most influential hockey coach for you?
By far Mark Malekoff. I only had Mark as a coach for one year (last year of Midget). But he had a much longer lasting impact on me and still does to this day. I give a lot of credit to him for not only where I ended up as a hockey player but also where I have gotten today in life and business. As much as he was worried about the wins/losses (there wasn’t many wins that year), he was worried about if we were reading books, walking with good posture, giving a firm eye-locking handshake, eating enough food to gain weight (haha…two foot longs in a sitting for lunch was his suggestion lots of the time) and being accountable, respectful young men. I’ll never forget when he asked me towards the end of the year if I wanted to play junior hockey, or if I needed to play junior hockey. That always stuck with me…big difference in wanting to do something and NEEDING to do something. And I guess I have never really thanked him for everything, so thank you Coach Mally!
10. Who is your hockey idol?
Sidney Crosby. I was a die hard fan when he play for Rimouski. Instantly became a Pens fan when he was drafted. The way he has carried himself and his team through his success and stardom is so rare.
11. Favourite NHL team?
12. When you’re not working, what do you enjoy to do?
I have gotten more and more into golf the last few years. Relaxing at the lake, fishing. Watching sports. Pretty happy with kicking back with some good company.
13. What’s your most embarrassing moment?
When I worked at Ernie’s Sports Experts. I was helping a family fit their son for equipment. I had previously been in the washroom and had a big piece of toilet paper stuck to my foot almost the entire time. A couple of my co-workers were laughing at me but of course didn’t let me know.
14. Favourite movie of all time?
All of the Austin Powers movies! Groovy Baby! Ya!
15. What’s your biggest pet peeve?
When you ask someone the time and they round up or down.
16. What’s the one thing you haven’t done that you would love to do?
17. What is the best thing about the local hockey community?
I think just the people. There are so many genuine people in Grande Prairie and within the hockey community. They really become your family with the amount of time you spend with them.
18. If you could go anywhere in the world on a holiday, where would you go and who, living or dead would you take with you?
Tough Question…But would love to go to Scotland/Ireland/England with my dad (still living).
19. What are your words to live by?
Regret is a horrible thing. “Don’t look back and wish you would have worked harder or put in more time.”
20. If you could share one tip to success for local hockey players, what would it be?
Don’t blame other people for your lack of success. Coaches, organizations, ect ect. If you are good enough you will eventually get your shot. If you didn’t make a team there is a good chance you could have done more and worked harder. Keep working, keep loving the game, you will surpass the ones that were always “the guys” to make it.