6 Year Old Coach Cal giving us the inspiration we never knew we needed to beat the mid-week blues! 👊
— Hockey Brandon (@hockeybrandon17) December 23, 2021
Meet Callan Perks, the adorable 7-year-old from Ontario, Canada, who is on a mission to “Get the W.” In November 2021, he won the opportunity to give the pregame speech to his hometown team, the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League. Callan was selected by the team to participate in their Next Gen game, where children sign a single-day contract to experience what it would be like to be part of a professional hockey league.
The young boy first went viral with a video of him giving a pregame speech to the Peterborough Petes. In it, he energizes the team with his encouraging words: “Legends are made every day and you could be one of the greats. You were the chosen ones. You were the years in the making. So, today, we work hard, get back hard, shoot hard, spread out, pass hard! So, get in there! That's your puck!…We won't let those 67s get a win in our barn. So we're going to do whatever it takes to get the W… Let's go!” The players were blown away by the pep talk from this small boy, who also goes by the name of “Coach Cal,” and erupted in a loud roar of applause before the hockey game.
The passionate speech Coach Cal gave to his hockey idols gained hundreds of thousands of views online, and even grabbed the attention of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The young hockey fan was given the opportunity to fly to California to speak to the talk show host. Dressed in a suit and tie, Callan spoke to Ellen about his love for motivating others. “I always want to think positive, even if you’re having a bad day just go out there and ‘Get The W’ no matter what time,” he said. Coach Cal even shared what makes for a good motivational pregame speech: “You just have to stay positive and know that your speech will be the best.”
Callan then surprised Ellen with a heartfelt pep talk he prepared just for her: “For 19 seasons, you have given your all on this stage. You danced, joked, you laughed, you cried, and you gave hugs. So when it’s time to say goodbye and turn off the lights, just remember that you, Ellen, will always get the W ‘cause you have given whatever it takes to be you. So just keep working hard and stay positive and making people laugh ‘cause you are a legend. So let’s get fired up, go out there, and get the W, today and every day. Let’s go Ellen!”
Ellen, who is filming her final season, was touched and visibly emotional. With tears in her eyes she told Coach Cal, “I have to give you a hug! I have to say I know a lot of fancy people, I know a lot of people, I know a lot of people and what you just said to me means more than what I can possibly convey to you. That was the sweetest–I don’t even know you–but you are just a special little being with such a big heart and I thank you for that, that was the sweetest thing.”
The sweet boy didn’t leave empty-handed as Ellen surprised him with his own “Coach Cal” gear including a custom tracksuit, megaphone, and clipboard.