Taking Liberties With… Seth Payson
Arizona Rubber: What’s your favorite hockey memory growing up?
Seth Payson: My favorite memory definitely has to be from our Silver Stick trip to Toronto my first 16U year. Me and some of the guys all hopped on a pond across the street from the hotel and played from like 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. That’s something I’ll never forget.
AZR: What’s your favorite memory in the game since leaving New Mexico?
SP: My favorite memory since I left home would be going to the USPHL Championships with all the guys from New York (Aviators in 2018-19). Just a good group of guys and I definitely made some lifelong friends.
AZR: Who have been the biggest influences on you, on and off the ice?
SP: My biggest influences by far have been both of my parents. My dad coached me for many years and always pushed me. My mom, on the other hand, always pushed me to focus on my academics and to do well in school.
AZR: What’s the best piece of advice you have for young hockey players?
SP: The best advice I have for any younger kids playing hockey is to just have fun and work hard. As you get older, the game gets more and more serious and you have to keep working to improve, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stop having fun. You’ve got to love the game you play for as long as you play it.
AZR: Other than hockey, do you have a favorite sport to play?
SP: Outside of hockey, I play a lot of golf. Actually, I played varsity golf my freshman, sophomore and junior year. With the weather in New Mexico, I used to be able to hit the links year-round.
AZR: Do you have any superstitions?
SP: No superstitions for me. Some nights you might get some lucky bounces, some nights you might get some unlucky bounces, but I don’t think anything outside of normal pre-game preparation will help your luck.
AZR: What does your game-day routine look like?
SP: Wake up and get a good breakfast. Usually some eggs and toast. Either go to the rink for a morning skate or get a nice stretch in at home. For lunch, I usually do some sort of pasta. Then I just hang out for the day, watch some TV. Stay hydrated. About three hours before game time, I’ll put my suit on and get all my stuff together that I need to take with me. I’ll usually leave the house so I’ll get to the game about two hours before the game. At the rink, get a team stretch, tape my stick and get ready for the game.
AZR: Do you have a favorite meal or restaurant back home in New Mexico?
SP: Back home, one of my favorites has always been Little Anita’s (in Old Town Albuquerque). My favorite thing is probably their sopapillas after the meal.
AZR: What are some essential items you take on a road trip?
SP: Snacks. I always bring plenty of snacks.
AZR: Did you have a favorite hockey player growing up?
SP: (Washington Capitals captain) Alex Ovechkin was always my favorite player growing up. I always loved that he was one of the most skilled players in the league but was never afraid to drop the gloves.
— Compiled by Matt Mackinder
(Jan. 14, 2020)