We had the good fortune of connecting with Chris Snowden-Santi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chris, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Starting my own business was something I had considered when first entering the workforce after college. I had been coaching goalies of various ages all throughout college, and knew it is something that I enjoyed doing. Unfortunately the market I was in could not support my business, so I tabled the idea, and followed opportunities in other industries.
After nearly a decade of managing companies for others, things had changed quite a bit for me. Living in a new city, I was overseeing three different companies, starting a family, but still not feeling quite fulfilled in my work. I had so much vision to bring to the table, but was consistently limited by my superiors. Money was great, but hours were running long, taking away from my number one focus – family. I began to research how I could start my business in a new city and market. Once I found that there was opportunity to support my endeavors, I took the leap to finally commit to my business.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Snowman Goaltending is an Arizona based ice hockey goalie school. Hosting camps and clinics across the valley, as well as group, private and practice based lessons.
I love what I do and I think that is apparent in my attitude and approach to coaching. When developing an athlete, it’s important to focus both on and off the ice. My ability to work well with a variety of students, regardless of age or skill level and develop a positive rapport makes Snowman Goaltending a staple goalie coaching service in Arizona. I am grateful and humbled to have received a welcoming response and support from the community in return.
It has been a long road to get to where we are today, and it was certainly not easy. But no matter the obstacle, you have to continue driving towards what you are looking to achieve. A few lessons I have picked up along the way: Respond, don’t react. You can make a difference, no matter how small. Find what drives you. Listen more.
Snowman Goaltending is for the goalies. Our hope is to be accessible for any one and grow their love of not only this sport, but this unique position. No matter your age and whether it’s your first time on the ice or you are hustling for competitive play, I want you to have fun and push yourself.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If you came to visit me for a week, hopefully it would be sometime in April. That is usually when Arizona has some of the better weather to offer. We would likely start out with a late night drive to the Grand Canyon, to try and catch a sunrise and some breakfast overlooking the natural wonder. From there to Flagstaff, where we can take a drive up the peaks to play in the snow or wander through downtown after taking a hike through the lava tubes. Leaving Flagstaff, we would take the switchbacks down to see Sedona and the majestic red rocks. Maybe even take a Jeep tour around to see the iconic formations. And you have to venture into Oak Creek Canyon to hang by the water. Take a dip at your own risk! The water is snow runoff, and can be a bit chilly for some. Heading south to Prescott to check out the historic town, Arizona’s former capital. Then we would continue on to Phoenix where we can check out the zoo and botanical gardens. And rounding out the trip in Tucson at a gem show. That’s a pretty solid run of Arizona.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
It’s tough to thank one single person for my life’s overall success. There are quite a few people deserving of credit in getting me to this point. Snowman Goaltending would not be where it is today without the unwavering support of my wife Ann, and daughter Aspen. Each of them has suffered through my long hours as we get this venture off the ground. They are the reason I work so hard, and the reason I am able to. Of course, my parents – they worked hard to provide me everything I needed to play hockey competitively. Between time at the rink, in the car, camps, hotels, gear, and more; they invested a lot to get me where I needed to be.
Coach Doug Allan, who I have always seen as an example of a top notch coach. He had been there, a former pro himself, who got me really excited about the sport. Hiroki Wakabayashi, whom I would consider my first mentor in my goalie coaching journey. He took me under his wing as his assistant within his program at the Desert Youth Hockey Association and also allowing me to assist during his private camps and lessons as well. Randy Exelby, founder and owner of Behind The Mask, has been a big helping hand in the growth of my business. He has always supported any camp clinics, or lesson we have hosted, and given us access to places and things we otherwise would not have.
Linkedin: Chris Snowden-Santi
Facebook: Snowman Goaltending
Youtube: Snowman Goaltending
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