Michal Kempný: If you already have a gift, go all in

Michal Kempný Flow

Michal Kempný, a name that inherently belongs to Czech hockey. Thanks to his exceptional abilities, determination, hard work and perseverance, he established himself not only in the Czech Extraliga, but also in the NHL, in which he won the Stanley Cup with his team. He proudly represented the Czech Republic at international tournaments, the World Cup and several world championships.

Michal's discipline, determination and dedication to sport are an inspiration not only to us at Flow. Add to that a passion for biohacking, and we have a combination that resonates on all fronts. That's why we briefly interviewed Michal.

Michal, professional sports require a lot of discipline and hard work. What has sport taught you about yourself?

I personally set certain goals for myself every day and every season, and I think that every athlete should have a vision and a dream that drives them forward. For me personally, it is very important in that I take it as a process. Every day is a good day for improvement and a chance to reach your dream goal. To believe in the process, to believe in yourself, in your abilities, and to keep moving forward.

Do you ever experience a state of flow in this process? Do you remember the last time?

Of course, I have already experienced the state of flow and I know what it entails, but it is not easy to get into it. As a professional athlete, I try to get as close as possible to that state in every match. When you're a flow player, you feel completely unstoppable. It is a state where a person does not doubt his abilities at all. He's not afraid of anything, he's not afraid to play, he creates, everything goes well for him, everything sticks to him the way it should, and it's a very pleasant state.
At the moment I don't know when was the last time I was in flow, but I hope to experience it as much as possible.

Michal Kempny

Your determination and discipline led you to the cup, which every hockey player surely wishes to lift above his head. It's about the Stanley Cup. Was winning the Stanley Cup the best moment of your career or do you value something more?

The biggest moment of his career so far is definitely winning the Stanley Cup in 2018 with Washington. I think that's the most a player can achieve in hockey. I really appreciate that I could be there, that I could touch it. No one will take that away from me. So that's definitely number one for me. After that, I would definitely mention the bronze medal at the World Championships in Tampere. That was also a nice experience. But of course there are more of those moments during that career. It's also the smaller things like the first game in the NHL, the first game in the national team and, if I start from the very beginning, the first game in the extra league. These are the little milestones that make you happy and warm your heart.

We know you're no stranger to biohacking either. Do you have a secret hack that you use for better performance, recovery or health?

At the moment, the most important thing for me is probably to expose myself to the cold; cold shower, ice tubs, cryochamber. Then what I use a lot for regeneration and in general such as the daily morning routine is the use of an infrared panel. I try to use it as much as possible. And an excellent thing is the sauna and massages, with that I can relax a lot and clean and turn off my head.

Michal Kempný Flow

They say that the head is at least half the battle. Do you also work with psychics? What helps you the most?

I've had a few mental coaches in my career, but none of them I've lasted very long. I try to somehow work with myself, with my thoughts, and the older and more experienced I get, the more I know in hockey what I can expect from all situations, and I try to work with it as best as possible. I have my rituals that help me take my mind off my thoughts a little bit somewhere else, so before every match I do the same thing, I have the same warm-ups and the same rituals that I keep repeating. With these, I can put myself in the zone that there is a match here and I know that I am ready. This is how I try to work with my psyche.

What is your biggest daily challenge?

It is definitely to be a better person, a better athlete, a better hockey player every day. It is also a big challenge now that we have a two and a half year old son, so I would definitely mention that it is also a challenge to be the best dad I can be. That's what I really try to do, to be there for him and to be the best version of myself for him.

Michal Kempny

Where do you think young athletes make the biggest mistake in preparation?

If we are talking about young athletes who already have professional contracts and are earning money, then I think it is very important that these guys do not save on themselves and invest in themselves. It is very important to have good people around you at the beginning of your career. Having professionals around you who understand everything much better than you do. It is important not to skimp on fitness trainers, quality food and education about these things. Don't be afraid to ask questions about things you don't know and don't be shy to ask the professionals. I would probably see the biggest mistake in this. Of course there are guys who do this, but I think most don't. But I was no exception in my younger years and the beginning of my career.

All the more reason for readers to take your advice to heart. What other tips would you give to young aspiring athletes aiming for the top?

Make sure they enjoy the process. What they do to enjoy it, to love it, to fulfill them every day. I think that's the biggest drive a person can have. And I know that it is definitely not possible without hard work and daily sacrifice, so let them work, but let them enjoy it, let them love it, because there is nothing better than having what you love as a job and still earning a living from it. That's the most. It's a shame to sit in an office for 8 hours every day if you don't enjoy it and it doesn't fulfill you. If you already have a gift that you can perfect and use, then I would go all in.