Shane Watt hoping to publish hockey book
Shane Watt may never have his name engraved on the Stanley Cup but he has his name on a book.
And that may be almost as good.
Watt's The Big Leagues is part hockey instruction manual and part personal narrative.
"The book combines stories about my family's quest to win the cup with a what parents can do to raise the next hockey superstar," said Watt.
The Big Leagues' central figure is Watts' son (The Boy), who is described near the beginning as "a bundle of hockey possibilities – eight pounds four ounces of potential Norris Trophy material." Much of the material in the book's first three chapters is devoted to Watts' interaction with his son in the way he pre-selects his favourite team, teaches him to shoot left (Canada's preference), and introduces him to his precious hockey gear.
"It's a story about love between a father and son," said Watt. "I love being with my boy and love playing hockey with him."
In chapter five, Watt tells how he takes "The Boy" on frozen paradise for his first shinny hockey game and first goal ever.
The book also shares a few of Watt's fondest hockey memories as he grew up in Camrose. More than one reference is made to the famous 1972 series that pitted the best players from Canada against the best players from Russia. Chapter eight contains the warning to keep the head up, lest you end up like the Russian who was felled by a vicious elbow in the 1980s from Team Canada player Mark Messier.
Watt's instruction in the book is simple, touching on everything from dressing properly for the conditions of outdoor rinks, proper warm-ups and the benefits of continued practice. In one chapter he suggests that many young players do not know or understand that a stick has two sides and that parents need to explain this concept. In another, he provides a detailed explanation of the approximately 37 steps required to dress "The Boy" and get him to the ice before the Zamboni is finished.
Chapter 10 delves into the special circumstances involving a girl in minor hockey and "possible non-invasive medical remedies available for you and "The Girl" to still pursue a dream of The Cup.
Watt gained much of his own appreciation for the game of hockey from his father, Jim Watt (The Country Gentleman) who covered sports for a number of years for CFCW and The Camrose Booster.
"The book includes a lot of the stories that my father told me and that should be of particular interest to readers from Camrose," said Watt.
The Big Leagues is intended to be the first part of a trilogy that Watt hopes will reach a fitting conclusion when his son realizes the ultimate dream of every Canadian boy of playing in the NHL.
"I am doing the trilogy in segments," said Watt. "The first part covers the first six years of life in hockey. I have written a large part of it sitting in the stands with my laptop while my son is playing in games or practicing with his teammates."
Watt is still awaiting word from a book agent about plans to publish and market The Big Leagues, so for now is trying to do as much as possible in order to promote it.
"I am well aware of the arts business and what you have to do to get your name recognized," said Watt. "I know I will need an agent to help me with the book's sales."
Watt is currently a part of the Knights of Columbus Minor Hockey Association and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology Saturday morning hockey team, and is the owner/operator at Perfect Hockey Power Skating. He has made appearances in numerous film and television shows, and has toured Australia, Hawaii and the Caribbean.