Dominique Termansen: CFL Football Star Shares His Journey To The Big Time!

Dominique Termansen, CFL football star, playing for the Montreal Alouettes, took time out of his hectic schedule, to share, with ClearLife, his journey as a profession athlete.

CHARLOTTE CARSON: Congratulations on getting into the CFL to play for the Montreal Alouettes! That’s a pretty huge accomplishment!

DOMINIQUE TERMANSEN: Thank you, it’s been a process. I was fortunate enough to enter the league at a super young age, so this is my fifth year in the league and it does feel like a blessing to be able to still be doing what I love and have the Alouettes to compete and to be only really working only 6 months of the year and to be doing other adventures in the off-season. It’s really something I’m passionate about. I feel fortunate to be a part of it.

CC: It’s incredible at any age but especially at a really young age, it’s a real accomplishment. Dom, when did you start playing football, was it a boyhood dream of yours?

DT: Interestingly enough, my background is more in basketball than football. My mom and her side of the family are very athletic and into basketball. My mom was actually a basketball coach and coach at the high school level through my high school basketball career. It wasn’t until later, grade 11 or 12, when I started taking football a lot more seriously.

I’m only 5’11 and at this age every basketball player is like 6’4 and up, so just finding the outlet where I can continue to excel and perfect and potentially get to the professional ranks, while I made this sort of transition was surprisingly super smooth as this two sports transition very well.

CC: What’s the day in a life of Dom Termansen?

DT: Obviously, the healthy lifestyle is the biggest priority, but I think daily there’s a certain pressure to recover at a high rate. Every morning I get up at about 6 a.m. In season, I get a good warm up and a light workout before I go to my meetings. Our typical workday will be about 9am till 2pm which sounds like not a lot of hours which it isn’t, but in terms of the amount of running we do in a day and 3 hours of field review and meetings, it ends up being really intense. I think what a lot of people miss about football is how subtle it can actually be so, in that 4 hours we would know what union the allows us to do with our coaches. So in terms of routine, it’s a workout, then 3 hours of meetings, then 2 hours of practise and then I usually get a workout at the end of the day as well. In terms of how I diversify my training, it’s a lot of resistance training, a lot of bench work, and a lot of yoga and mobility work. That’s the difference between super strong body builders in the gym versus the athletes is that transfer of power, being able to displace strength through the full range of motion rather than just one plane.

CC: That’s interesting. You mentioned working on your own for another 3-4 hours after the CFL training, what would that entail? What kind of thing are you doing to keep up your game?

DT: The game of football itself, especially the Canadian game, we have 12 players versus 12 players and there’s never ever one player that can take over the football game, it’s such a team dynamic. And across the board in the professional league, everybody around is at the same baseline, strength, speed, size for whatever respected position. There is so much emphasis on strategy and game plan and I feel like the coaching and analysis has a way higher impact on the outcome of the game. What separates the great players from the average is the ability to understand the game and know what is going to happen based on tendencies of other players. And the only way you are going to understand that is through field review. You have to sit down and analyze these tendencies. So after the game you could go home and rely on your athleticism, but if you want to be the greatest player possible, preparing for that Saturday requires hours and hours of watching the player you gonna be playing against to.

CC: That’s incredible, I’m sure a lot of people will be really interested to hear that. I think the psychology in anything you are doing is still critical. 90% of the work is always done behind the scenes, both physical and mental. I understand, you are also a personal trainer?

DT: At school I did an internship with our strength coach, I was playing football at the University of British Columbia as well, so I was fortunate enough to shadow our senior strength conditioning coach and that’s where I learned a lot of my strength conditioning principles. Also, in kinesiology I learned the program properly. After transitioning after my first year playing in Montreal, I came back to Vancouver to have 6 months of free time. I wasn’t going right back to school at the time and so I reached out to by the bunch of studios. I started in a group fitness round at two of the best gyms in the city in district of north Vancouver. I’m a personal trainer and kinesiologist; I studied kinesiology at the University of British Columbia.

CC: Anyone who has achieved the level of success you have, what would you give as a top advice, things that people can do to prepare themselves, even psychologically, starting getting their fitness routines together?

DT: Especially in the group fitness space, you notice that a lot of what plays into people’s motivation is their baseline, where they are starting from. Comparing themselves to others, that’s probably the most detrimental thing you can do, and you are talking about your own personal fitness goals right? What my philosophy is, and this applies to almost everything, is just controlling the controllable. All I can control is my effort and my relentlessness at whatever task is in front of me. If your goal is to improve in the gym, who cares what your baseline is? You need to get that relentless effort to constantly improve. If there’s a task ahead and you are constantly improving by increments, you never gonna plato, there’s always gonna be a way to be that much better by the next day.

CC: Dare I ask, what are the feelings of yourself and the team about the situation with Colin Kaepernick?

DT: In terms of NFL or football-related controversial topics, I feel like people stay away from those just because, it’s a hot topic with consequences.  For example, people are of course aware of the consequences and people know the negative outcomes that surround that, but because they are part of the space still, they kinda turn a blind eye to it. And the same goes for Colin Kaepernick. 100% I think everybody on our team is in support of Colin and his initiative, it’s just where our job security comes into play and if we gonna take the knee during the Canadian NFL play? Probably not. There’re so many problems that go on with the United States, like constitutional, that as a Canadian, I might not even fully grasp an understanding of. There are some things that need to change, but they’re so fundamentally ingrained that it’s gonna take a really strong upstream approach to have any significant impact.

CC: Thanks for sharing time and your story with us Dom.

DT: Thanks for having me, I enjoyed this.