Podcast Episode #21: Pavel Barber, Hockey Trainer & Professional YouTuber

In this episode of Hunter & Craft Radio, Evan Lewis chats with Pavel Barber – a YouTube hockey sensation known for his amazing stickhandling videos and tutorials. Pavel has built a huge social media following in recent years, with nearly 60,000 YouTube subscribers and over 240,000 Instagram followers, and has created videos for major brands like Molson Canadian and GoPro. 




Pavel’s Background

  • Always dreamed of keeping the game of hockey close to him in his career. Wanted to give back to the game that gave him so much.
  • Played North York Knights in the GTHL for 8 years. Started playing field hockey at the end of high school, made Team Canada by the age of 21. 
  • Started making stickhandling videos in 2013 at UBC. Evolved from cool videos to helpful shootout and stickhandling tutorials to help give back to the game.

Before he was Pavel Barber, he was still pulling the Datsyuk on helpless minor hockey goalies.

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YouTube & Instagram Growth

  • Started the YouTube channel to create a platform for people to celebrate the game.
  • Wanted to do things that nobody had ever done before. Wanted to separate his brand and presence from other major hockey accounts on social media.
  • His “team” is made up of his followers – whenever followers find a good video, they will DM him. Followers are the ones helping him grow.
  • Posts the majority of content from his phone. Uses Instagram/Vine/Twitter downloaders to pull and repurpose videos.
  • Puts positive tags and calls-to-action on his content so people are encouraged to tag their friends as a compliment.
  • Has increased follower base effectively by reaching out to people who aren’t the traditional hockey fanatics and sharing content that entertains them.
  • YouTube revenue is generated through video ad placements via Google AdSense.
  • Brands also can pay YouTubers for product placement, giving shoutouts or featuring products in videos. Pavel gets a lot of offers like this but focuses on building his brand and only featuring products he uses and loves. Recently got an offer from GoPro to do 6 videos for them, which is a core focus for this year.
  • YouTubers don’t have control over which brand videos get shown on their channel. They do have control over the duration of the ads and whether people can skip them or not. 
It doesn't matter what you have, it's what you do with what you have. Click To Tweet

Life as a Trainer & Coach

  • Wanted to put himself in a position to give back to the game and inspire kids to do their best.
  • Having the skill to do something is very different from having the skill to teach something.
  • Kept the private training client base small to start – 3 lessons/week for 3 kids. Wanted to learn how to coach effectively and get the best out of people.
  • Focuses on praising effort rather than praising reward. 
  • Started working at Gretzky Hockey School a few years ago – has been to several camps for them.
  • Travels around North America doing hockey training sessions for clients.
  • Does online training and in-person training with Aito Iguchi, a Japanese hockey player whose stickhandling videos have gone viral with millions of views.
  • Pavel meticulously watches and analyzes the world’s best hockey players, like Pavel Datsyuk. Looks at how they use stickhandling to create space.
  • Wants to appear non-judgemental – it’s okay to make mistakes as long as you are learning from them. The best coaches bring no ego to the table.
  • Core Career Lesson: Make sure you love what you are doing, and when the going gets tough, think back to why you got involved with it in the first place. Follow your passion.
  • Core Life Lesson: Making a conscious effort to eat healthy helps you maintain high energy. When you have high energy, you are more positive, hard-working and likely to correct a mistake.

Brands Pavel Works With:

Book Recommendations



Follow Pavel Barber

YouTube – Instagram – Facebook

Watch some of his best videos below:







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