Garrett Ostepchuk’s positive mindset is helping him prepare for his first Paralympic Games.
Ostepchuk – a future star for the Canada’s National Wheelchair Basketball Team – believes he can be a strong contributor, as Canada looks to recapture the gold after their medal streak came to an end in 2016 Rio.
The 21-year-old had already experienced a disappointing result, when Canada finished 12th at the 2018 World Championship.
“We didn’t do too great … but I don’t think that’s really a good representation of our skill, what we can bring to the table, just considering how tight it is between three and 12,” said Ostepchuk, who acknowledged the value from this experience. “I think any chance we get to play strong teams like that will help us no matter what.”
Even in the lockdown, Ostepchuk used the opportunity to mature in different aspects other than basketball.
“I’m even just doing things I wouldn’t normally do, like reading a book, or meditating, I never get up to do stuff like that,” said Ostepchuk, learning the importance of the mental approach to the game.
He discovered the different ways of bonding with his teammates even though they cannot be physically together.
“In terms of being able to connect, we have been able to stay on Zoom and stuff like that and do mental performance stuff on the Zoom, even simple meditations have helped us, I think.”
Ostepchuk mentioned that video chatting application was also a tool for studying opposing teams for the Paralympics.
“But we’ll have meetings too and we’ve actually been doing a lot of scouting on the other teams through the app Huddle … we run a lot of video and we’ll do homework,” said Ostepchuk, whose role model is his teammate Patrick Anderson, one of the best wheelchair basketball player in history.
Ostepchuk looks back at this time, and describes it as “double-edged sword,” the younger players got more time to train, and the veterans got older.