Nicklas Bäckström is one of the world's most successul hockey players. Even though he achieved success as a hockey player at a young age, he has managed to keep his focus on the important things in life and become a great role model. Mentor Foundation USA had the opportunity to talk to Nicklas about what mentoring moments in his life made a difference in his path toward success.
“Everyone can benefit from having a mentor.”
- Nicklas Bäckström
When asked about his path toward success, he acrredits hard work, a bit of luck and great support from his parents. However, he is quick to recognize that no matter what situation you come from, if there is support at home or not, every one can benefit from a mentor.
When Nicklas first arrived to the US as a 19 year old, he admits that he felt a bit overwhelmed and at times "a bit lost". However, he quickly found a mentor in fellow hockey player Mikael Nylander, who helped him feel more at home and was a great support to him. A few years later, Nicklas found himself in the mentor role as young Markus Johansson arrived to join their team, a situation Nicklas could relate to very well.
Nicklas started playing hockey at the young age of three and was always hoping this hard work and dedication would lead him to where he is today. However, he did not take it for granted and emphasized the importance of having an education. When we asked what advice he would like to share with today's youth, he spoke about the importance of education.
"I want people to realize how important education is no matter what profession you choose to go after. Even though I was fortunate enough to be where I am today, I am still very happy that I have my education to fall back on, should an injury or something else prohibit me from continuing my hockey career. There are many young people today that might not take their education seriously and my advice to them is that they really should, as it is truly the path toward a positive future."
Nicklas Bäckström and girlfriend Liza Berg at the 2012 Mentor Foundation USA International Gala.