During my time in South Carolina photographing the Greenville Road Warriors, I was able to check something off my bucket-list (be around and photograph a pro hockey team for a week and travel on the road with them), and met many great people. Ryan Martin (Marty) was one of those people.
This is Ryan’s fourth year of managing the Road Warriors’ equipment, but his ritual of firing pucks at the net prior to practices has been around longer than that. “It’s just something I started doing when I was in Houston (Working for the Aeros). It’s fun for me and my shot keeps getting better. If I don’t have time to do it its because I haven’t managed my time well that day“. When I asked Ryan if there’s a goal for his shots (no pun intended), he answered “No goal really; although I do focus on going bar-down EVERYTIME“.
“I was setting up the benches for practice one day (in Houston) and I grabbed a puck and stick and started shooting“, Marty went on to mention that one of the goalies came out while he was doing his shooting and said that Ryan had a harder shot that most of the players on the team.
Martin says regarding the players, “No one gives me shit; they have no clue I even play until they see me shoot. Occasionally I’ll stay out there while a few guys skate around and feed them some passes and what not until (Coach) Dean comes out. Then its time to get off“.
Here’s a short video I took with my GoPro of Marty’s Ritual.