By day, Thomas Hodges, 25, is an SMU junior studying sports management and journalism. By night, he’s the emergency goalie for the Dallas Stars, living out his dream of playing professional hockey.
Hodges serves as an NHL emergency goalie in the Dallas Stars organization, doing his best to balance his coursework with his weekly training schedule. The English-born hockey player now resides in Plano with his family.
TL. How do you balance your life?
TH. I think the key for me balancing everything in my schedule it to complete tasks as they present themselves. I try to get most of my assignments done the day they are assigned so that they can’t build up and have an impact on my other obligations.
TL. Describe your personal style.
TH. Comfort is king. Most of my wardrobe makes me look like a total mess, but being comfortable helps me get through the day. It’s either trash or class. No in-between
TL. What inspired you to do what you do?
TH. Just a love for the game, it has consumed my life for the last 15 or so years, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Hockey also helped me get through a very rough time in my life, when we moved from the U.K I started suffering from severe panic attacks and depression. On the ice, my worries just seemed to fade away. For a few years the rink was the only place I felt like myself.
TL. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced?
TH. At the age of 14 I lost the sight in my left eye, this made playing goalie incredibly difficult for me for many years. To get back to the level I was playing before, I had to work twice as hard as my peers. It was always a struggle at the time, but in the long run I think it had a very positive affect on my work ethic.
TL. Why SMU?
TH. It is a wonderful educational institution that wasn’t too far from home. For me that was a big selling point as a member of my family is dealing with a serious health issue and I don’t want to be too far away if anything happens.
TL. What advice do you have for first year students?
TH. Don’t rush into anything. You are here for 4 or more years, don’t be in a hurry to join every organization on campus as soon as you arrive. Take some time, get to understand the time commitments each of your courses is going to require, and then sign up for what you have space for. It’s easier to add clubs than it is to recover a GPA after getting in over your head.
TL. What’s next?
TH. I wish I knew.
TL. Early bird or night owl?
TH. Neither really, I take advantage of every opportunity I get to get some more sleep.
TL. What would be your last meal?
TH. Probably pizza, I don’t get to eat it very often on my diet, but I miss it!
TL. Favorite dessert?
TL. What’s your greatest achievement?
TH. Getting through a career with all my teeth…so far.