He’s one of the several behind-the-scenes staffers that make the Blackhawks run day in and day out, but strength and conditioning coach Paul Goodman is garnering national recognition in his field.
Goodman has been named the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)’s Professional Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year, joining a long list of widely-respected names honored by the organization that he looked up to early in his career.
“To be in that same grouping of those same names I was looking at when I was in earlier stages, I’m pretty proud of that,” he said. “I’m humbled by it… I’m truly appreciative.”
Although the award is an annual occurrence, he said, it often speaks to the larger body of work over the recipient’s career.
Before his time in Chicago, Goodman served as the director and head strength coach at the University of Vermont, where he earned the NSCA’s State/Provincial Director of the Year award and was a finalist for College Strength and Conditioning Professional of the Year. Now heading into his 13th season at the pro level with the Blackhawks, Goodman played a vital role in the organization’s greatest decade during the 2010s and continues to lead the off-ice development of the team, including the next generation of stars in Chicago.
“I would be remiss without (acknowledging) the support I’ve received,” he said. “From day one (with the Blackhawks), I felt extremely vested and supported in my desires to be able to provide a level of service towards the athletes, coaches, management and the staff I work with. I felt very at home right away. I think that plays a huge component… There’s comfort in knowing that those people care about me, support me and I care deeply about them as well.”
Despite his nearly 20 years in the field, Goodman is continuing to grow and evolve in the ever-changing world of sports science. Already with two Master’s Degrees to his name, he’s in pursuit of a PhD and recently co-authored a book with head team physician Michael Terry called Hockey Anatomy.
“I’m hungry to be the best in my field,” he said. “I’m hungry to be able to provide the best knowledge, experience, thought and care to the players. But I’m also hungry and pursuant of things that I don’t know and being able to explore those things that I don’t know or I don’t have the full breadth of knowledge in, looking at it as another avenue of to gain knowledge to be able to provide towards the team.”