Hi, I’m Ian Coumans and I study industrial engineering & management. I’m a defence playing for our second division team and also fulfill the role as team captain.
For how long have you been playing hockey?
I have been playing for 17 years, 6 of which with the Icehawks. I have an international career playing in the dutch, Belgium, and German hockey leagues before joining the Icehawks
Why did you pick ice hockey?
Pretty funny story actually, I got introduced to inline skating from a very early age. I loved using them wherever I went. This resulted in me not being able/caring to ride a bike until I was like 9 or 10 (the day before the Dutch cycling exam).
When I was still in lower school we went ice skating and I literally put on my skates and took off without falling. My teacher told my parents and they figured, why not try hockey. Haven’t looked back since 😉
What’s the best part of the sport for you?
I was always very competitive, trying to win at any cost was always my goal. Nowadays I take great joy in seeing teammates prosper and I love making a good play that results in a nice goal. During practices, our coach gives it his all, and every year I am surprised by the progress some of the guys/girls make. Hockey showed me people could really contribute to a common cause.
What do you like the most about the team? What do you think makes us different from the rest?
It’s hard to point out a single subject but from my experience: We always had the smaller, fitter, and more technical guys/girls than the opponents. There were a lot of situations where we got roughed up, but being consistent, keeping your mind at ease, and having the longest breath has resulted in us winning multiple student championships. Playing in the second division really puts our team on edge because we face much older/smarter players.
Luckily we have the best coach a team can wish for. He coaches with passion and is the perfect example of what leadership should be. Aside from the results, he taught me to enjoy the game as well.
What’s your jersey number? Is there a reason for picking it?
21. When I was a kid I was assigned to number 7, I was very attached to it back then. Moving to the Icehawks, the number was taken sadly. Prior to the Icehawks, I played occasionally with number 21. I figured 3 x 7 = 21 (if my math is correct) and I thought, why not?
Favorite moment with the Icehawks?
Beating Ron Berteling’s team at its own game in Eindhoven.
What are you known for within the Icehawks?
My godlike speed on the ice, orange helmet, and the occasional partying.
Do you have any weird/interesting pregame rituals?
As a captain, I’m in charge of getting ‘’the boys’’ fired up before the game. This involves me playing very loud music (some people call it noise) and giving some cheesy motivational lines I stole from a movie. (Insert cheesy 70’s-80’s action hero movie quote here)
No s*x before the game.
What makes you keep coming to practices?
My teammates, which I consider to be friends. And the enjoyment of motivating people to get better at the game.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone looking to try hockey, what would it be? And why should they pick the Icehawks out of all the teams in the area?
My advice would be to just try it out. Hockey is the one thing I would pick over anything else. It has brought me so much joy and moments I will never forget. It’s great for your health and it teaches many valuable life lessons.
The Icehawks offer a warm welcome to anyone of any level. You can work on your own improvements, party, enjoy yourself, anything is possible.
To end this interview, can you give us a quote, no explanation?
But it ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forwardRocky Balboa (and Ian Coumans, occasionally)
Did we spark your interest? Make sure you sign up for a trial practice with our team.