Time management keeps Corbeil on track

MORRIS DALLA COSTA, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 8:53 AM ET

Somewhere down the line, after he's graduated from Western and the Ivey School of Business, Chris Corbeil will probably emerge as a big-time business leader in the community.

One of his strongest assets will be time management.

Corbeil is getting a pretty good grounding in that right now. Not only is he at university and pre-selected to enter the Ivey School, he's also playing defence for the Mustangs men's hockey team and on weekends is a defenceman for the Buffalo Bandits of the professional National Lacrosse League.

"I have this bulletin board I'm looking at right now," Corbeil says. "It has my school schedule, practices and games, my lacrosse schedule and my hockey schedule. It's all highlighted and underlined. It's pretty crazy. Sunday is usually a rest day for me. I'll sit on the couch and watch as much football as I can. R and R for sure on Sunday."

It's become a real balancing act for him but one that Mustangs hockey coach Clarke Singer knows he can handle.

"He can do it because he's a very, very intelligent young man," Singer said. "He's very committed and is great at time management. As long as he's doing his training for this and doing his workouts, it's like cross-training. He's been able to manage that. He's a very committed guy and a great guy and we want to keep him as part of the program."

It can get pretty complicated for Corbeil. When the Mustangs played the Lakehead Thunderwolves last weekend, Corbeil couldn't play because he was playing for the Bandits against Rochester. The Bandits practice once a week in St. Catharines and play on weekends.

"Because of the salaries with lacrosse are so low, in the contract you only practice once a week because guys have full-time jobs and other obligations," Corbeil said. "I drive to St. Catharines every Tuesday for practice. I drive down with a guy that comes in from Windsor. I drive back to be ready for school the next day. Throughout the week -- Monday, Wednesday, Thursday Friday -- I'll be practicing with the hockey team."

Corbeil expects to play with the Mustangs tomorrow when the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (in Oshawa) plays at Thompson arena.

Lacrosse has been as big a part of Corbeil's athletic life as hockey. He wants to keep playing both as long as he can. Last summer, he was a member of the Brampton Excelsiors who lost to Orangeville in the Minto Cup final.

"It's always worked out perfectly for me growing up because lacrosse and hockey have always been in the offseason" he said. "Lacrosse in the summer was a great way to stay in shape for hockey. Throughout the years, lacrosse became more competitive and I fell in love with it. The sports never really interfered until recently when in September I got drafted to Buffalo.

"It started overlapping in the Christmas break when training camp for lacrosse started, but I hadn't made the team yet."

While his hockey and lacrosse coaches are understanding, now that he's getting paid to play lacrosse, it takes priority.

"They've been pretty understanding, but at the same time, very demanding," said Corbeil, from Oakville. "I know my role with the hockey team will change a little bit and I won't get the ice time I would get because of missing games and stuff like that. The other option for me was to quit hockey altogether.

"But as long as it's okay with Clarke. We talked it over. Hockey is a passion and I figured I can do both and help out the team whenever I don't have lacrosse. It's something I want to do and am willing to do. It's working out nicely so far."

There are times when it will get hectic.

On Jan. 21, Corbiel will fly to Washington to play a game the next day. The team then flies to Edmonton to play on the 23rd.

"I also have an exam on the 22nd, so I've got to get that straightened out."

NLL players come from all over Canada, so teams arrange for flights from what's more convenient and players meet in the city where they play.

All the extra work hasn't hurt Corbiel's fitness. "I'm probably in better shape than I've ever been."

Singer wants Corbeil to succeed.

"We want to be supportive of him and give him this great opportunity since it's a sports opportunity and financial opportunity as well," Singer said.

"Who knows where it goes. Like anything, it's a professional level and you don't know if it will last for two weeks, two months, or two years.

"My only qualm was that we've never had to manage this situation in our tenure here. We wanted to get all the information and wanted to make sure we made a decision based on all the information."

For Corbeil, he's living the get-up-and-go life that's makes life more than just interesting.

"It sounds a little crazy, but it's lots of fun," he said.

morris.dallacosta@sunmedia.ca


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